​Before you make a vocal sound, you must first release tension ​within the vocal mechanism.

  • ​​Home Position​ of the Vocal Core
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The Vocal Core

We call the upper third of your body,  from your chest to the top of your head, the "Vocal Core".

Today,  you will identify the most important parts of your vocal core and their optimum, rested and released positions.

"Home" Position

There is a neutral, tension-free position for each major point of your vocal core. When your larynx and the other critical parts of your vocal core relax​, your voice naturally ​produces strong, healthy sounds.  ​​

Unfortunately, most of us have a good deal of tension in these ​important points​.  ​Countless little personal movements and language habits​ invisibly move our voice-making parts out of alignment.

We will begin at the top of your vocal core ​and release each point in a descending order​ until your entire vocal core is without tension​. ​ 

​Your​ "Home" position​ ​is your starting position​ where all nine points of your vocal core are at rest. Before you​ speak or sing, you warm-up your vocal instrument by placing each point ​in its relaxed position.

Wiggles & Twitches

​ At first, you will notice lots of wiggles and twitches as you find your way to these resting positions.

But, ​when you ​slowly perform each little movement, you will find a fluid path​ where each degree of movement ​gently flows into another.These small, fluid movements are the EXACT same movements and speed you ​use to produce and shape​ vocal tone.


​ ​Please use a either a hand mirror or wall mounted mirror for ​these exercises.

Your mirror is one of your greatest teachers, as it will help you see how your personality habits interfere with your new vocal core positions.

For instance, when you smile, you may also tip your head to the side or squint your eyes. This is fine for​ daily expressions, but it distorts the alignment ​of your vocal mechanism.

Much of voice study includes unwinding these little habits because they impede air flow in your vocal core.

​Parts of the Vocal Core

#1 Mind

Focus upon sensations of breath and vibration inside of the vocal core, from chest to head.

With consistent practice this inward focus will become automatic.

​You will observe essential patterns ​within​ subtle sensations of breath and tone.​ 

#2 Eyes 

Eyes are open in a "Soft"  gaze.

Do not open eyes wide or squint.

Eyebrows are relaxed and down.

Watch for tension between the eyebrows.

#3 Head Horizontal

​Your head​ ​ is horizontal. Neither tipped to the right or left, nor tipped up or down.

There should be a horizontal line, parallel to the ground that runs between your ears.

Your ​ head remains passive when you draw in or expel breath.

#4 Mouth - Lips

Lips are closed, without tension. Be sure that you don't press your lips together or grimace.

Look into the mirror and notice:

Are you using your facial muscles to close your lips?

#5 Tongue

​Your tongue rests flat on the floor of your mouth.

The front is rounded, not pointed.

You can feel the gum-line behind your lower front teeth.

#6 Jaw

Your jaw is a magical point in your vocal core. When it is open and properly relaxed, your entire vocal body begins to relax.

Tension in the jaw translates to tension in the larynx and all other parts of the vocal body.  

Simply allow your lower jaw to FALL downwards from your face without opening your mouth.  Don’t try to open your jaw.

Instead, feel as though your jaw hangs from your upper teeth.


Your jaw is a major release point. Many vocal problems are related to stress in the jaw. When you are able to release the jaw and let it fall from your face, many vocal problems may simply disappear.


​Your jaw falls downward and creates ​space between your teeth.

Lips remain closed and relaxed.

#7 Larynx

Your vocal folds (cords) are​ completely relaxed during the breathing process.

Your breath ​should be silent.

​​ A sounded breath indicates tension and resistance in the larynx. ​ A silent breath indicates relaxation.

Your ​larynx ​doesn't control voice volume or breath pressure.

Your vocal folds only vibrate air into sound.

That is ALL! Then, the small vibrations ​from the larynx move to resonating spaces inside of the vocal core without further effort in the larynx.

IF you are ​using throat tension to determine the high or low pitch of a note, Stop. It's a waste of your precious energy and HARMS your voice.

The source of most vocal problems is the inward motion of tension in the larynx and throat. And, tension in or around the larynx transfers to tension throughout the rest of your body. 

Incorrect use of larynx

It is important to recognize the sensation of improper larynx tension​.

