Pros and Cons Part 21: Karaoke

Many people have opposing opinions about how karaoke can relate to and influence an individual’s vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(21)

Part1:gargle
Part2:humidifier
Part3:aspirator
Part4:sports
Part5:alcohol
Part6:sex
Part7:bicycle
Part8:dance
Part9:gum
Part10:cigarettes
Part11:plane
Part12:boat
Part13:turtleneck
Part14:tie
Part15:yawning
Part16:humming
Part17:whispering
Part18:nap
Part19:pillow
Part20:roller coaster
Part21:karaoke
Part22:XXX

Part 21 is “Karaoke”
Recently, there are many good karaoke systems available to make practicing singing really easy.
There are three features in terms of singing of karaoke.
1:There is a large variety of songs and genres to choose from.
2:Either a single person or a large group can sing.
3:Singer has to sing along to the instrumentals.

1 and 2 are mostly positive, but there are some downsides revolving around 3.
A professional singer, whom I know, once told me, “I abstain from singing karaoke, mainly because it’s even hard for me to sing my own songs there!”
Meanwhile, many people claim, “We love karaoke, because it’s so much fun.”
It’s pretty divided, whether people like karaoke or not. It also depends on if the individual ‘likes to’ and ‘can sing along to an instrumental’ or not.
A long time ago a female singer came to my clinic with a hypertonic larynx, which she believed was caused by karaoke. This is her story: “When I went to the countryside for a concert, the concert organizer asked me,the night before the concert, to go out and sing along with karaoke.
I approved his request, because I liked to go to out to karaoke with friends. The concert hall was not resourced with good quality audio equipment. (My first time encountering this issue) I was struggling to listen to the instrumental and sang the song by force. I sang forcefully, because I could not control the volume of my voice. As a result, the next day I could not let out a high-pitch voice!”
The concert associates said, “No problem, we have a voice care specialist whom we are affiliated with who can help you.” I went to see their doctor, and that is when I first crossed paths with Aida-San.
He figured out that I had lost the balance of the muscles in my throat, due to singing forcibly. I understood how I got the hoarse voice and also felt a slight choking feeling. He immediately treated me. The issue was fixed very quickly actually, because it had been only a short time (the previous night) since the damage occurred. Since then, I am really careful when singing karaoke songs.
Although she had a bad experience singing karaoke, that hasn’t deterred her. That particular singer still goes to sing karaoke once and a while with friends.
Here are some other opinions which should be considered, when weighing out the pros and cons, that relate to singing karaoke with vocalization.

Positive opinions are:
Leisure/Recreational activity.
Stress release.
You can sing a song loudly, without concern or disturbing others around you.
Practice and improve singing and rhythm.
Really fun, to sing songs with friends.

Some negative opinions are:
Poor quality audio and visual equipment can have an effect on how your voice sounds, and straining to adjust your volume or pitch can possibly do damage to your voice.
It is sometimes difficult to follow or sing along to instrumental songs.
An individual may feel pressure and anxiety if the room is small.
The atmosphere smells bad. Some feel they cannot enjoy singing karaoke, if one or several people are smoking in the same room.

sing

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Pros and Cons Part 20: Roller Coaster

Many people have opposing opinions about how a roller coaster can relate to and influence an individual’s vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(20)

Part1:gargle
Part2:humidifier
Part3:aspirator
Part4:sports
Part5:alcohol
Part6:sex
Part7:bicycle
Part8:dance
Part9:gum
Part10:cigarettes
Part11:plane
Part12:boat
Part13:turtleneck
Part14:tie
Part15:yawning
Part16:humming
Part17:whispering
Part18:nap
Part19:pillow
Part20:roller coaster
Part21:karaoke
Part22:XXX

Part 20 is “Roller coaster”
My friend asked me, “I’ve heard that your voice gets better if you get on roller coaster. Is that true?”.
You usually see roller coasters in amusement parks.
Can you let out a high-pitch voice easily if you vocalize while riding a roller caster?
If I have to answer, I would say, “You can, but do not expect a big effect to your high pitched range.”
If it affects your high-pitch, these are the reasons why:
1.The gravity is reduced when the roller coaster swoops down.
2:The limbs are strained by fear or panic, and the larynx can ease up.

