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We talk a lot about the voice here on Kreative Kouple (especially since I’m a classical singer and Perry is a sports announcer), and thought we’d do a little scientific research into what your own self-contained instrument can do. We were really surprised to find out about a few of these 8 AMAZING facts about your singing voice!
(Psst! Did you miss our last post where we gave some suggestions for “kreative” gifts for Dad? Father’s Day might be over, but it’s never too late to show your dad a little appreciation! Check it out by clicking HERE!)
8 AMAZING Facts About Your Singing Voice!
#1 If you sing frequently enough, your voice quality won’t deteriorate with age.
I always thought that as you get older, your singing voice just…deteriorates. Turns out that’s not exactly how it works. A new study tested 72 non-smoking adults and found that “in frequent singers, there was no decrease in the stability of pitch and amplitude with age, suggesting that the voice of frequent singers remains more stable in aging than the voice of non-singers, and more generally, providing empirical evidence for a positive effect of singing on voice in aging.” The moral of the story is – don’t stop singing! Keep up your steady practice and your voice will retain its beautiful brilliance. (Source)
#2 Singing can actually improve COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) symptoms!
COPD is a lung disease that gets worse over time and causes symptoms like mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, making it progressively difficult for someone to breathe. (Source) According to a 2017 study, long-term participation in a community singing group, coupled with rehabilitation and weekly exercise, can actually improve your exercise capacity and even reduce anxiety. My personal favorite part of reading this study was the name of the “Sing Your Lungs Out” singing group. 🙂 (Source)
#3 Ladies Only: It’s not your imagination. Your period affects your singing voice. (And so do birth control pills.)
I don’t know about you, but when I’m on my period, I feel like something is just not quite right when I’m singing. And I’ve heard other female singers say the same thing. Well, those feelings are officially validated: This study says that the hormonal variations occurring during a woman’s menstrual cycle can influence her singing voice. And if that wasn’t enough for us to worry about, there’s more: Birth control pills may affect our pitch and vibrato control. I know it seems like a lose-lose situation here, but remember ladies: we rock this singing world through all of our crazy hormonal fluctuations. We are tough and amazing opera stars! (Source)
#4 Higher voices tend to be more inaccurate. (Sorry sopranos and tenors!)
So…there’s this stereotype in the singing world that higher voices just aren’t quite as on pitch as other voices. Interestingly, it appears that there is actually a bit of truth to that. The greatest inaccuracies were found in nonprofessional singers, during descending arpeggi, and during high tessitura passages. But never fear! The problem can be improved with additional training. (Source)
#5 Making music at least once every two weeks improves brain function.
That’s right! Making music (and especially playing a musical instrument!) results in better attention, memory, and executive functions (like time management). Similar to how we are told to do crossword puzzles to retain our brain function as we get older, it appears that making music might also provide protection against cognitive decline. (Source)
#6 Singing lullabies when your baby is in the womb improves maternal-infant bonding.
Singing to your babies before they are born really is a good idea! Apparently if you sing lullabies to your babies while they are in the womb, then after birth, the baby will have reduced infantile colic, reduced crying episodes, and reduced nightly awakening. And of course, this all leads to less stress you (the mother) as well! (Source)
#7 Your singing voice is affected by the height of your heels.
Most of us want to look our best while we’re performing on stage. For us ladies, that typically includes wearing some sort of high heel. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to heel-wearers, however, that scientists have determined that wearing heels can alter the position of your vocal tract. And while I’m not sure that I would fall into this category (currently battling plantar fasciitis! 🙁 ), most women who participated in the study found said they were more comfortable and sang their best while barefoot. Perhaps it’s time to walk into an audition room barefooted? No? 🙂 (Source)
#8 Singers are better than most people at imitating foreign languages.
For me, this isn’t exactly a shock, but rather scientific confirmation of something I had already figured was the case. As singers (specifically of the classical variety), we have to learn to pronounce at least four languages to survive in our field: English, Italian, French, and German. Plus, we have to mix in other languages too as certain roles call for them. Personally (in addition to the previous four), I’ve sung in Czech, Spanish, Russian, Latin, and likely several others that I just can’t think of right now.
What struck me as interesting about this study was how musicians (both singers and instrumentalists) tested higher than non-musicians at imitating foreign speech, with the singing group testing the highest. It seems that singing in foreign languages might give you a better ear for speech patterns and, simply, more practice in vocal flexibility. The study concludes that therefore, as a result of that practice, singers may be better at picking up foreign languages in general than most people.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 8 Amazing Facts About Your Singing Voice! I really had a fun time looking up scientific research about the voice, and hope to delve a little further next time. What did you find surprising? Any fun facts that you know about the voice that I should know about? Let us know by clicking “Comment” at the top of this post!
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