We had hundreds of participants from all over the globe take part in this year’s World Voice Day Quiz. More than 140 of you were in the UK, but we also had enthusiastic singers and teachers across Europe in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Sweden.
Further afield we had entries from Switzerland, Singapore, South Africa, Panama and Macao. 15 US states and 4 Canadian provinces joined in. And we had several countries appearing on the list for the first time, including Brazil, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela.
Many thanks to everyone who joined in the fun.
Who knows the right answers?
The right answers?
Only 198 people got all the right answers, and of those, only 22 people got the last optional question right. More about that later.
Here are the right answers for each question.
1. How many times a day do you swallow?
Answer: 1000 times a day or more.
2. When you sing or speak, which part of your vocal mechanism can’t move?
Answer: It was of course your hard palate. Two people chose “your face” – technically that would make you a ventriloquial singer, which is not unheard of, but it’s not accurate to say your face can’t move!
3. Tidal respiration is…
Answer: how you breathe when you are at rest. It’s interesting to note that breathing has taken on almost mythical status for singers. Five of you said that it was how your breathing matches the lunar cycle. I’d be worried if you only breathed in and out once a month…
4. How many sets of vocal folds do you have?
Answer: Two, a true pair and a false pair. Ten people thought you only have one pair that do everything, and a worrying five people still think they have a separate set for belting. If you were one of them, check out our Belting Explained DVD and reassure yourself!
5. The glottis is…
Answer: the space between your vocal folds. Thirteen of you chose “your vocal folds” which didn’t surprise us. The glottis is a concept in that it doesn’t exist except as a space. But singing teachers still use the word as if it does something (such as “a glottal onset”, or the tortological phrase “space in the glottis”).
6. The jaw bone’s connected to the…
Answer: temporal bone. I couldn’t resist quoting the song about knee bones, which fooled no-one. But you’d be amazed how many people thought it was connected to the collar bone. That would make your shirts look very odd.
7. A plosive is…
Answer: when you have a P or a G&T (or a B or a D or a C). Everyone got this right, well done. Interesting to note that if you pronounce the last letter with its name, there’s no plosive (see) whereas there is in the sound of the letter (kuh). #ILoveTheEnglishLanguage
8. An approximant is…
Answer: Y, R, W or L. I think this was my favourite question to create answers for, and 20 of you decided that an approximant was when you nearly hit the right note.
9. The diphthong is…
Answer: two vowel sounds within a single syllable (as in the words “I” “go” “out”), and not the latest dance craze as chosen by one person. Although it’s only a matter of time…
10. You can release jaw tension by…
Answer: massaging your masseter muscles (your cheek muscles below your cheekbones). You all got this right.
11. You can warm up your articulators by…
Answer: repeating the unvoiced consonant sounds “p t k” using small, neat mouth and jaw movements. To the person who is still standing in front of the radiator trying to warm them up, it won’t work!
12. Your working range is…
Answer: all the pitches you can sing from low to high that you’re happy to present to the general public. You all got this right, although personally I quite like my working range to be between 10 and 4 with a long lunch break.
13. You can avoid sounding nasal by…
Answer: closing the doorway into your nose when you speak (except for the sounds “m”, “n” and “ng”). There are 15 singers and teachers out there who STILL think you stop nasality by raising your eyebrows and lowering your jaw. Our Nasality and the Soft Palate training DVD has been out now for seven years. If you can show me the muscles that connect your eyebrows and your soft palate I’ll EAT a DVD.
14. You can stop the rising inflection by…
Answer: focusing on and changing your intonation patterns. In the book we show you how to do this. Shoutout to the one person who said “by not watching Neighbours.”
15. “The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us” is…
Answer: a tricky tongue twister of voiced and unvoiced fricatives. Everyone got this right except one person. I’m going to quibble with Emma who said “not a good sentence to say with a mouthful of toast” because I think it’s an excellent sentence to say with a mouthful of toast.
