After listening to both recordings of “Under Milkwood” by Dylan Thomas, I noticed many differences, some blatant and some subtle, that helped me to understand the true worth of what I have been learning in this class. There are so many different things that go into speaking, most of which we do not typically think about. After hearing the differences between the two recordings, it became evident why we do each specific exercise in class, and it was easy to see in what way each exercise helped my speech.
Prior to the first recording, I didn’t understand how important it was to understand what exactly I was going to be speaking about. I focused mainly on when to breathe and how much air to take in with each breath. The piece is such an expressive one and has many different examples of unique imagery, including the bird-like sisters, the loose wild barefoot women of the hovels of the hills, Ms. Myfawny Price, and all of her various sweets. In my first recording, I wasn’t able to illustrate this imagery through my speech. My breathing seemed to flow well, but I did not speak with any passion or excitement, which made my speech very boring to listen to.
In my second recording, I focused not only on when to breathe and how much air to take in, but also on where it was coming from. Part of this came from the muscle memory I experienced throughout the various exercises we did in class, and part of it was a conscious effort to support my voice using my abdominals. This action really seemed to help improve my timbre and seemed to add more excitement to my voice. I also tried to emphasize the operative words in each though and really play around with my voice inflections.
It was really shocking how the vocal and breathing techniques that gave me problems during the first recording now come naturally. These techniques included handling natural vibrations (which I have a lot of when I am nervous and...