What is voice training?
Today we’ll explore the often confused concept that is voice training. What is it? For most people, when the subject of voice training comes up, they usually picture a student and a teacher in a room.
The teacher is on the piano playing scales, and the student tries to repeat the scales with her voice, with mixed results. The teacher then corrects the student wherever appropriate until the student masters control of her voice. Or at least that’s what’s supposed to happen.
What’s wrong with that picture? Nothing! That’s basically what happens when some agrees to have their voice trained. It’s also not all there is to voice training.
If you’ve been training your voice for a while, you’ll start to notice how every voice comes with their own unique blend of head and chest resonances. You’ll also notice that most people are not aware of how their voice blends.
Also, you’ll notice other people who are aware of what their voices are doing and are consciously presenting their voices the way they want to. This is because your ears are beginning to adjust to the nuances in how sound resonates in the human body.
I started noticing this when I was watching Dexter, a tv series about a serial killer (I know, I know.) It struck me right away that the lead actor, Michael C Hall, had awesome control of his voice. The way he read his lines, he not only knew when to use higher or lower pitches, but when he decided to use those devices, his execution was flawless.
This, of course, led to a very addictive character. Even though he was a serial-killer, I can’t help but root for him. I would argue that his voice acting played a major role in him having that effect on people.
I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation for why a great voice would cause you to root for someone you would otherwise not root for, but that’s beyond the scope of this article – not to mention beyond the scope of my expertise!
I later found out that Michael is also an accomplished theatre actor. That explains his outstanding voice control. I also found out that he’s also a very good singer. No surprises there!
If that’s the effect a well-trained voice has for an actor, imagine what it would do for you as a singer! Imagine having your audience rooting for you for the entire length of the show! Dream come true for anyone who calls themselves a singer.
But voice training is not limited only to actors and singers. Think about news anchors. They use their voices a lot. Lawyers, politicians, and just about anyone who uses their voices a lot in their professions.
Also, people whose voices have been damaged, whether through overuse or through injury, and they need to retrain their voice in order to be able to speak normally again. That’s a different vocal training – it’s called voice therapy.
As singers, we need to be aware of the voice not only as a musical instrument to use for singing, but as the most potent tool you have in your arsenal when it comes to influencing people to join your cause.
After all, that’s part of what music is about isn’t it? Happy singing!