There are some very strange vocal exercises that work wonders for the voice. In fact, if someone hears you doing these, they might wonder if you've gone a little nuts! Not to worry... that's a sign you're probably doing them right.
Some of the funniest and very effective exercises I teach involve doing character voices. I find cartoon voices especially beneficial! Before we get into them, let's explore the how and the why.
How do we sound like someone else?
First of all, you have to know that we learn to make vocal sounds by listening to other voices. The vocal apparatus actually tries to configure itself to match the sounds of the voice it's listening to, for the purpose of being able to communicate well with the other person. That's how we learn language and songs in the first place, and why people in the same family tend to sound more alike. From the article titled "Are You A Good Mimic" in Frontiers in Psychology,
Vocal imitation provides a basis for acquisition of both languages and musical systems.
Why should you do exercises in character voices?
OK, let's do some!
'In a distant galaxy, somewhere over the rainbow, way up high and far, far away.'
'you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey'.