How did your insight on properly supporting your voice apply to your own issues?
The first problem was my range. I was hoarse and couldn’t go higher. I had been told by my classically trained teachers to lower my larynx and use certain imaginative techniques. None of this helped. Instead, I applied this basic insight about how sound is made. This meant I had to make it my priority to take stress away from my vocal cords.
How, then, did you improve your range?
Well, the first thing I discovered was that the larynx needs to rise when you want to go up in pitch – but that you can achieve the classical sound color you want with other parts of your vocal tract (i.e. your mouth). Related to this is breathing – I had been thinking that to get volume I had to expel as much air as possible. However, the opposite was the case!
Can you elaborate?
Holding back your breath is key to achieving power, control and strength. As soon as I practiced my singing with controlled release of my air, my hoarseness decreased dramatically. It was also a fantastic way to help with my asthma!