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Your Voice Uses Your Body As An Eco-System That Needs To Be Kept In Balance

Updated: Jun 25, 2023


Singing involves many parts of the body that must work perfectly together if you want to sing perfectly. Each part plays an important part as in any ecosystem that will aide other parts or be disruptive to the whole system.


Encyclopaedia Britannica defines "ecosystem"as "the complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space". Your body is exactly that. It is living tissue in the form of muscles and nerves that are interconnected in a way that allows our voice us to do anything efficiently when properly trained. For singing, it starts with the diaphragm for breathing and ends with facial muscles used for articulation and expression. For example, if you take in too much air, it causes disruptions in the breath management muscles, mainly vocal cords that will have difficulty managing the over extended inhalation muscles. Another common occurrence is the vocal folds tightening themselves to produce the wrong sound that we think we're hearing. This causes disruptions in the support system and singing is made exhaustive and even painful.


A voice training system should keep this balanced ecosystem in mind when training singers especially in the use of scales. Piano scales tend to work initially but then stop working to improve the voice or even begin to have detrimental effects on the voice.

Breathy exercises like lip trills and straw blowing are good to initially feel support muscles in action but are not part of a balanced ecosystem. The amount of air necessary to trill the lips or to blow through the straw is far too high and the vocal folds must be correctly adducted (closed) for there to be any kind of balance. In addition the lip are playing too big a role for breath control thereby again unbalancing the ecosystem.


The most common event that occurs when a singer is trying to train their voice is concentrating too much on one thing, such as increasing chest belting range and not paying attention to unnecessary tension in the throat. This is counterproductive because the vocal folds are responding in an antagonistic fashion to the increased breath pressure. The harder we try the tighter the vocal folds become.


EXERCISE: Look into a mirror and try to relax your face as much as you can. This is called "the dopey face". Start at a comfortable pitch. The best would be your natural pitch. From that note slide up the scale slowly and watch for any kind of facial movement. When the vocal folds are too antagonistic, the facial muscles will try to aide the vocal folds to accomplish the higher notes. When this occurs your ecosystem is out of balance. Facial muscles should only be used for expression and not for singing higher and/or louder.


I hope this explanation of your vocal ecosystem will help to make your training sessions more productive. If you've learned anything from this blog please "heart" it and become a member so you can get updates on the latest blogs. Or go ahead and try a lesson!

Thanks for your time and have a greaaaaaat day!


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