Singing: Developing Long-Term Technique in Teenagers - dummies

Singing: Developing Long-Term Technique in Teenagers

By Pamelia S. Phillips

Most teenager singers want to know only what they can do today to sound fabulous. They may not know the long-term benefits of using healthy singing techniques, and they may not have the patience to listen. However, using healthy singing techniques and training their ears for singing is important for maintaining a great voice for a long time.

Having a healthy technique means singing within your range. An adult may have a wide range, but a 13-year-old may have only an octave range, which is about eight notes. Range develops with time, and pushing the singer higher offers no benefit in the long run. When the voice is ready, the singer can make huge sounds for the rest of his life.

Pushing the voice too far and too fast doesn’t help in the long term. This concept is important for both parents and teachers to know. Pushing the voice means making big sounds — such as singing material that requires a big sound — before teenagers have the technical skill to support the sound. Working on chatty sounds is fine at a young age, but making pressed or pushed sounds may make producing healthy sounds more difficult later.

Make sure that your young teenager is aware of the advantages of using breath and resonance to help him find a variety of sounds. Let him know that he can shoot for the big guns later.

Something any singer, especially young singers, can work on to boost long-term musical life is developing his ear. If the youngster can match pitch but also sing a series of pitches after hearing them for the first time, he is more likely to quickly conquer new songs.

Ear training can also benefit singers who are in the choir. Singing the top soprano part may be easy because it’s on the top, but those middle parts can be tricky to hear. If the youngster already has exposure to intervals and chords, the middle part — or any part — can be a snap.