Student says low notes that she previously could sing now hurt
Date: December 20, 2013
I need some advice for a student who's having some vocal troubles. She's a senior in choir and has been singing all through school. She's always had a solid, powerful low range. When she was younger, she struggled with transitioning to "head voice" and getting up in that range. I've mostly had her singing alto, with some occasional soprano in the select choir. Over the last year, however, her voice has developed a lot and she's been singing a lot more soprano. Her upper range has really blossomed.
Here's the problem: I'm still having her sing alto in our select choir, mainly because I have a dearth of altos and she's a very capable alto. However, lately she's been complaining of her voice "hurting" when she sings low--like, lower than middle C-ish. We've planned to meet after Christmas break one-on-one to try to sort this out, but I'd love some advice first. I know it's normal for a girl's voice to develop and change during adolescence, but it seems strange that some of these notes that she previously could sing are painful now. Any thoughts?