Getting Young Men Out of the Throat or Out of the Nose
Date: January 30, 2015
My name is James. I am the music teacher at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA and I am a first year teacher.
I have several singers in my Chorus who place the sound primarily in the nose, at least it seems to my ears. I have tried several "exercises" to help them. Dr. Dehning's "Singer's in the Nose, Singer's in the Well, Singer's in the Bell" from Chorus Confidential had some minimal success. We did a vocal exercise, starting on a hum and opening up to an [a] ... again, minimal success. I tried having them imagine they were smelling a rose, hoping to elevate the soft palate, but that did nothing. I know high school men have a brighter sound because of their age, but I guess I am looking for a little more "space" in the voice. Does anyone have any techniques or strategies for adding a little depth to the tone?
Then I have a singer who I am working with for our Spring Musical who has the opposite problem: he centers the sound in the back of his throat; he also talks this way, too; similar to a "Kermit the Frog" type sound. With him, I have tried using some imagery to help him move the sound forward, with some success. For example, I had him imagine that the sound is being produced right in front of his mouth rather than inside it. I also had some success having him sing on an [i] vowel. Does anyonbe have any techniques or strategies for getting the sound out of the back of the throat?
Thank you for your help!