“Lowering My Larynx”

A common myth in vocal training concerns the positioning of the larynx.

There is a kernel of truth to the need for the larynx to be in proper position.

Many of us have experienced what it feels like to have the larynx not be in a good spot. What usually happens is the muscle will be too high. It will rise up until we almost get the sensation of choking. And this is not a good feeling to occur when trying to sing higher. 

Another way the larynx can malfunction is that it can be “shoved down” or lowered directly. It voluntarily will attempt to combat the high laryngeal position. The sound produced will be deeper and maybe even louder. The feel might be throaty or swallowed. One can get the sense that there is something good about this “lowering” of the larynx but the feel is just not right. Unfortunately, when done consciously and too soon, it has the effect of forcing the larynx down without ever actually having the necessary muscles developed.

A middle-ish laryngeal position will be achieved naturally over time, given proper exercise. The closer (arytenoid) and stretcher (crico-thyroid) muscles are friends with the muscles that elevate and lower the larynx. As our vocal muscles work right, then the other muscles that position the larynx up and down (and other directions too) are developed and strengthened and taught how to respond for this new activity.  This is not swallowing nor strictly breathing, but the entire laryngeal apparatus being adapted to produce complex sound. Then, the larynx will assume the correct position needed for the given pitch, volume, and vowel. This position is shouldn’t feel forced or made to happen. But it is an effect of free function at the source (registration cause!!) which then ripples outwards.

Now, this does take time and lots of consistent correct work. And the reward is that you sing without choking on tone. Or without swallowing the tone. You sing without manipulation and force. You sing with freedom.

Allen Rascoe

about the author

Allen Rascoe Allen has been enjoying singing since he was a little kid. He officially studied voice at ECU and USC. However, he ran... Read More