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  • In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to go over jaw relaxation.

  • Hello and Welcome to Rachel's English.  Today, we're going to talk about ways to relax the

  • jaw. >> Ow.

  • >> Yeah, that looked painful! >> Yeah. That was painful.

  • Many of our students have a tendency to hold a bunch of tension in the jaw, whether as

  • a habit from their native language, or because they are focusing on learning a bunch of new

  • sounds.  In American English, we want a relaxed face and throat, and body if possible.  But

  • today, we're going to focus on relaxing the jaw.  Here are a few exercises you can use

  • before you practice or in the middle of your practice when you feel tension creeping in.

  • First off, you may have heard from teachers in the past that you need to drop your jaw

  • more.  More Jaw Drop!!  This instruction can create tension as you work on vowel and

  • diphthong sounds that need a bunch of space - like AH, AW, and AI, and others.  Instead

  • of thinking about using your muscles to hold the jaw open, which can add tension to the

  • face, think of releasing the jaw.  Let the jaw drop down using gravity, rather than muscle.

  • If you put your fingers just under your ears and open and close your mouth, you'll feel

  • movement of the jaw bone, we'll call this spot the "jaw hinge".  Think of releasing

  • your jaw from back here, rather than forcing the chin down.  By doing this, we lose the

  • tension that can affect the sound, and we have a fuller more open sound.  We'll come

  • back to the hinge.  But first, let's start some jaw relaxation exercises.

  • Let's start by just easily massaging the jaw with your fingertips.  As you begin freeing

  • the jaw, you may start to yawn more - awesome!  Keep yawning!  It's a great stretch and

  • provides you with wonderful deep breaths that encourage support. When you yawn, make sure

  • you yawn both vertically and horizontally. Really get a great stretch for the jaw, and

  • the lips actually with that one.

  • Now, using the heel of your hand, drag the hand down the jaw bone on the face towards

  • your chin, really thinking about releasing that jaw hinge and letting the face muscles

  • relax.

  • >> I look silly. But it is relaxing. >> Totally ok to look silly. It's great, actually.

  • >> Oh, that feels so good.

  • Now, let's go back to that hinge we spoke about earlier, back here.  Allow your newly

  • relaxed jaw to release down for a moment and feel that space that opens up under your ear

  • as the hinge releases down.  This is a great pressure point on our face, by pressing in

  • to it we can release the jaw even more.  Now, this can feel quite painful, so don't hurt

  • yourself, but it will feel great when you let go!

  • Now, take your chin between thumb and index finger and move the jaw up and down.

  • >> Whoa. Oh, that's hard. >> Don't hurt yourself on this one, either.

  • >> You gotta watch your tongue! >> It can be very difficult! Yeah, make sure

  • your tongue's not in the way.

  • Really let your hand control your jaw, you'll feel the jaw kind of want to fight back a

  • little bit. See if you can relax it, and just let your hand be in control.

  • >> Yeah, my jaw definitely does not want to give up control.

  • >> Yeah. So, lots, lots to work on.

  • Now, if you haven't felt silly already, prepare to. And if you're really relaxed, prepare

  • to let a little saliva fly around.  Now, clasp your hands together and shake your body

  • and face, keeping that jaw released.

  • >> I don't know if I'm willing to do that on camera.

  • >> Come on Rachel. >> Ok. Do it again?

  • Let's use this newly released jaw a bit and practice on some vowel sounds, some vowel

  • sounds that use some jaw drop. So AH and AW. Now, let's go from OO, which has a tight lip

  • rounding here, OO, and move into AW

  • OO-AW, OO-AW

  • Now, let's move from OO into AH: OO-AH, OO-AW

  • You can practice going back and forth, and this may help you hear the difference between

  • those two sounds.

  • All right!  Hopefully your jaw feels more relaxed.  Remember to do this whenever you

  • feel tension creep in as you practice and drill, and when you're having trouble finding

  • the difference between vowel sounds. It may just be that you want more space - and the

  • best way to create space - is to release that jaw!

  • This video is part of a series on relaxation and placement. If you liked this video, check

  • out the first one on the Path of the Voice, or the next one on Tongue Exercises and Tongue

  • Relaxation. If you have any questions, feel free to write a comment below.

  • That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to go over jaw relaxation.

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B1 US jaw hinge tension relaxation yawn vowel

JAW RELAXATION EXERCISES (2 of 6) -- Vocal Exercises -- American English

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    Hangrui Liu posted on 2015/12/21
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