By Jeannie Deva

Singing with a “Yawn”

Some Classical techniques focus on lifting the soft palate and maintaining an open throat as you would if you were yawning. To get some idea of this, yawn and while holding your throat in that open position, try sustaining an “Ah” sound. Now say “Ah” as you would in normal conversation without manipulating your throat into a yawn. Sustain an “Ah” as you would normally speak it, letting your throat shape itself. Can you feel and hear a difference?

Contemporary singing demands much more throat muscle movement due to the variety of sounds and dynamics within one song much less from genre to genre. The movements, however, are natural and will occur automatically as long as the singer is not trying to hold inner throat positions. To hold the throat in the same “yawn” position throughout overshadows your voice with only one sound quality which can sound contrived or fake in contemporary music.

Classical techniques were developed to enable Opera singers to achieve what was considered a beautiful voice in that genre. You can’t use the same techniques in Contemporary singing and expect a good result. The point of all this is just to bring to attention that you may have been taught a Classical technique and not even know that it is one.