Anyone can develop their singing which means that the voice is developing in the direction the singer wants. Singer who wants to take voice lessons usually wants to get rid of vocal strain, learn to regulate loudness, develop their interpretation skills or deepen their knowledge in different music styles. How does one then practice different skills and features? There are many paths with which to reach the goal. It is common that a singer usually favors one approach more in the start, but it is possible to develop skills in each of them.
Three Paths To Development
The essence of developing one’s singing voice is changing the functions of the vocal instrument into a wanted direction and, establishing them by practicing. A new function can for example be searched through three following approaches:
- Feelings and emotions
- Mental images
- Searching for concrete functions (recognizing muscle work)
Are You A Channel For Great Emotions?
Is it easy for you to throw yourself into different emotions? Are you well in touch with your own feelings? Chances are that utilizing different emotions could help you find new depths in your voice. It is essential to allow different emotions to alter the sound – but also to make sure that an emotional state used really helps to sing better rather than making it more difficult, like through straining or making you push your voice.
You can try out the following examples:
Imagine that you are angry. How does that feel in your throat, body, mouth? Then, change the emotion to excited joy, for instance. Once again feel your throat, body ad mouth. Try to sing with both emotions. Did your voice change as you changed the emotion?
Are You An Abstract Thinker?
Do you like to verbalize your sensations and feelings with your own terms and/or mental images? Are you more easily drawn to a mental image rather than a physiological explanation of a function? It is likely that mental images can help you with finding different functions in voice production more easily.
You can try out the following examples:
Imagine having a megaphone in your neck facing backwards through which you sing. Did that have an affect on your voice? Next, imagine having a rose bud in your throat, and imagine it blooming – and sing with that. How did that feel?
Are You A Logical Reasoner?
Do you like to ponder logical reasons behind different things? Are you pleased with understanding clear cause–effect relations? If emotions and mental images used in singing tend to stay in the dark for you, chances are that you learn the best when you understand how the voice works physiologically. “Elevate your soft palate” is clearly a more concrete instruction compared to “Imagine that there is a beaming ball of light in the roof of your mouth”, although both of them may cause the exact same reaction to take place among two different singers. Sensing and recognizing concrete functions in your own instrument is great for developing one’s reflecting skills.
The Three Paths’ Symbiosis
One can reach their vocal goals through many routes and combinations. For example: one can change the position of the tongue directly with an instruction like: “Put your tongue like this”, or indirectly through a mental image: “Imagine that it smells really bad in here”, which may make the student to wrinkle their nose, which has an affect on the tongue and the shape of the vocal tract. Singing teacher’s guidance is essential in the learning process in order for the student to be able to find a wanted function and stabilize it.
As mentioned earlier, it is common for a singer to embrace one approach more over the other because it may feel more familiar and easy to understand. Practicing and adopting different approaches in studying singing is however a super efficient way to develop one’s instrumental, technique, interpretation and reflecting skills. The better one gets at a certain approach, the deeper an understanding of their own voice it is possible for them to reach.