Voice Lessons

Think of your voice as an acoustic instrument.  Just like any instrument, even though it is able to produce sound, your voice requires proper care and tuning so that it sounds its best!  There are a few different factors that play an important role in the proper way of singing.

Your Breathing.   Breathing is highly important in singing.  If you don’t have enough air to sing a line, you will either strain your vocal cords, or be at a whisper level by the end of a phrase.  You want to make sure to take quick and controlled breaths with your diaphragm.  The diaphragm is a large, horizontal muscle right below the lungs.   One way to check if you are breathing correctly is by lying on the floor.  Lie down, flat on your back, and take a couple breaths.  You should see your stomach move up and down, but shoulders and chest being still.  That is the position you should have when you are standing up and singing.  When you take a breath before singing a note, you should feel your diaphragm expand.  Imagine blowing up a balloon, except the balloon is being blown up inside your stomach.  You inhale- the balloon gets bigger.  You exhale- the balloon is back to its original size.  If your shoulders go up when you take a breath, you’re not using your lower muscles for support when you sing.  That is crucial when it comes to singing.   Also on a side note, breathing the right way is only important for singers, but for everyone else as well.  Correct breathing helps get enough oxygen to your brain and other parts of your body.  In addition, it increases endurance in people who play sports, work out or run, as well as aid in stress and anxiety.   Pay attention to how you take your breaths!

Your vocal cords.  These are located inside your larynx.  Think of the larynx as a voice box located in the front of your neck.  Inside of it are the vocal cords, through which air passes and creates sound.  Sound is created by your vocal cords vibrating hundreds of times per second as the air passes through them.  Everyone has a special sound to their voice.  This depends on the structure of your jaw, lips, palate and tongue.  As soon as sound is produced inside your vocal chords, it resonates!  The sound of you voice can resonate in a few different ways.  One of them is head voice.  The sound you produce is normally softer and feels as if you are resonating in your head.  Another way your voice resonates is in the nasal cavity.  Nasal resonance is usually brighter and is considered to be the front part of your face.  You will most likely feel a tingling sensation when this happens, around your forehead and nose.  Chest resonance produces a stronger, deeper tone when you sing lower notes.

Since everyone’s face structure is different, it takes different kinds of techniques and exercises for each individual singer to produce the best sound.  Not all methods word the same for everyone else.  Don’t be discouraged if your voice doesn’t sound exactly how you want it to sound if you are just beginning to take voice lessons.  Voice instructors usually help their singing students by experimenting different vocal exercises until the perfect sound is developed.

Singing is a form of art and expression. After the basics of learning to breathe correctly and becoming more comfortable and in control of your voice, the next step is to work on expressing yourself in the songs you sing.  Most of the time, the same exact song can sound completely different when sang by different individuals.  Singing is like telling a story or sharing an experience.  The music, the facial expressions, the voice techniques, the singer’s mood- all of these things can either pull the listeners in, or leave them distracted.  Choose songs that best fit you, your thoughts, your feelings and your emotions, and then weave all of them into the song you are performing.  Sometimes a simple song can convey an idea, thought or feeling louder and clearer than a speech.

If you are passionate about singing, or just want to learn a few new techniques, investing into private voice lessons may be the best idea for you.  Voice instruction will help you stay focused and consistent, train your vocal chords to produce the best sound, assist you in correct breathing and teach you to express yourself individually through your favorite songs.

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