You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass.

There’s a warm-up I do – both for myself and for actors or students I work with that involves traveling up and down – from the lowest note to the highest, though usually we go the other way round – that is, from the highest to the lowest.
I would sound many a person from top to bottom – anyone who wanted to expand their speaking range or their singing. It’s so easy to just speak the same handful of notes in the same small band – but if you’re going to be onstage, the audience will appreciate some outliers.

I’ve developed a little practice for myself that I do when I can. I just sing for ten minutes – no set songs, generally no words. I just make sound for a set time. Sometimes it sounds like a Slavic folk song, other times, a faux French pop tune. Most days, I don’t sound at the top of my compass or dip down to the lowest note. Most days, I hang out in the middle.

Today, though, I went to the top of the compass and suddenly understood why my voice teacher in college wanted me to go up there. On good days, the top of the voice can be fun. Maybe I’ll go up there tomorrow, too. And also hit the lowest note.


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