To achieve the low placement of American English, you have to speak with a relaxed body and face. This video helps you release tension in the lips.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over lip exercises.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, one of the funny faces that I loved making was the fish face.
>> Nice. That’s a good one.
The lips are two wonderful articulators for many sounds: B, P, F, V, M, W as well as rounding for vowels and diphthongs like OO, [UH], AW, OH, OW. Let’s practice some relaxation exercises that will help our lips become as flexible and versatile as possible.
Let’s start by massaging the lips, which are really mostly skin and mucous membrane. Anyway you like.
>> I can’t do that because I’m wearing lip stick, but otherwise I would.
I like to spend some time on the corners of the lips, where there is some muscle that you can feel.
Now blow through your lips, like we’re making the sound of an airplane or boat. This can be a good chance to connect with your support and blow through the lips from support.
>> I’m going to go higher than you.
>> You know that really is hard. If you have an tension in your lips, they won’t do that. Singers do that too.
You can start by blowing through just with the breath, and then add voice to it.
Now, let’s try the fish face. Can you do it?
It actually feels pretty good.
Now here again, let’s drop out heads and shake the lips out.
>> Do I have to do that again?
>> You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
>> Well, it messes up my hair.
>> Wow. So, when you’re doing these exercises, try not to wear lipstick, and do it before you do your hair.
>> And pull your hair back in a bun.
Now, let’s work on some vowel sounds with the lips.
So the lips start very forward and rounded, and then pull back in the corners for that EE vowel.
And now, we’re going to get the jaw involved on this next one. We’ll go from OO, where again the lips are rounded forward, into AW, AW, where the jaw will drop a bit.
And now, let’s go from OO-EE to OO-AW.
OO-EE, OO-AW, OO-EE, OO-AW
Nice. Now, drop your head and shake your lips out again, and you’re done!
This video is part of a series on Relaxation and placement. If you liked, it, check out the one that came just before on Tongue Relaxation, and the one that comes next, on Throat Relaxation.
Now, all of these exercises are new to me as well, and they were taught to me by Tom. He learned these exercises while he was getting his master’s degree in acting at Harvard University.
>> So Tom, thanks so much for lending your expertise to this series.
>> My pleasure.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.