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Articulate: Isolation

If you’ve ever done any form of dance you already understand isolation. That is exploring the movement and function of an area, a muscle or muscle groups, a joint. You can do this on a meta level such as articulating a hand against the wrist. Or, in minute detail such as articulating each digit of each finger and how it relates to the hand.

I love isolations. There is simply no better way to experience the form and function of the body. It also focuses the mind as you direct the isolation.

In many ways, each stretch, articulation, and vocalise in voice training is a form of isolation. Still, as I gravitate towards the minute details of micro-isolations in movement so too am I attracted to micro-isolations in voicing.

If you put the tip of the tongue against the bottom teeth and release the jaw to its most open front position you will get an /a/ sound. If you then let the blade of the tongue curve upwards slowly and deliberately (as the tip remains fixed) you will transition through /ae/, /ɛ/, /e/, and finally to /i/.

If you do this slowly you will feel the transition points when one vowel gives way to another. Those transitions are where the music of language lives. This type of work isn’t sexy (to most people) but it is where speech becomes art.

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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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