One of the fundamentals of singing is to understand that singing and expressing one’s self through vocal sound has many applications outside of performance. One of those applications is a kind of meditation where one can focus in on sounds emanating from one’s self, and allow the hustle bustle of the world to fall away for awhile. That being said, the value of exercises involving Tonal Play is meditative for sure, as well as being helpful for imagination growth. Also, one becomes more and more free and comfortable with the developing voice, as well as cool new sensations. This benefits all people, whether goals are for stress reduction, expression around the house, or for some form of performance.
What in the heck is tonal play you ask? It is any sound that you want to explore, ideally with an ear and feel towards healthiness. For me, it is in the morning when I am putting my face on for the day that I embark upon a bit of meditative exploration. I start where I am for that day. Usually I just pick a pitch that is medium to lower full voice and sing on that one pitch using an [i] vowel. I breath in and sing out; varying how loud or soft I sing. I start to slide up and down, even into the upper full voice as I feel so inspired.
So, we feel what the body needs, and allow the voice to move. We enjoy the sounds and sensations without any pressure; relaxing and having fun. At the same time, we benefit as the mind and muscles are being worked in a spontaneous manner. In tonal play we do not focus on productivity. We focus on being and allowing and paying attention. Then, when there is a lesson or a performance of some sort, we are more in-sync with our voice. The voice is responsive because we have spent time listening and feeling and getting to know our own voice!