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There are several reasons that could be factors ranging from hearing to proper breath support.
Have you ever heard a recording of your own voice and not recognize yourself? It’s amazing how we don’t hear ourselves the way other people hear us. This is a result of how sound waves travel through the air. Sound waves traveling straight into another listener‘s ears sound clearer because of the mere fact that they are not creating the sound themselves. Sometimes our ears will equalize and feel like we are under water,...thus our voice sounds muffled.
It is much more accurate to trust your vocal instructor and to check it out for yourselves with a recording. With proper training, your body learns how the muscles feel when singing correctly and becomes a part of your muscle memory. One achieves this through repetition, practice, and guidance.
Yes there is hope for those who think they are tone deaf! Pitch is a tricky concept that has a bad reputation of either being born able to hear it or not. What most people don’t realize is that pitch can be developed through muscle memory. Trusting your entire body as the instrument is key rather than focusing on just your voice box or ears alone! Singing is listening and matching pitch takes skill. It’s training the ear muscles and the brain to focus on getting closer and closer to the actual pitch until you get it right. Technique in understanding pitch interval relations such as d(o) to m(i) to s(o)l is an integral part of mastering pitch.
Breathing affects every part of our lives whether we are actively thinking about it or not. Even the unborn baby in a mother’s womb still breathes! Our bodies instinctively know how to breathe and our organs automatically know how to function. It’s after we are born that we develop bad habits throughout our lifetime that breathing is compromised.
To breathe the most efficiently and properly means strengthening our core. It’s developing breath control through the muscles in our torso that affect the solar plexus, abdominal area, diaphragm, rib cage, lungs, and back muscles. Through repeated breathing exercises, the body learns how it feels to engage these muscles that is most efficient in producing tone. Creating good breathing habits will aid in even the most emotional and physical body states that complicate breathing. Breathing often becomes very shallow when the body is nervous or stressed and can lead to the development of bad habits. It is best to develop breath control with a relaxed state of mind in order to create clear and free tones.