Manual The Aging Voice

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  1. Voice Changes: What Can They Tell You as You Age?
  2. You are here
  3. How to Sound Younger as You Age
  4. Aging Voice
  5. Practical Remedies for the Aging Female Voice

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Changes in voice with aging are common but not inevitable. Staying physically fit, with good aerobic capacity, keeps air moving past the vocal cords and may lessen changes in voice.

You should drink plenty of water and ask your doctor if any of your medications could affect your voice asthma inhalers are a common culprit. Finally, a voice therapist may be able to retrain and strengthen your speaking voice.

Not all vocal changes are normal, however. Hoarseness may be a sign of a growth on the vocal cords or damage in the throat from acid reflux. Low thyroid levels may also cause changes in voice. If the change is sudden or severe, talk to your doctor. Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.

Voice Changes: What Can They Tell You as You Age?

Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Vowels should be postured before inhalation with an easy, but not breathy, onset.

As efficiency of vocal fold vibration improves, so does phonation time. The efficiency of oxygen exchange with the circulatory system is responsible for increasing phonation time, not lung capacity. Hence, exercise 1.

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Each exercise should be done two times in a row, the entire series done twice per day. Bare function is all that is required, not artistry. The tone should be very forward, but not nasal. Sound should be as soft as possible, but not breathy. Glide or slide from the lowest possible note that phonates to the highest note possible. When breaks occur, the glide should be continued without hesitation. If the voice breaks at the top of the range, the glide should be continued without voice, as the folds will continue to stretch. Do NOT lateralize the lips. The glide encourages slow, systematic engagement of the crico-thyroid muscles.

Gliding forces the use of all the laryngeal muscles vocalis and crico-thyroids and also improve muscular control and flexibility. Glide from the highest note to the lowest note on the same vowel described in Exercise 2.

How to Sound Younger as You Age

Institute a feeling of more space in the pharynx on the way down. This downward glide encourages the use of the thyroarytenoid muscle vocalis. Being on C4 for women, C3 for men. As the singer begins to run out of air, the abdominal muscles should be used more, not the throat.

Aging Voice

Permit the vocal cords to do their job. Some singers experience minor laryngeal aching for the first day or two of the program. It is similar to any muscle ache that might occur with a new physical exercise and will soon subside.

Singing strong with an aging voice.

Singers are encouraged to continue the program through the discomfort. I thank him for his permission to publish these exercises. Adduction Exercises. It is perhaps controversial to suggest adduction exercises as a remedy for the breathy aging voice. Some voices benefit from them, however, so the author suggests trying them, especially if the vocal folds are not coming together properly, causing breathiness, cracking, and unusually early or late register breaks. The vocal fry works well, if done without tension, but the fry seems to then limit the ability to access top notes, when done too frequently.

Practical Remedies for the Aging Female Voice

It can also induce hoarseness if used too much or cause phlegm to form on the folds. It is an octave arpeggio that is detached on different vowels, depending on the initial pitch, which then segues into a legato downward arpeggio. Manuel Garcia had his students sing the same note seven times with a rest in between each note, in which the glottis closes without pressing.

Other methods that help are to use voiced consonants to preface mid-voice vocalizes, staccato in the middle, and simply saying a vowel in chest voice with a great deal of resonance, then quickly singing it. Yodels of an octave or tenth from chest up into the middle often help beef up the middle area of the voice without causing damage or hoarseness. Sirens from whistle voice down help add brilliance to the middle and thus lessen pushing. Too much breath pressure in the middle voice will cause the vocal folds to pull apart in self-defense, so pushing is not going to help the problem, although it may temporarily clear the sound.

William Vennard talks about light versus heavy mechanism in his book, Singing: the Mechanism and Technic. Keeping an older voice healthy means working both types of singing because, once again, two sets of muscles get worked. Heavy mechanism works the vocalis, requires a lower larynx, more open vowels, and a strong, solid breath support system. Light mechanism works the crico-thyroids, requires the folds to lengthen and tense, allows the larynx to be flexible, and forces the breath system to constantly change pressure and flow. Light mechanism, i.

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