A great deal of singing better is dependent on your ability to form vowels which involves the entire throat, the soft palate, the tongue, and the mouth all the way out to the lips.

Your efforts in perfecting your vowel formation can make dramatic advances towards your goal to become a better singer.

There are tons of tiny muscles pulling and pushing simultaneously as you form your words. Your strict attention to detail in this area will engage these muscles, eventually allowing you to raise the soft palate higher, move the tongue with ease, keep the throat open, etc.

The oo vowel (as in “boot”)  is especially helpful to allow the up and down changes in resonance. In other words, it helps you access your head voice. Work with oo everyday, and continually try to elongate and narrow the vowel even more. Relax your jaw and lift your soft palate as much as you can…..think of the beginning of a yawn and raise your eyebrows, and you will be well on your way. Again, exaggerate these movements to engage muscles that you don’t regularly use.

Another important vowel is ee (as in “beet”). Careful that you don’t squeeze this and make it thin and reedy. Instead, start with oo and keep that elongated open feeling in the back of your throat. Now, simply change the vowel to ee without changing the position of your jaw. Let the back of your mouth, tongue and soft palate do the work. Think of the ee as a horizontal line at the back of your throat. Be careful not to close the throat. This can be very challenging for some singers, but it’s very important work.

Any questions? Please let me know.

Singing is an entire body experience

Have you ever noticed the body language of your favourite singer? Odds are their body is engaged in a way that relays emotion to the song. Watch their face. Notice how the eyebrows may rise or the nostrils may flare. Watch the mouth and tongue, and pay special attention to the chin.

These details are not simply “acts” to add to the performance. These details are necessary to great singing.

Have you ever noticed that when you sing alone, and really get into it, your voice and body feel free? Have you noticed when you get in front of your teacher or an audience, your voice and body have trouble finding that freedom?

Don’t underestimate the role your body energy plays in your singing.  Sometimes we take this for granted and never consider it. We can actually engage energy outside the larynx and in turn, create freedom in the voice.