- August 9, 2017 at 4:07 pm #540440
I’m fairly new to working with young male singers. Should young men who sing either tenor or baritone be pushed to sing in chest voice in the upper part of their range?
I’m asking because I’ve seen this prove difficult for many young male singers who can sing with good intonation in head voice but struggle when asked to push through in chest voice.
A. RutledgeAugust 10, 2017 at 10:18 am #540462
Michael J. SeredickParticipant
It would be helpful to know the age range on your roster. Other considerations fall into the category of unchanged, changing and changed voice. However, without that information, I suggest having your young males sing with light tone, as high and unstrained as possible. All too often, children want to imitate what they see on TV or at concerts, and if imitated they will sing with pain on the face, no proper breath support or choral discipline.
Having worked with both high school and middle school boys, I always rehearsed the unchanged voice, light, high approach with high school males as well. In fact, the female voice should be approached in the same manner.
The problem with males, especially during voice change, is erroneously thinking singing lower and louder is MASCULINE. That may be the sound you refer to as “chest voice” singing. Some use the term “belting” for Broadway musical productions. However, with young singer, “belting” will produce undesirable sound along with pitch and vowel problems.
Choral directors use terms interchangeably. Certainly, voice teachers refer to your chest voice in studio, but I like the term middle range better for young singers. Whatever, always light, high, proper breath control and no screaming (belting) will help your approach as a director who is new to working with young male singers.
Michael SeredickAugust 10, 2017 at 10:18 am #540463
In a simple answer: NO! This practice of singing in chest voice all the time is ruining young voices and destroying choral ensembles. Thank you to “The Voice” and “American Idol”. We need to start teaching proper vocal technique again and quit this “pop” style wannabe garbage. Sorry about the rant but this subject is a major peeve of mine.
5-12 Choral Director
Cattaraugus Little Valley Central School
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