16. Ventriloquists deal with the difficult bilabial consonants “m”, “b” and “p” by…
Answer: replacing them with similar sounds that aren’t made with both lips closing. One person thought the dummies should say it instead. I’ve got news for her [whispers]“they’re dummies, they can’t talk”.
I hope that didn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of ventriloquist’s acts.
And two people thought they wrote all the bilabial consonants out of their scripts. So here’s a challenge. A signed book goes to the first person to come up with a 10 minute dialogue for a ventriloquist and their dummy that does not contain any bilabial consonants!
17. Vowel modification is…
Answer: creating different vowel sounds using tiny movements of the tongue. I’m going out on a limb to say that all singing styles use vowel modification of some kind, but as long as there’s enough “EE-ness in your EE” then it’s still an EE! Thanks to Paula for making me laugh by choosing “briefly painful but the effects are permanent”. Done properly it’s neither, but I’m not sure what happens in Paula’s studio?
18. “Pitch contours”, “Emotion” and “Vocal tics” are all…
Answer: ways to identify someone else’s voice patterns.
I’m SO happy that someone chose “Names of unsuccessful boybands”. I love the idea of the Simon Cowell’s latest teenage finds being called “Vocal tics”.
19. Separating your mouth and nose is…
Answer: essential for beatboxing and singing at the same time. Thank you to the four people who chose “physically possible but not recommended for those under 30” and the two who chose “sometimes useful when you’re downwind of the pigfarm”.
20. The “inwards K” is…
Answer: an ingressive pulmonic sound of a handclap. This is a fundamental beatboxing technique where you pull air into the lungs through the mouth and “slurp” it around the sides of your tongue. More details about that particular technique are in the book. Having said that, I think the triple inwards K would make a great ice-skating jump.
21. The crab scratch is…
Answer: an ingressive sound imitating a DJ “scratching” vinyls. And not a seaside hobby like tickling trout, or something you definitely don’t want to be seen doing.
22. The “hover breath” and the “smooth onset” are…
Answer: techniques to begin a sound without a sudden or breathy start. You all got this right, I hope you’re practising!
23. “The whinge setting” is…
Answer: one of the main elements of the classical singing sound. We also talked about Bob Dylan being a whinger on Cerys Matthews’ BBC6 show (we’re on again in July). Thank you to Shirley for choosing “a chickflick”. If it isn’t already, I’m sure it will be soon.
24. “Finding the extra lift” is…
Answer: an exercise to separate arching the soft palate from opening the door into the nose. You all got this right, and there are instructions on how to achieve this in the Classical singing section of the book.
25. The “messa di voce” is…
Answer: a volume control exercise. And not a really bad audition on X Factor. This is actually quite a complex and advanced exercise, so we take more than two pages to teach the complete sequence.
26. The creak is…
Answer: my favourite Post-Punk Revival band. Just kidding, it’s a way of starting and finishing a note using very low airflow (also called vocal fry). You all got this right.
27. The downward single note approach is…
Answer: a “pre-note” sung before the target note, as a style feature in pop singing.
I’m sad to say that one of my answers – it’s a depressing speed-dating experience – still makes me laugh .
28. “Strong-clear” is…
Answer: a vocal setting based on chest voice, essential for most contemporary commercial singing. And not the best-buy air freshener and toilet cleaner.
29. Head, neck and shoulders…
Answer: Someone clearly shares my mind as they chose “knees and toes! Knees and toes!”. Somehow the exclamation marks make all the difference. The real answer is may need to be warmed down to release any excess tension carried over from high-intensity singing or presenting. We have a whole section in the book on warming down.
30. GOR is…
Answer: Every one of you chose the same answer for this – Gastro Oesophagal Reflux, when acid comes up from the stomach resulting in heartburn and indigestion.
What very few of you spotted was that this is the question where all three answers were correct.
