Velum is a sexy word.
Even more amazing is that if you tickle your velum, you’ll probably barf.
This is why you should study your vocal anatomy. Because velum sounds sexy, and you don’t want to barf.
Velum is the sexy word for soft palate. Which also sounds *kinda* sexy, but not as much.
Listen, it’s important, this velum; without it, all you’d have is tone. THAT IS IT. JUST tone. No richness, no intelligibility, no depth.
If the velum has something going wrong, then hypernasality (You sound too much like it’s coming out your nose!) or hyponasality (you sound like you have a cold!) occur.
Why do you need to know this? Because VELUM issues are RESONATOR issues, NOT vocal fold issues.
Not every voice problem has to do with our larynxes. Larynxi? Whatever. The point is, it could be our resonators.
These puppies: teeth, hard palate, alveolar ridge (another sexy word), and mandible, are just a few of the things in our noggin that give sound depth. They give our sound volume and color. They help us get brass in our belt and soar in our head.
They are as much a part of our sound as our vocal folds are. So care for them! Love them! And strengthen the muscles that use them.
If you’re singing in your head register often (ahem, WOMEN), or in you full voice (uh, MEN), how you create space and openness is essential to being heard over the orchestra, or getting that wiggle-your-audiences-bones power.
Here’s a quick exercise for the lifting of the velum… YAWN. Yawning will help you feel what it’s like to use the levator palatini (SO MANY SEXY WORDS!). When you yawn, go ahead and close your eyes, and pay attention to what it feels like to have the stretch and elevation in the back of your pharynx (pharynx is the sexy word for throat). That “lift” in the back, along with a neutral tongue, is what gets you intensity of sound~ resonance!
Oh, what a delightful post to write! Sometimes this voice nerd just needs to talk sexy.