Q: I had jaw surgery six weeks ago and my jaw muscles feel terribly weak. It's hard to enunciate. I have this brand new speech impediment. It makes singing incredibly frustrating and discouraging. Have you been able to resume singing yet? Are you happy with your voice? Any changes?
A: I know what you mean about the speech impediment. For the first while, it hurt to touch my teeth together, so I started avoiding it; after awhile, it became a habit, so my enunciation wasn't so hot. Everyone seemed to think I was saying something naughty when I wasn't!
It was something I had to work on. It is weird to have your teeth in a different place after decades of them being in another position. It takes time to adjust. Now, I would say that my enunciation is better than it was before!
I auditioned for a musical revue at the end of August (six and a half months post-surgery) and have been rehearsing this month. I'm amazed at how much easier it is to sing now. Instead of having to thrust my jaw forward and do all kinds of jawnastics to enunciate properly as well as create enough space in my mouth for my voice, I am now able to just open my mouth and let my voice come out.
Is this really how normal people sing? Is it that easy?
I also really like the placement of my voice now. Before, I would struggle to ensue my voice was placed at the front of my mouth; now, it's just there. And I don't get headaches after singing, because it doesn't put a strain on my jaw to do it.
It feels really, really good. I can't wait to start really singing again and see what else is in store.
*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!