Molly Holleran Voice Studio header
Voice Studio News & Fun
December 23, 2019 | Issue #12 | Newsletter Archive
Voice Technique: Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises
Semi-occluded vocal tract (SOVT) exercises is just a technical way to say that we are singing while the mouth is partly closed.

The benefit of SOVT exercises is that when the mouth is closed, increased back pressure reflects back at the lips to the vocal folds, to help the folds vibrate with more ease and less effort.

The practice originates with voice therapists to help people who have vocal pathologies, but the exercises are also very useful for singers with healthy voices.

Some of the SOVT exercises we do are lip trills, humming on consonants like M, N, V and Z, and my favorite: straw phonation.

If you want to read a very technical scientific description of SOVT, this will be your jam.

Be sure to use environmentally friendly straws, and re-use them!
Folk Song Favorites
I Wonder as I Wander
While not technically a folk song, this Christmas tune by John Jacob Niles is based on a song fragment sung by a girl he met in Appalachia in 1933.

Check out these great recordings:

Pick your flavor:

Click here to download the song and sing or play for yourself!
Name That Tune
Have fun sight-reading these folk tunes! Do you recognize them?
You've Got Rhythm!
Here are some exercises for rhythm practice - good luck!
Composer Spotlight: Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) wrote the songs for White Christmas, and over 30 other musicals, and was nominated for an Academy Award eight times. His songs are a huge part of the Great American Songbook, a canon of influential popular songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century. Born in the Russian Empire, he emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 5. He has had chart-topping songs 25 times, including White Christmas, Happy Holiday, Puttin' on the Ritz, There's No Business Like Show Business, and God Bless America.

Check out some of his music: