happy Labor/Labour Day Weekend!

I love this weekend.  It is a turning point and a ramp up into the fall season (even though it is still so WARM on the east coast!)

As you perhaps begin voice lessons again,  or get back into a routine after the summer...

I have been hearing this  "My voice is so big"  and "my voice is so small compared to industry standards"....

WHAT?!?!?!?! WHAT?!?!?!?!?

What does this mean?

Honestly,  I don't know.  Big or small (whatever that means ANYway)  a voice needs to develop a balance of resonance to be heard and to be able to access dynamic energy and subtly of stylistic integrity.

What I often see is "bigger is better" which is often translated into "I can sing really really loud therefore I have a HUGE DRAMATIC voice".  No,  you are loud.  Volume has nothing to do with big or small.  It has nothing to do with balance of resonance.  Screaming or yelling isn't singing,  so just cause you can scream really loud,  doesn't mean you can sing loudly,  nor does it mean you have a large instrument.  It means you don't know what the terminology is yet and you haven't found a place for that voice to reside.

On the flip side,  "my voice is too small",  and the best one to date is "my voice is very small given the industry standard".  What does that mean?  They can't hear you when you audition?

Again,  that means you haven't learned how to use your voice yet.  Your voice hasn't found balance enough to project with ease and energy to cut through no matter the size!

What is often the most riveting is listening to a pianissimo sung with such amazing skill and finesse that the goosebumps travel all the way through your body.  And guess what?  A pianissimo can be HEARD.  EASILY.  Why?  Because the voice is BALANCED.  It isn't about big or small.  It is about acoustic balance, technical acumen and breath.

The terminology can be so very very deceptive.  We all use similar language yet so many don't understand the language they use.

VOLUME has to do with movement that is relative from a so-called balanced and resonant loud to a so-called balanced and resonant soft.  When the balance of resonance is sought after,  the volume is determined in relationship to that balance of resonance that is unique to YOUR voice.

Louder isn't better.  It isn't bigger.  It's louder.  So what?  It, unto itself doesn't matter.

Small doesn't matter either.  If you learn how to balance that voice,  it will be heard ANYWHERE, anytime given the right space and relationship.

Forget about big or small until you have found a balance of resonance - and then it should only indicate what you sing, and where. 

Release the negative terminology or the terminology that allows you to hide behind.

Find YOUR voice,  and the body it wants to reside in.  Sing with that voice.  Honestly, truthfully and authentically.

At the end of the day,  nobody is going to say "wow, I love how LOUD she/he  can sing!"

People will ask you to stop screaming.
People will ask you to sing out if they can't hear you.
People will smile and nod and dismiss you if there isn't an authenticity that is present.

Even if they don't know it,  they are listening for a "real you".  They want a real voice that is balanced, healthy and recognizes its ability fully to inform the repertoire that that voice chooses to sing.

They will recognize you when it's real.  They will dismiss you if think you aren't enough, or if you think you have to sing louder than the person before you.

Determine what your voice does.  Know what the terminology indicates and how your voice begins to understand that terminology.  Work hard not to misunderstand terminology and stay true to your path.  Do not be side-swiped by "quick fixes" or pat answers.

Terminology is there as a tool.  It isn't absolute.  Just don't confuse what you do,  with what you say you do, and with what you think someone wants.

You.  It's enough to be YOU.


Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

If you liked this post, please share it or comment with your thoughts below!