However, it is absolutely not normal or common to practice high pitched vocalizing on the roller coaster.
This might be not pros and cons, just cons. So, if you do shout on a roller coaster, you could get a dry throat or fine internal bleeding around the vocal cords. Please be careful!

roller coaster

Pros and Cons Part 19: Pillow

Many people have opposing opinions about how a pillow can relate to and influence an individual’s vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(19)

Part1:gargle
Part2:humidifier
Part3:aspirator
Part4:sports
Part5:alcohol
Part6:sex
Part7:bicycle
Part8:dance
Part9:gum
Part10:cigarettes
Part11:plane
Part12:boat
Part13:turtleneck
Part14:tie
Part15:yawning
Part16:humming
Part17:whispering
Part18:nap
Part19:pillow
Part20:roller coaster
Part21:karaoke
Part22:XXX

Part 19 is “Pillow”
I know a soprano singer, who said to me, “I do not use a pillow when I sleep at night, because my voice does not sound right the next day.”
How is sleeping with a pillow relevant to vocalization?
Below, are the following: Three key questions I will elaborate on.
(1)Does the voice change whether a pillow is used or not?
(2)Do the voice changes depend on the quality of pillow used?
(3)What is the best sleeping position – on the stomach, side or back?

I’ve asked several singers and voice actors, their opinions. As a result, most of them stated, “I do not mind. I can sleep with or without a pillow.” Although sleeping with a pillow is more common and generally more comfortable.
Many people roll over or toss and turn when sleeping at night. That is why I have to suggest, there are certain variables to consider when choosing the right sleeping position. It is very rare an individual can sleep throughout the entire night without switching positions. Although, switching positions too often may be the result of discomfort, which many people refer to as restless sleep. Have you ever had a restless night and woke up with a raspy voice? This is because sleep can and does influence and invidual’s voice. Restless sleep and too much or too little sleep, will result in noticible changes to the voice shortly after waking up. Most people sleep on their back, because they can keep the normal/natural curvature of the cervical spine.
That is the main reason why most people sleep with a pillow. So they can keep the same pose when sleeping, as when standing. The main target pose being, ‘straight.’
I don’t think this preferred sleeping position has an negative impact on head, shoulders or neck. Some people prefer a soft and fluffy pillow, some prefer a thin and hard pillow, and some prefer several pillows. The quality of pillow and individual prefers accomodates the level of comfort in the head, shoudlers and neck.
Therefore, the more less popular opinion is that of the soprano singer. Who claimed, “I do not use a pillow when I sleep at night, because my voice does not sound right the next day.” This opinion is not shared by everyone. There is the possibility of straining the neck and shoulders, if the pillow is not the correct size or not positioned adequately while sleeping. The fact of the matter is, that there is no supporting proof, that sleeping without a pillow will make an individual’s voice better.
Therefore, using a pillow while sleeping solely depends on personal preference.
This are just insightful pros and cons, surrounding the use of a pillow and how it can relate to vocalization.
Note: When people, who have ‘functional dysphonia,’ or ‘Deep Larynx Position,’ sleep on their back, they often gag or feel a choking sensation.
The chocking or gagging sensation is not immediate in most cases. Often, they don’t even wake up in the middle of night. Though, they feel uncontrollable choking or gagging directly after waking up the next morning. This is because the larynx sinks toward the cervical spine under the weight of thyroid cartilage. Therefore, if you suffer from either of those issues, I suggest you sleep or lie down primarily on your side. You will be less likely to feel the sesatiion of choking or gagging after waking up.

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Pros and Cons Part 17: Whispering

Many people have opposing opinions about how whispering can relate to and influence an individual’s vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(17)

Part1:gargle
Part2:humidifier
Part3:aspirator
Part4:sports
Part5:alcohol
Part6:sex
Part7:bicycle
Part8:dance
Part9:gum
Part10:cigarettes
Part11:plane
Part12:boat
Part13:turtleneck
Part14:tie
Part15:yawning
Part16:humming
Part17:whispering
Part18:nap
Part19:pillow
Part20:roller coaster
Part21:karaoke
Part22:XXX

Part 17 is “Whispering”
Some people might say, “Whispering is good for the voice because use it doesn’t use the throat as much as speaking.” But… others might say, “Nope, because you actually harden your throat when whispering. Which does involve an effort.”
Regarding whispering, as I have previously mentioned: please refer here ↓
Could a whispering voice make the muscles or voice become hypertonic?
Note: Referencing a book about phonetics, it states, “Whispering promotes hypertonic vocalization.” However, I have encountered knowledgeable and experienced vocal coaches who encourage, “If you can learn how to use whispering skillfully, your singing will be better.”
I think both are correct!

