The larynx….an interesting subject….

As I study various singing methods, I realize that we are all trying to invent the same wheel safely…. just a little differently.

I want to talk today about one of the differences I see in Speech Level Singing and some other modern contemporary singing methods.

The subject on hand is the larynx.

From my experience with SLS, the larynx needs to remain stable and reasonably low (or neutral) as you ascend in pitch. However, in some contemporary methods it is said that the larynx will rise as the pitch ascends, especially around E flat above high C for women and A flat below high C for men. This is typically where the male and female 2nd passaggi are, or in other words the 2nd “gear change”.

This intrigues me and I explore it with most of my students.

In my studio, those who sing more “classically” are encouraged to keep their larynx low in song. This allows them to ascend higher with a nice warm, full and open classical tone. These singers have up to five octaves when vocalizing.

On the other hand, my students who sing rock and country in song are encouraged to monitor their larynx and surrounding muscles to ensure that there is no undue tension as they ascend into their 2nd passagio. The larynx will rise a bit as they belt out above their 1st passagio in song. However, they are encouraged to vocalize with a neutral larynx, which allows them to exercise in 5 to 6 octave ranges.

ALL my students under 16 are encouraged to sing with a neutral larynx, and a full balanced voice in exercise and in song.

The rising of the larynx is an interesting discussion among vocal teachers.

Is it safe and OK for the larynx to rise in rock/pop/belt singing? What do you think?