Vocal exercise – Speaking #5: What’s your pitch pattern?


Anything you say has a pitch pattern. If you use the same
pitch pattern repeatedly, it will sound monotonous and
your listeners will switch off. Using different pitch patterns
– known as intonation – helps to give different
meanings to your phrase. Use a phrase that you might
use in your daily routine. It could be… I’d like a cup of tea
with milk and one sugar. I’ve got to run to catch the train. I need you to feed the dog;
I forgot to do it this morning. Say the ‘feed the dog’ sentence
as you normally would, but then repeat it with
your lips held closed. The “mm” sound helps you
to focus on the pitch pattern rather than the words. It also helps you to focus
internally on your sound. I need you to feed the dog;
I forgot to do it this morning. Mm mmm… Repeat the “lips closed” version
and then exaggerate it by making the higher notes higher
and the lower notes lower. Mm mmm… Now open your lips and
say the phrase again, using the more
exaggerated pitch patterns. I need you to feed the dog;
I forgot to do it this morning. The intonation can indicate
your emotional state, or the intention behind the words. You may find that your
pitch pattern differs with context. Notice how the pitch pattern changes your
understanding and communicates meaning. For example… Feed the dog. Feed the dog. Feed the dog. Throughout the day, be aware
of the pitch patterns you use and experiment with more
exaggerated or more subtle changes.

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