The Three Things a Singer Controls – VAC

Weekly Teaching Tip – January 31, 2012

Too often teachers tend to focus on the results of vocal problems rather than on the cause of the problem. Teachers that are not as effective say things like, ‘lift the soft palate’, ‘smile’, ‘give it more support’, ‘your vibrato is too slow’, ‘put it in the mask’, etc.

It is very important for teachers to understand that in actuality the singer only has control of 3 things; air flow, vocal cord closure and the vowel or word. It has been my experience that if a singer is having a problem, the problem can be fixed by adjusting one or more of these 3 things.

One of our IVTOM teachers, Teri Stock, has come up with an acronym to remind her students to focus on these 3 things that they really have control of, instead of focusing on things that they don’t have control of. She calls it ‘VAC’. Vowel, air and cord.

If we can help singers find the proper balance between air flow, vocal cord resistance and singing with a good vowel most all of the problems they are experiencing will be eliminated. This way the singer can focus on things that are helpful instead of the many things that they often think of which seem to just add to the problem or even cause a new problem.

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