Weekly Teaching Tip – Sep. 4, 2017
by Tricia Grey

The larynx is moveable and can assume various heights due to the engagement of extrinsic muscles- the suprahyoid muscles pull the larynx up and the infrahyoid muscles depress it. Our ultimate goal is a relaxed, neutral larynx. This means that no matter how high or low you sing you are free from unwanted extrinsic muscular engagement. Once you have achieved freedom from unwanted extrinsic muscle engagement you can then play around with slightly higher or lower laryngeal positions to “color” the sound and produce stylistically appropriate timbre. A well-balanced voice is based on chiaroscuro- activation of both bright and dark resonances together. You need depth as well as brilliance. The UH vowel encourages depth with a neutral larynx and is a great vowel to create balance throughout the voice. To encourage a neutral larynx position sing phrases such as “One mummy loves her son” “Wonderful fun on the run”, – phrases that include lots of UH sounds. Try this on the 1.5 long scale!

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