Regarding my last post on my career change, to speech and language, I too had slight problems of my own when I was younger. The first, I could not say words with the letter L. I would always compensate them for the letter N. In order to combat this problem, my granddad, who sung opera, though not professionally, decided to try and help me. We began a regime of exercises with my tongue,, some of which involved singing, both solo and in harmony, as I too was a singer. We’d discovered not just my piano tallents, but my ability to sing soprano, with no struggle. My granddad would say: “put your tongue in the N position, then move it more to the front of your mouth, just behind the top teeth, under the roof of your mouth, then it should sound like L.” I kept trying, but most times, failing. After a while, and numerous attempts, I succeeded. The second problem, the more frustrating issue I faced, came much later, when I began studying voice formally. I had serious jaw tention. If I was going to sing well, and in the correct belcanto (beautiful singing) technique, this had to be sorted, and quickly. I also had problems with understanding the concept of using my soft pallet, and allowing it to raise. This was not happening, causing the sound to go back, and close. It was also causing my jaw to clench, and my neck to tighten. This was also not good. There were numerous times, I would cry with frustration as I was struggling, but it was when a teacher, by the name of Miss Deledesma, endevoured to explain it to me. I was studying in Hereford at the time, and had just had my voice ruined, and confidence destroyed a previous teacher who worked there. One day, while singing in a concert, the lady heard me and came up to me. Her observations, were that I had a large voice, and that I was holding it back. Finally, after a lot of explaining, through touch, on my part, and exercises, I understood. Now, I wish to utalise my skills, in order to help people with the likes of aphasia, (difficulty getting words out, as well as understanding) people with head injuries, and cerebral palsy. So yes, I can at least, have some empathy.
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