If false beliefs are aggressively incorporated into actual voice teaching techniques, the strength and coordination of the vocal muscles could be quickly compromised. The practice of trying to sing in the mask could literally undermine a singing voice. Let's develop this idea. Despite the claims that mask singing occurs “behind the cheeks,” or behind the “middle of the eyes mask,” mask singing is really singing with an emphasis on nasalized voice production. Because the nasal cavities contain mucus, blood, and nasal cilia (little hairs), and because they are not adjustable—a requirement for good resonance filtering—it’s simply the case that very little primary resonance can occur there; and this is why in a nasalized voice there is a dominant thin, reedy sound at the expense of rich tonal qualities. Rich tonal qualities, please be advised, are not created in a singer’s nasal passages, but in the larynx, pharynx, soft palate, and oral cavity.
But the negative consequences of trying to sing in the so-called mask are more than just aesthetic. Training the soft palate to remain low (relaxed) during singing also has the effect of causing the larynx to rise in the throat. Over time this upward movement of the larynx will become an uncontrollable spasmodic upward thrust that will weaken muscular actions of the vocal folds and those that control the movement of the larynx as a whole. In this scenario, the overall loss of coordination and muscular support in the larynx and pharynx is unavoidable.
A variety of speaking and singing disorders could develop from this condition such as hoarseness, loss of vowel resonance, vocal weakness, range reduction, vocal nodules, and general vocal deterioration. It’s important to note that vowel sound production requires the active participation of the pharynx in order to form them. Focusing on nasalized singing has the necessary consequence of constricting and weakening the musculature of the throat cavity and squashing vowel sounds. This closing of the pharynx will ultimately lead to the loss of throat support—which is critical to healthy, artful singing.
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