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Acquire: Ease

Our voices can be a bit sticky in the morning. Personally, I awake closer to a baritone than a mezzo and those are the good days. Somedays, the voice just feels scratchy or sounds rough. That first glass of water with some lemon in it can do wonders, still.

We tend to push through those rough vocal mornings, perhaps lubricating it all with coffee or tea. These can help but they ignore what is actually happening. Your voice had a night too. How well you slept, whether or not you had a run-in with acid reflux, whether or not you snore or breathe through your mouth as you sleep all contribute to how your voice feels in the morning. So instead of pressing through, how about easing in.

Start the day with some gentle, mid-range closed mouth hums. Just little snippets of sound. Moving on to gentle slides on the same hum. Approach these initial sounds with curiosity. What feels easy, what is hard? Then open up to a sound something like a short slide in a figure-eight (slide up, come back, slide down, come back) on a breathy /shu/ (pronounced ‘shoe’). Then maybe some articulation such as “Garlic Gargle” repeated 3-5 times not too loud. Just gentle stretching to ease your voice into the day. Pro-tip: A steamy shower is a great location for this.

Try it and let me know how it goes.

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Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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