The vocal cords are a very unique set of muscles in the human body. For one thing, they are very miniscule. In men, they are the size of a nickel and in women, they are the size of a dime. Because of their unique size, they are easy to damage. We sing, we belt, we scream and yet often times do it without getting our cords ready for it.
Like any other muscle, the vocal cords are a muscle that needs to be stretched before working them out. I consider singing a work out. When a person sings, the vocals are used forcefully and strengthen, just like the pecks would be if doing arm lifts with weights or like the abs would be if doing sit-ups.
I am a youth choral director at the church which I worship with. I was at rehearsal with the youth one day and it dawned on me: I cannot allow my kids to pull or damage their coin-sized instruments before they really get to use their voices to the fullest capacity; especially since the vocal are the only instrument that God made by hand. So nowadays before we start with rehearsal, I warm their vocals up. They actually work harder at rehearsal than at Sunday morning worship because we go over the same songs many, many times.
I do quick stretches, trills and breathing exercises prior to vocalizing. I often do pronunciations and alliteration exercises to help them to stretch. The more they stretch, the better they sound. Their vocals become ELASTICIZED, which helps me to help them to open up their vocals more and sing with the enhanced power that God already anointed them with.
One of my youth has really big dreams. She one day wants to sing professionally but often shies away and hides that beauty that God blessed her with. I tell her to sing with faith and when she does, what pulchritude. With stretching, it helps her to not strain but sing with clarity and force without overusing. If overused, vocals can also be pulled, become irritated, or get damaged.
Many singers develop what is known as nodes on their cords and once nodes are developed, one either has to wait for it to pass which can take years or get it surgically removed. Julie Andrews and Gladys Knight were a few singers who faced vocal damage in their musical life. To sing again, you might have to take a few years off and be retrained to gain the fullness. ELONGATING the cords are important and the best weapon against any and all vocal damage.
The word of the day today is ELASTICIZE. The Urban dictionary says that it is also another word for ELONGATE. When you elasticize something, you stretch it beyond the normal limits. The vocals are elasticized so that they can take the belting and the screaming without strain.
WORD of THE DAY: Elasticize
Except for the vocal cords, every other instrument was made by man.
Long winded people use them almost as well as a singer can.
Anointed by God are young ministers of music who minister through song to his people – –
Shouting and singing of his word in a form that is truly beautiful.
The vocal cords are a muscle which like all others needs to be stretched.
Instruments found in the temple; a talent like payments of God to the blessed.
Cords should be elasticized; a good vocal warm-up works well;
I like breathing exercises, practicing the C scale, and ½ step intervals.
Zealous voices that make good choices keep their gift for life.
Elongate the cords to avoid straining when singing of the mercies of the most high.
© Stephanie Jeannot