singing girls with microphones

Pros and Cons Part 18: Nap

Many people have opposing opinions about how napping can relate to and influence an individual’s vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(18)

Part1:gargle
Part2:humidifier
Part3:aspirator
Part4:sports
Part5:alcohol
Part6:sex
Part7:bicycle
Part8:dance
Part9:gum
Part10:cigarettes
Part11:plane
Part12:boat
Part13:turtleneck
Part14:tie
Part15:yawning
Part16:humming
Part17:whispering
Part18:nap
Part19:pillow
Part20:roller coaster
Part21:karaoke
Part22:XXX

Part 18 is “Nap”
An ‘Opera singer’ once said to me, “I can sing very well after a taking nap.”
I’ve figured out that napping is very beneficial for the voice.
Although noticible results vary, and depend on the quality and length of sleep. Sleeping during the day is same as sleeping at night. Any kind of rest, whether it be long or short, can soothe muscles after using them so much. The process of vocalization involves the use of many muscles.
You need good flexibility and mobility of the throat muscles for singing.
There is a possibility of causing disorders of the lactate metabolism, if you vocalize for long periods of time. It is difficult to produce a good voice when tired or exhausted. I’ve seen so many cases, where the singer’s voice condition and quality suffered after vocalizing too much.
Please be aware that.
Contrary to the above, the throat muscles cannot move well soon after waking up. Muscles need time to warm up to start moving, similar with sports.
Several people tell me that they feel, they do not like taking naps because it makes them feel lazy or groggy shortly after waking up. I do not want to recommend if you are this kind of person to take naps often, but once and a while is okay.
Therefore, if you take a nap, I would recommend you consider the following:
1:A short nap time is best. Set a timer to avoid oversleeping.
2:Take time after waking up

These statements are in favor and against naps, and how napping can affect an invidual’s vocalization.

cansado

Could a whispering voice make the muscles or voice become hypertonic?

In the medical field, many professionals say, “Whispering strains the muscles of the throat and affects vocalization.”
The production of whispering is when the glottis closes (the vocal cord does not vibrate) and a low volume sound is expelled, by means of leaking air through the space between the vocal process and the arytenoid cartilage.
I’ve researched and performed several tests, which determined two informative facts surrounding the mechanics of whispering.
They are as follows: A whispering voice used excessively or improperly can lead to muscle “hypertonia” or “hyposthenia”. Which are medical terms defined as: Too much muscle tone and weakened condition/lack of strength.
Usually whispering needs closing of the vocal cord to occur, ceasing any vibrating, then opens the part closest to the arytenoid cartilage. This action causes strain to the muscles involved.
Furthermore, I’ve found out that the thyroid cartilage is pressed back in many cases.
This is my hypothesis: When the back of the thyroid cartilage moves to the cervical spine, it opens the back of the vocal cord, thus supporting the process of creating a whispering voice.
For instance, when you vocalize with your original voice, if you push your thyroid cartilage to the back, your voice is loosing sound output.
Most people are not aware when they whisper too much or too strained it can cause hypertonic muscles or voice hypertonia.
When measuring muscle mass, I observed hardness. Comparing a standard speaking voice to a whispering voice, the whispering voice’s muscle mass hardened more during vocalizing than the standard speaking voice.
However, a few people had varying results. I noticed the voice quality was different when I listened to their voices carefully. Some pushed their expelled breath out with more force than others, when producing a whisper.
The reason why was because they were making a whispering voice orally, but not through the primary use of the larynx or pharynx.
They controlled the soft tissues very well, which are more elevated than the vocal cords.
I can confidently classify two types of whispering. The first being the one that changed the figure of the back of the tongue and the epipharynx. The second being the one that used the space of the front of the oral cavity, which utilized the tongue, teeth and lips.
I advocate below from those observations.

(1) I think that it does not matter which process is used, in consideration to vocal nodules and polyps, because the purpose is to discourage the movement of the vocal cord when creating a whisper.
However, if you whisper by changing the figure of the back of the tongue and the epipharynx, to consistently vocalize then you are at a higher risk of potentially suffering from hypertonic vocalization – permanently.

(2) I would like to recommend you focus to use the space in the front of your oral cavity for whispering. Which is the tongue, teeth and lips. Especially in cases of aphonia. With aphonia, whispering is used more often. Mainly due to the severely lacking ability, of producing vocalization at standard to high volumes.
A whispering voice when produced improperly or excessively can lead to hypertonic muscles or hypostenic vocalization. In conclusion it is possible to avoid these issues and whisper without causing any strain to the muscles or voice.

