Weekly Teaching Tip – Oct. 3, 2011
I have been reminded this week several times of a basic and essential truth. Sometimes as teachers we get too complicated and even “over analyze” the voice. Sometimes it is easier than we make it.
The basic truth I have been reminded of is that the most important element in good singing and in achieving balance in the voice and as a result, proper registration is a balanced and stable larynx. If the larynx is “down” and out of the way it is easy for the air to pass through so the resonance can move throughout the body easily without undue pressure or restriction. Elements such as a natural vowel contribute to this, but the goal in saying a good vowel is to allow the larynx to remain in a balanced and stable position.
As singers try and “reach up” or “let go” to try and reach a high note the larynx will almost always move out of the balanced and stable position. It is a good idea for the teacher to continually check the larynx and make sure it is in a position that will allow good singing. It is true that occasionally as we are working on a problem such as trying to get more vocal cord closure, or to try and get the vocal folds to “thin” that we can allow the larynx to sit in a somewhat raised position for a time; however, this should be only for a short time. The singer should not be allowed to sing for an extended period of time with a raised larynx, and as soon as vocal cord closure has been increased the goal should again be getting the larynx back into a balanced and stabile condition.