Throughout my entire life, I have loved to sing. Whether it was elementary school in the VeeGee’s, middle school in FLaPCo or high school in the chamber choir, I have always tried to be a strong singer in any choir I’m a part of. When you’re like me and you have been in many different kinds of choirs, it’s very easy to compare and contrast them. The two kinds of singing I do that are the most different are my high school choir and my private opera lessons.
The space where you sing in opera is very different from where I sing in my high school choir. With my voice teacher, Karla, I have a very big amount of space. When I’m singing opera I sing more in the back of my throat. Singing farther back helps in opera because it helps you get a 3D sound when you’re singing and helps relax your larynx (vocal chords). In choir however, we sing very far forward. Most high school students don’t take opera lessons and many of them do not know how to sing with space and get that 3D sound. So in order for all of us to blend, we sing more forward and use the right amount of ping to add some vibrancy to our voices. Although this sounds fine with a group of people, it’s definitely not the voice I would use when singing a solo.
Vibrato:One of the reasons I love opera is because my vibrato comes so naturally when I sing and it just adds richness to my voice. Because in opera I am singing with a bigger space, I automatically take deeper breaths. Also because when singing solo, there is generally more breaks in the music, it gives me more time to make sure I take a big back breath so I can support my vibrato so it doesn’t sound forced. In choir although sometimes we sing with vibrato, generally our teachers tell us not to because when everyone in a choir is singing with vibrato, the notes start to sound a little sharp or flat. This happens even more when the singers aren’t taking deep enough breaths’ to fully support their voice. I don’t like that we generally don’t use vibrato in choir because it comes naturally and forcing your voice not to use vibrato can be taxing in the long run.