Voice therapy has several applications to maintain or improve the voice. To maintain proper phonation as a personal or professional preference, and to address specific expectations of improvement, voice therapy for singers is necessary. The singer’s voice and their related speaking voice represent different features and often, the two modes may not even sound like the same person. This is due to mechanical and laryngeal differences between ones speaking and singing voice.
If one considers the speaking voice as “normal” (not that singing is abnormal) the larynx and vocal folds are in different alignment to that of the singing voice. When speaking the vocal cords are in horizontal alignment. However, for singing, the larynx is slightly elongated with the posterior attachment of the vocal folds pulling down and towards the spine, giving them an angular presentation to the flow of air from the lungs. This, and the added vibrato (the slight quiver imposed over the typical vibration of the vocal folds) plus pitch create the singing voice.
About voice therapy
Much the same therapies can be used for both phonation types and typically begins with attention to posture for example: standing or sitting straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders relaxed but not slumped, arms at rest, and the throat opened as if yawning with lips parted or closed. In this position, deep breathing is able and the movement of air is at its greatest and most controlled. A person can then become conscious of the lungs filling and diaphragm pushing down for inhalation and the reverse for exhalation. With voiced phonation during exhalation, the sound is emitted from the vibration of the vocal folds, meaning vowels, consonants, and combinations can be voiced. During singing therapy, this may also involve and extended routine of including a pitched phonation in up and down scales.
Voiceless breathing is also exercised, where the vocal folds remain still and no sound is produced. During voiceless breathing, the palms are placed over the ears to block external sounds, but the conscious awareness of breathing is still noted even though actual breathing is silenced, indicating the vocal folds are at rest. This kind of control, while silent, is still beneficial to the singer, whose control of vocal fold movement becomes critical to tone quality. However, the therapeutic benefit of voiced therapy for singers can mean the distinction of sounding like a strangled miscreant or a stage-bound virtuoso.
If you have questions about voice therapy contact our office for an appointment. Click here.