Why Vocal Training is Essential
Did you know that the voice is a musical instrument? And that you learn to use it properly while it’s still developing? That’s why you need vocal training: to make sure you learn the basics and practice them as you develop your singing voice.
To understand clearly why vocal training is important when learning to play instruments, we need to unpack the role of the voice and how it works. Then we can look at what it means to train the voice.
Understanding the voice
Most people spend a lot of every day speaking – using their voices. I am sure you do so too. Have you ever thought about how the voice actually works and what you can do with it?
Put very simply, there are folds in your larynx, or what we all know as the voice box. We refer to the folds as the ‘vocal chords’. When air passes through those folds (as we breathe out), they vibrate and sound is made.
Simple, isn’t it?
We change our voices by speaking higher or lower, louder or softer, slower or quicker, or emphasizing something by giving it energy. There is more you can do with your voice, though. Think about how your mouth changes when you make certain sounds and how you use your tongue to form different consonants.
If you learn to change your voice in small ways and to use your breath properly, you will be able to speak or sing in an interesting manner, changing things about your voice to communicate different emotions and to get people to listen to you.
Vocal training is about learning to use the breath to control the voice. It is about practicing techniques that will help you to avoid hurting your throat. It’s also about understanding what your voice can do and learning to use it in that way.
What are the different styles of vocal trianing?
There is not only one, correct way of training the voice, but there are different approaches and different styles, all of which aim to help you to learn to control your voice and get the most out of it.
Every style of vocal training begins and ends with the breath, because breathing is the key to the voice.
Production of noise and refining it as the voice
One style of vocal training is to concentrate on the way the voice is used in the throat and how to control the actual production and quality of sound. You will learn about the resonators, which are basically the throat and mouth, and how to use them the best to produce and control sound.
Resonance and quality of voice
Resonance is the way the sound produced by the vocal cords vibrating echoes in various parts of the body. The main resonator is your mouth because it is the one cavity in your body that you can change the shape of and how much it opens and closes.
Other resonators are the throat, head, back and chest. You’ll learn to direct the sound to the relevant resonator and to use breath effectively. This will also make sure you don’t strain your voice.
Understanding and using the vocal instrument
This approach to vocal training concentrates on the voice as a musical instrument. This means beginning with an understanding of how to make individual notes, then developing to working on range of notes, combining them to make melodies and to develop into songs.
The voice as a musical instrument
The basics of learning any musical instrument is to learn how to produce the individual notes, then to combine them into melodies. It is the same with the voice. You need to begin by making the sounds, then refining them and changing the quality. Only then can you put them together into melodies. Finally, you will learn to change the pitch (higher or lower), give more emotion and really explore what the musical instrument can do.
Learning to play an instrument
Learning to play an instrument is like learning to control your voice: understand how the sound is made; produce the sounds well; combine them into melodies. This is why it is important to have vocal training when learning to play an instrument.
As you learn a musical instrument, so you must learn to use your voice. Beginning with the basics and developing your range and technique through vocal training is the way to go.