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  • Kathryn Carpenter

Vocal Resonance!

One of my favorite subjects in vocal training is the idea and use of vocal resonance! Did you know you can alter the sound of your voice by using resonance? Like an artist, you can think of singing as painting, using light and dark!

If you would like a bright sound, send the tone closer to the mouth. If you want a darker sound, think of the tone being closer to the back of your mouth or throat.

So, what is vocal resonance? You can think of it as vocal color.

Improving resonance can allow a choir or singer to do the following:

1. Deliver a rich tone

2. Sing efficiently

3. Sing in tune

4. Achieve thrilling dynamic contrasts

5. Negotiate the higher and lower pitches of a singer's range.


The above five ideas come from, "Vocal Technique: A Guide for Singers, Teachers, and Singers," by Julia David's and Stephen LaTour. I would highly recommend this book!


Resonance can also be a forward sound. In other words, when we sing, we want to send the tone to the front of the face. We want the tone to move toward our cheeks and the top part of the head, especially when you are singing in your head voice. We want to use our nose, but not sing in our nose. The tone should be focused around the nose. In order to keep from becoming nasal, we should lift the soft palate!


Jan Peerce also concludes, “If the voice is nasal it is not a pleasant sound. It should be in the cheeks and in the upper part of the head, but it should be natural and pleasant. When you sing you’ve got to think beautiful.[1]” Hines, Jerome. Great Singers on Great Singers, pg. 228.


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