A Pleasant Look On Your Face Improves Your Tone
Whenever I watch someone perform, I always pay close attention to the facial expressions they are making. I’m sure you’ve done the same. I want to know how they are feeling about their performance, and somehow I am more engaged if they seem engaged. Now, can this be artificially communicated? More or less, it can, to a certain degree.
A pleasant look on your face can not only put you at ease, as well as those watching you, it can also improve the tone of your voice. In hysterical laughter, your mouth and entire vocal tract, and pharyngeal wall enlarge, and your zygomatic muscles (muscles around lips and cheeks) rise. The same happens when smelling a rose, or a good fragrance, slowly. A pleasant look comes over your face that is not a full smile. When this pleasant expression is combined with a full inhalation there is a change in the shape of pharynx’s resonating tract, which improves tone.
The Old Italian adage that says, “inhale as though smelling the fragrance in a rose” is referring to the rising of the zygomatic muscles. This slight raising of the skin and muscle in what is called the mask (or masque) area has been a common voice training theme for years. With the smelling of a rose technique the soft palate raises and gives a smoother, fuller singing tone.
The components of the vocal tract (larynx, soft palate, jaw, tongue and lips) are relatively compact. For this reason, even a small change in one of these components directly effects the singers resonance balance, which is why a pleasant facial expression, and raised zygomatic muscles and soft balance can have a noticeable effect on your resonance.
This fact can also be helpful if stage fright is an issue for you. One of greatest thing you can do to put yourself at ease is to smile. When you smile, it creates a psychological effect in your body, which relaxes you and lifts your spirits. Your psyche follows the lead of your physical body. And of course, you demeanor will effect the way your audience perceives you. If you look and feel nervous, your audience will feel uncomfortable and not want to be there. So, smile. You don’t even have to have a goofy grin; it could simply be a pleasant look, as if smelling a flower.
I hope this is helpful for you!