The Value of Humming and Tapping Sounds to Enhance Your Life
Did you know humming is probably one of the most therapeutic practices you can do for daily wellness? Humming connects your breath, voice, body, and spirit-- you feel the rhythm of your breath as you exhale on the hum, you feel the vibrations of your voice, you feel the vibrations wafting into the bony surfaces of your mouth and into your skull while humming, and your spirit gets a lift because it feels AMAZING and you tend to hum songs you love!
The longer we sustain a relaxed exhalation, the more we can activate the parasympethetic nervous system, which makes us feel peaceful and connected to ourselves. You can hum to keep your voice healthy by feeling a slight forward movement of the lips and cheeks to focus the vocal vibrations forward. Try it! You may notice more resonance in your voice and the feeling/sound gets richer with the forward movement.
Tapping sounds in the mouth awakens you to the beats and rhythms of language. The vibrations are sudden, yet potent. You will feel your tongue get some finesse in your speech when you can incorporate daily play with humming and tapping. Your breath rhythm will connect with a sustainable and healthy speaking tempo-rhythm that will make you a clearer and more dynamic speaker.
Humming to Music
This voice exploration will create awareness of the sensation of your voice through a practice you’ve done your whole life—humming to music! This time, though, you will hum to the music you feel within. Keep the range of the notes you hum moderate. Think of your vocal range as a house, and we want to stay in the main living level. If you go too high, you will be in the attic; if you go too low, you’re in the basement of your voice.
Focus on enjoying the vibrations of the voice as you feel them tickling your lips and the bones in your mouth (the hard palate and the teeth).
1. Close your eyes or find a soft gaze. Hum on an M consonant and feel the vibration on your lips. Experiment with your lips to notice the change in the quality of the vibration—press your lips hard together and hum, then soften your lips a lot and hum. Next, find the “just right” amount of pressure between your two lips to sense the most vibration at the level that feels good.
2. Keep your voice on one pitch or note. Usually saying, “Hello, my name is Mom” and sustaining the M at the end of “Mom” brings you to a pitch comfortable in the conversational speaking range. Feel the vibrations of the M on this one note for different lengths of time—a three-second exhalation, a five-second exhalation.
3. Next, feel the vibrations of the M while exploring up and down two or three pitches above your conversational pitch from before. Focus on keeping the vibrations on your lips and out of your head. Remember, we are exploring the speaking voice, not the singing voice.
4. Continue humming to feel a vibration on your lips. Enjoy the feeling of your voice! Hum as often as possible. Freely hum songs in both your conversational range and your singing range as you practice throughout the week.
1. Continue to Hum to Feel Music, playing with different rhythms and pitches.
2. Add musical tapping (feeling the sounds D, T, B, P, G, K as musical instruments) to your exploration.
Take your time to feel the sensations of each. They are each unique.
3. Play with the parts of the tongue that create these tapped sounds and enjoy the rhythms you create.
Have fun with musical humming and tapping. This is the first step to connecting your voice and befriending yourself through your voice.
Feel these practices with this accompanying video here. Enjoy and please share!