Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Cross- Training the Singing Voice- Is it Healthy?
When cross-training the voice you can:
* Find your true singing strengths
* Can keep the voice healthy and physically balanced
* Keeps you emotionally balanced
* Makes you more versatile to hire
There are physical differences for the different genres of singing that cause a different shape of the vocal tract. This alters the space that the sound can bounce around in therefore creating varying sound characteristics. In other words, physical processes of singing belt vs. 'legit' vs. pop make the voice SOUND different.
* Higher larynx, lower soft palate, more agressive
* Low larynx, high soft palate
* Lower soft palate, altered vowels, facial lift, and often nasality
All of these physical models for singing can be healthy ways to sing when used in balance AND when you follow the 4 No's (Lisa Popeil)
1. No pressing of the vocal folds. (It shouldn't feel pressed)
2. No laryngeal discomfort. (It shouldn't hurt)
3. No upper belly squeeze. (Make sure support is not too high!)
4. No singing louder than you can control. (Know you can always go one more level up!)
Crossing Over: Broadening Your Horizons, Classical Singer 2007
Explore different genres and use a balance of singing of different styles safely with a teacher. In my studio, students sing repertoire of various styles. This helps to balance out the physical demands of the styles and keeps the voice healthy. Belt has different demands than classical and classical has different demands than pop. A good model for practicing might be to warm up, sing an art song or 'legit' theater piece, work on a belt song, return to a 'legit' theater song or folk song to warm down. You are exercising all of your vocal muscles, but in a more balanced way. Within this realm, always produce your sound and pay attention to what your voice feels like. (Read more about different ways to cross-train and Somatic Voicework methods next week).