Milly

Voice drop when getting older

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This is something I would love to hear about from other singers. I was classically trained in college as a mezzo-soprano. I am now 42 with 5 children and have experienced a noticable downward shift in my vocal range. The "higher" notes I used to reach are completely gone. I've always had a solid low range so I'm not sure how much that has grown. 

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It doesn't have to if you train to counteract the issues that come with age. The most notable issue for aging singers is the vocal folds thinning out and becoming more frail. To get the same coordinations that come more easily to youth and the elasticity you have in youth, you can train specifically for light compression (a very fine motor skill) and strength (for dampening and more surface area in the folds). Learning to utilize the cry reflex better can be paramount in this type of training. 

The person that immediately comes to mind in this subject matter is Steve Perry. You could hear his voice decline over the years with more open and shouty vowels. But with his new release, that seems to have changed. 

I also have trained quite a few students in their 70's. While there was a little strength training involved, most of it came down to them having to build coordination. Perhaps a good way to put it is that it's easier to be more lazy with you voice in your youth, and the physical issue brought on with aging means you have to be much more intentional in your coordination.

Most singers seem to come into their prime in their 30's. Above 40 starts to change, but it doesn't have to. I was 40 when I learned to sing F5 to B5 effortlessly, and I was over 40 when I learned whistle register at C6, with my range still expanding at 43. Around 60 and above, is when I notice the extra coordination training it takes with students.

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On 11/27/2018 at 6:01 PM, Draven Grey said:

It doesn't have to if you train to counteract the issues that come with age. The most notable issue for aging singers is the vocal folds thinning out and becoming more frail. To get the same coordinations that come more easily to youth and the elasticity you have in youth, you can train specifically for light compression (a very fine motor skill) and strength (for dampening and more surface area in the folds). Learning to utilize the cry reflex better can be paramount in this type of training. 

The person that immediately comes to mind in this subject matter is Steve Perry. You could hear his voice decline over the years with more open and shouty vowels. But with his new release, that seems to have changed. 

I also have trained quite a few students in their 70's. While there was a little strength training involved, most of it came down to them having to build coordination. Perhaps a good way to put it is that it's easier to be more lazy with you voice in your youth, and the physical issue brought on with aging means you have to be much more intentional in your coordination.

Most singers seem to come into their prime in their 30's. Above 40 starts to change, but it doesn't have to. I was 40 when I learned to sing F5 to B5 effortlessly, and I was over 40 when I learned whistle register at C6, with my range still expanding at 43. Around 60 and above, is when I notice the extra coordination training it takes with students.

So your saying if you train you will regain the lost tissue from the vocal folds?

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10 minutes ago, Milly said:

So your saying if you train you will regain the lost tissue from the vocal folds?

I think so...To be clear on semantics, I'm saying that if you train, you can keep building coordination (fine motor skills) and strength in the muscles controlling the vocal folds.

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5 hours ago, Draven Grey said:

I think so...To be clear on semantics, I'm saying that if you train, you can keep building coordination (fine motor skills) and strength in the muscles controlling the vocal folds.

This reminds me of an exercise call intoning and extoning, basicly the short and narrow of it is, extoning is humming as normal as you realise air, then fully realise all of your air and hum in intoning, as you inhale air as you hum. Make sense?

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Newb here,  I'm 54 (male) and at 16 I could hit high A5. Back then it sounded like a mix of Geddy Lee  and Tiny Tim. But I could make sound at least.

I finally decided to learn how to sing properly about a year and a half ago and found that I had only lost a whole tone. I recently checked, after doing Robert's course for only a week-ish, and found that I could easily reach the A5 again. It's fuzzy, but it's there.  I cannot get any higher, but I'm glad I can still reach it. My (new) tone is fine and usable up to C5. Maybe E5. So, I'll take it.

I'll check back in ten years!

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