We as singers and/or as voice coaches are very concerned with how we sound. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. What I want to discuss today is something equally, if not more important, that we tend to neglect. During our vocal training and vocal exercises, as well as while singing songs, we must also learn how it feels when we sing.
How much buzz do we feel in the face and crown of the head? What is our larynx position? Are the false vocal folds retracted or constricted? Is there tension in the jaw? Is the tongue relaxed and forward or retreat down into the throat? How much of the sound is leaking into the nasal cavity and what does that feel like?
When we learn to feel the different parts of the vocal instrument we are better able to quickly diagnose problems and instantly bring about a solution. If we’re only listening, we will hear that something is off, but we may not know the source or sources of the problem. We’ll have a more vague idea, such as “the sound is squeezed”, or “dull”, or “too dark”.
In my own vocal training, and in the courses I create for students of the voice, I focus on teaching myself and others to become their own voice coach. This doesn’t mean that we don’t benefit from evaluations from others, such as from a singing lesson with a great voice coach. It means that when we do our vocal exercises at home 3-5 times each week without a voice coach present, we must learn not only to hear, but to feel what’s happening. And even during a singing lesson, the coach can’t feel what you feel, they can only hear and see.
Our approach to vocal training is designed to produce the fastest results for the least amount of money. Isn’t that what we’re all after? I suggest you pay extra close attention to the kinesthetic feeling of all the different parts of your wonderful instrument of the voice. In doing so you’ll solve problems faster and train more effectively.