Two twin little sister girls whisper in ear

Pros and Cons Part 15: Yawning

Many people have opposing opinions about how yawning can relate to and influence an individual’s vocalization.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing and vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(15)

Part1:gargle
Part2:humidifier
Part3:aspirator
Part4:sports
Part5:alcohol
Part6:sex
Part7:bicycle
Part8:dance
Part9:gum
Part10:cigarettes
Part11:plane
Part12:boat
Part13:turtleneck
Part14:tie
Part15:yawning
Part16:humming
Part17:whispering
Part18:nap
Part19:pillow
Part20:roller coaster
Part21:karaoke
Part22:XXX

Part 15 is “Yawning”
Yawning is an involuntary contagious reflex, which the scientific community has been analyzing for centuries and the subject is still yet to arrive at a consensus. There are and will continue to be a number of different theories for explaining the possible reasons behind yawning,
You usually yawn when you are tired or bored. When we feel sleepy or tired, our breathing slows down, which hinders the supply of blood to the brain. Yawning allows us to inhale a lot of air, which improves blood circulation to the brain and reduces brain temperature. As the brain’s temperature reduces, we can think more clearly and thus, yawning can help us stay alert.
Yawning is not bad for your health. In fact it is a normal action, which is widely seen in humans and animals alike. So how does yawning relate to vocalization?

I’ll describe the most common theories, which I have heard so far. Listing the positive opinions first.
●Yawning is a stretch that can improve vocalization and singing. Because the act of yawning involves the stretching of several overused muscles of the body, such as the muscles used for breathing, swallowing, and speaking. Some people believe that a yawn helps stabilize the pressure on either side of the eardrums. When we yawn, our mouth opens wide and the eardrums also stretch.
●You can feel more relaxed if you yawn when you are nervous.
●Shaping of the throat. Which, when vocalizing is necessary to produce a good voice. Please remember, shaping your mouth and throat when yawning is similar to shaping your mouth and throat when you sing or let out a high-pitched sound.

Meanwhile, there are negative opinions as well. They are as follows:
●When you let out a high-pitch sound during yawning, it contracts the muscles and decreases the movement of cricothyroid articulation.
●Just like when vocalizing, the action of yawning can cause the tongue to drop too low and become strained.
I even do not know so many things surrounding the yawn, but I can validate having observed the following theories and phenomenons:
Yawing is when the thyroid cartilage descends vertically, narrowing the space of the pharyngeal cavity, which affects resonance.
If you speak during yawning, you will notice that your voice sounds muffled. Therefore, even if you find it easier to let out a high-pitch sound when recreating the yawning shape, it has been know to have negative effects on the voice.
Furthermore, you could also lose complete control singing, because the suspended muscles are extended maximally.
I’ve witnessed some phenomenon before, surrounded by yawning. A singer tried to make the yawing shape forcibly during vocal training exercises, which caused their tongue to stiffen. Ultimately resulting in, not being able to speak normally due to torn muscles around larynx.
Yawning does have relaxing effects, but please note that if you yawn forcefully, it may hurt your throat and result in strained vocalization. The oral cavity and tongue muscle may also become strained by forcibly yawning. It is best to yawn naturally, not forced.
If you are vocal coach and want to recommend your students to yawn for vocalization exercises or examples, please explain properly:

(1)The mechanics of yawning (Relevant to vocalization).
(2)The good and bad things surrounding yawning and vocalization.
(3) Knowledge, informing of the risks about yawning too much.

The above three are very important to let them know before starting a vocal lesson, if that lesson will involve yawning.
There is no problem with yawning naturally daily. Yawning is very commonly contagious, possibly infectious. You don’t need to actually see a person yawn to involuntarily yawn yourself; hearing someone yawn or even reading about yawning can cause the same reaction. Chances are you have already yawned or will yawn at least once while reading this. Recent studies show that the phenomenon is also related to our predisposition toward empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and connect with others’ emotional states. It sounds strange, but whether or not you’re susceptible to contagious yawning may actually be related to how much empathy you feel for others. Just be mindful, yawning may cause consequential problems with vocalization if you yawn forcefully or excessively.
These are some of the pros and cons that connect yawning with vocalization.

Mund weit geöffnet

Note:I was asked the question, “Doesn’t yawning make the voice better because it increases the space of oral cavity?”
The answer is, No. This is because, the oral cavity mostly relates to forming and shaping words not the actual production of the sound.