GOR is also a male roggwart, whom General Grievous kept as a pet during the Clone Wars (Star Wars).
And GOR is also a cockney ejaculation, a diminution of Gor Blimey. The phrase Gor Blimey is a diminution of God Blind Me, and is lovingly referred to in various online dictionaries as a “minced oath”.
According to Wikipedia, a minced oath is a euphemistic expression formed by misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous, or taboo term to reduce the original term’s objectionable characteristics.
Some examples include “gosh, darn, dang, fudge and heck” or as I like to think of them, the original names of the Spice Girls.
And the World Voice Day Quiz winners are…
And the winner is…
Since we had almost 200 correct entries, we needed to choose the 10 winners. Here’s how we did it.
We sorted the correct entries on the spreadsheet into Country order. This was because many of the answers came from the UK and we wanted to make sure the single entries from another country (such as Panama) had the same chance.
Then we went to random.org to obtain 10 random numbers between 1 and 198. They were 10, 15, 69, 72, 79, 94, 103, 137, 150 and 188.
The names on those numbered lines were the winners. They are:
This is a Voice
Wendy Murray (Australia)
Carl Connan (Brazil)
Elizabeth Wright (South Africa)
Pilar Lirio (Spain)
Gudrun Domar (Sweden)
Joanne Gent (UK)
Barry Farley (UK)
William Marshall (UK)
Lesley Cox (UK)
and Anna Goodwin (UK)
We contacted them just before this eZINE went out.
Joanne said“BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (we never win anything!)”.
Jo and her partner Phil are getting married in July so we’ll be sending our best wishes with the signed book.
William said“That is absolutely fantastic! Thank you ever so much. I am an absolute massive fan of your work. Your DVD’s and book are part of my teaching research and products that I use daily within my own teachings and personal development! This is the perfect addition – Just amazing, thank you!”
Lesley said “I am really looking forward to reading it and using the exercises with my singing pupils and showing them the pictures and diagrams so that they can see what is going on inside their vocal mechanism when they are singing!”
Gudrun said“I was in the audience at your workshop in Dansforum, Gothenburg a couple of years ago. I learnt so much that has been really useful in my work as a Singing teacher. Thanks a lot! I am really looking forward to reading Your book!!”
And Elizabeth had the best story to give us:“Whoopeee thanks SO much for letting me know I’m a winner and for making such an awesome prize available. I was sitting in the hair salon having my hair styled as I had to make a welcome speech to all the parents at my school before a concert I had arranged, celebrating Freedom, (today is Freedom day in South Africa). I had 22 of my students performing and so was quite excited. Imagine my delight at reading I was a winner, I was so excited, I told the entire hair salon that I’d just won a prize – a real one this time – not millions of $ from some imaginary source that we all win daily, if we’re to believe all the emails we receive. Everyone was smiling in that salon, with me having the biggest smile of all. Thanks once again.”
Continuing Professional Development Provider
The CPD Standards Office has recognised us as a CPD Provider. So we’re now an Accredited Continuing Professional Development Centre. This is good news for teachers and singers because you can now get CPD points when you work with us.
The first Retreat to qualify is the Singing Teacher’s Retreat on June 3rd to 5th.
“In 2014, after I’d completed my PhD I at last had time to think about creating a new course for singing teachers. So much of what we do as singing teachers is learned ‘on the job’ and so few of us have time to sit back, reflect and discuss the ins and outs of the vocal exercises we give our students, how to recognise and fix vocal problems, and how to plan suitable courses of development for each student.
The Singing Teacher’s Retreat
I’d also noticed that while singing teachers now have access to information about physiology and anatomy of the voice – a fascinating subject close to my heart – they didn’t always know how to translate that knowledge into practical exercises and song-learning.
All of this, and more, you will get from the Singing Teachers’ Retreat. We only take 9 participants and, from video footage of your own lessons, we make sure that the application of what you learn is relevant to your practice.”