Vocal Box Repair: Is There Such a Thing? And is it even possible?
Written by Diana Yampolsky
Apparently there is! And yes, it is possible… however, difficult.
For comparison, let’s look at classical ballet dancers: Everybody knows that ballerinas have to have a certain arch in their feet, especially females. It is detrimental to their careers if their feet are flat and not properly arched, because it would be difficult to do pirouettes; circling 32 revolutions with one leg while keeping the whole weight of the body on the other leg when the flat foot cannot hold the weight.
Similarly for singers, the upper palette (located in the vocal box) also has an arch and curve. The deeper that arch is, the more the body of the voice will be projected. The palette arch isn’t enough on its own though, as the sound also needs to be supported simultaneously by the lower abdomen and upper diaphragm, or else the whole lift of the voice becomes obsolete. Singers can avoid cracks in their voice and letting their sound “fall down” by lifting their voice into the facial cavities, where the facial muscles will also have to be supported by the arch of the upper palette. There is a lot of coordination involved, like ballet, but it is not impossible.
Can a damaged vocal box be fixed? Yes, to varying degrees, based on the individual case. At the very least, it can be improved so that the sound will be much more steady, secure and at much less risk of falling and producing a crack. It is, however, very tedious and intense work.
Your pathway to recovery begins by retreating to the basics of speech. It requires attentive repetition of syllables and phrases, then vocalizing different combinations of sounds to train your control of duration and pitch. The purpose and use of different combinations of sound in musical performance and public speaking can be very different and can require more or less rigorous ways of applying the same technique. In the end, all of the work will lend itself to a better quality, frame, and body of sound, and will be instrumental in achieving greater voice projection, tone, inflection, diction and overall clarity.
All of this, of course, requires a trained specialist who understands the mechanics of voice repair, is able to hear where the problems lie, and knows how to help you engineer the solution for your sound.
If you are in need of voice repair, but do not want to resort to surgery, or are interested in preventing vocal box damage, you can learn more about our programs at www.repairyourvoice.com and www.vocalscience.com
There is also an online community for people who are dealing with, fixing, or have overcome vocal problems. That community is called VoiceMatters.Net