Any cavity that a sound wave passes through or any wall that it bumps against can be a resonator. A resonator receives the sound wave and modifies it in ways that are determined by the size, shape and texture of the space.
For example, hitting a large glass jar with a spoon will create a different sound than hitting a small glass jar of the same shape and thickness with the same amount of force. The impact of the spoon creates the sound wave in each of the resonators (jars), but the resonators are different sizes.
Your personal vocal resonators include your throat, mouth, nose and face sinuses.
You might be getting the impression that bigger cavities, like the large glass jar and your open mouth, make sounds stronger. We will be exploring ways to make this helpful principle work in the physical voice-improvement program.
Differences in speech sounds are due mainly to the changing shapes of the human resonator cavities, especially the mouth. When you say a vowel sound, you use the breathing equipment and the vibrator in much the same way, whether you say “ee” or “o” or “ay” or “ah”… However, you will see some obvious differences in the shape of the mouth resonator if you say these sounds in front of a mirror. How would you describe the differences?
Try comparing some other speech resonator shapes while looking in the mirror:
Say: “i”; “oo”; “rrrr”; “mmmmm”…
Here’s one more fact about resonance that is very important when you want to improve your voice. Resonance is a physical property, so you can feel it. If you put your fingers on your face while you say: “hmmmmmmmmmm…”, you may feel a buzzing sensation. You may notice the resonance-buzz even without your fingers, by paying attention to the way your nose, cheeks, lips or teeth feel when you hum. We’ll be exploring this delightful phenomenon further in the physical program.