• Michelle Ostrove

Singing With Power & No Strain

Singing with powerful ease and no strain is not easily produced, it takes years of work for most singers. A reed instrument, such as a flute, can be heard over an entire orchestra simply because of the use of resonance. If you remove the reed (a small piece of wood) the instrument loses its ability to project or magnify the sound. A singer uses their vocal folds (cords) to produce vibrational sound, but the pharyngeal cavity produces the vocal resonance which amplifies the voice. Many people believe that the secret to a loud voice lies within the vocal folds, but that is incorrect. The secret lies in vocal resonance using proper breath and diaphragm support. Your vocal folds (cords) start the sound, but like a well-designed recital hall, the acoustics (your pharyngeal cavity) will create your own personal acoustic chamber which will increase the sound. Vocal resonance improves projection and a beautiful sounding voice.


The pharyngeal cavity consists of the larynx (including throat, mouth, and nasal cavities) which is where the resonance occurs. The surfaces of the inner body reflect resonance and vibrate like a sounding board. Think about when you sing in the shower, your voice bounces off the surfaces of the walls create a louder, fuller, warm and brighter sound to your voice. That is what resonance inside the pharyngeal cavity does for your voice.


Many of the popular singers master the art of vocal resonance, others rely on auto tune, reverb, or other tools to mask the lack of resonance. Listen to Audrey Diaz sing “My Boy,” you can hear the masterful vocal resonance in her singing.


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