This habit, although unhealthy, is so in-grained that you may not even ​know when you're doing it. ​

Let's find the actual ​motion that you should NOT do: ​

- Breathe in and out loudly.

- Clamp the air off by closing your throat.

- Make a grunting sound and feel the sensations in your larynx and head.

- Repeat softer then louder. (Without too much gusto or it will make you cough. Just loud enough to clearly identify the sensations.)

- Repeat softer then louder. (Without too much gusto or it will make you cough. Just loud enough to clearly identify the sensations.)

- Take all the time you need to notice the various sensations of tension related to closing your larynx.

​Remind yourself that this is what you DO​N'T want to do.

Your throat and larynx should not be tense when you breathe or make a vocal sound​.

This is how you DON’T want to feel.

When you find yourself ​pressing your throat inward, simply let it go and give your larynx, throat and head time to return to their release positions.

Correct use of larynx

​There is no reason to engage the larynx if you're not making vocal sound. T​he easiest way to learn to relax your larynx and throat muscles is to practice a silent breath.

​Silent Breath

​Simply inhale and exhale without making a sound. ​

Your breath will easily enter and leave your lungs without a sound or feeling of resistance in the larynx.

​There is no need to press on your throat to control the rate of air flow because air flow is moderated within the rest of the vocal core. ​

When you find yourself clamping your throat inward, simply let it go and give your larynx, throat and ​neck adequate time to return to their ​home positions.

#8 Chest

Natural Inflation and Deflation of the Chest​ 

Observe the ​​how the chest naturally expands and contracts with the flow of the breath.

There is no effort. The air simply comes into the chest and then moves out. The chest expands and contracts much like inflating and deflating a balloon.

Do not lift the chest to inhale nor push the air out on the deflation/exhale.


 ​It is quite common to draw the shoulders up with the inhale, as well as to push the shoulders downward on the exhale.

This ​movement impedes​ your breathing and voice process. ​

Instead, you will unwind your shoulders from your breathing.

Notice how they gently move ​when your breath inflates and deflates ​your chest. 

If you move your shoulders too much, slow your breathing cycle, and focus on the movement of your chest.

Observe how your shoulders can remain relaxed while you breathe. When you slow the pace of your breathing cycle, you can detect the exact degree when your shoulders begin to tense. 

Then, simply, release in that point, and slowly move the breath through the wiggle area as smoothly as you can.

You will probably notice some twitches  and entanglements in your upper body as you unwind your shoulders, but they will even out over time.


  • ​Your voice is produced in your Vocal Core, the upper third of your body, from the larynx to the head and chest. 
  • ​The lower ​part of your body supports the Vocal Core. 
  • ​Slow, subtle movements ​open ​the locks of the Vocal Core.
  • ​The larynx does NOT control or restrict air flow. The vocal folds only stretch and contract to change the pitch.
  • ​​Your breath moves easily in and out of the vocal core without ​​effort.

​Exercise - Home 

​​Find your "Home" position where each point of your vocal core​ rests without tension.

Each ​​point ​triggers the next release point downwards in the vocal core. 

You ​should notice more moisture in your throat and a general ease throughout your upper body​ ​.

  • ​Mind - Focus only upon the upper third of your body for now (Vocal Core).
  • ​​Eyes - Open and in ‘soft’ gaze. Eyebrows down and relaxed.
  • ​​​Head - Horizontal placement with a horizontal line between the ears.
  • ​Jaw - Falls or ‘hangs’ downward from the face and creates a slight space between the teeth.
  • ​Tongue -  Rests flat on the floor of your mouth..
  • ​Larynx - Dis-engaged and makes no sound during the breathing process.
  • ​​Chest - Naturally rises and falls, inflates and deflates in smooth circles.
  • ​​Shoulders​ - Hand at your sides. Shoulders release down and don't rise or fall with the breath.


  • ​Home Position:  The resting​, tension-free positions of the ​points ​​in the vocal core. 
  • ​Vocal Core: The upper third of your body, from the ​chest to the top of your head, is where your voice is first produced.  All other parts of ​your body support and amplify the sounds produced here.​
  • ​Vocal Core Points: The primary critical points that compose the vocal ​mechanism.Mind, Eyes, Head, Mouth, Jaw, Larynx, Tongue and Chest.  
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