Stuart Clarke Vocal Studio

Speech Level Singing


Myths about singing - lets get the facts right!

HEAD VOICE AND FALSETTO ARE THE SAME - untrue! Many people who sing in their "head voice" are really singing in falsetto. While the sound produced may not sound extremely airy or light, it is not connected to the bottom of the vocal range. Upon sliding back down they meet the vocal break and "clunk" back into their chest voice. In falsetto the vocal cords do not approximate (connect) well and this is the reason for lack of breath and control.

Smile When You Sing - Many singers fall for this one as it creates a brighter, clearer sound to the singer's ear. To the audience however, it's a nasal, thin sound that's quite unpleasant. It also raises the larynx which creates tension and strain (not good!).

Voice lessons will make me sound like an opera singer

Not true. Your voice works the same way whether you sing opera or hard rock. A good vocal technique will give the ability to sing any style with freedom and flexibility.

Singing is a gift given by God only to a chosen few

False. While some people are more gifted than others, singing is a skill that we can all develop. People are often shocked to learn that many (most) professionals sing with limitation and struggle with their voices. On the other hand, beginners often walk into their voice lessons with more raw talent than some pros. It's not what you have, it's what you do with it. Vocal training will allow you to turn your instrument into the best voice it can possibly be.


This is by far the most common misconception about singing and, ironically usually the first lesson taught by most teachers. While it's obviously important that we breathe well, it's much more important for singing to have a good vocal cord coordination (closure) up and down your voice. I often teach people who've studied elsewhere for years and can't seem to get their voices together. They blame their breathing. Yet, after a few minutes of experiencing good vocal cord closure, they no longer run out of breath and have more strength in their voice.

Sing from the Diaphragm

This phrase is commonly used by voice and choir teachers. Many singers are confused by this and for good reason: it doesn't actually mean anything! Often what they are trying to do is to get their singers to sing loudly with a full sound. However, most singers react to this by pushing more air and yelling which usually results in a weaker voice full of tension. They are then convinced that they must be doing something wrong and try harder than ever to sing from the diaphragm. A very vicious cycle...

DRINKING HONEY / TAKING LOSENGEZ WILL HELP MY VOICE - untrue! Nothing you eat or drink really affects your vocal cords! The windpipe (trachea) and the food pipe (esophagus) are different. The vocal cords are located just above the windpipe and if anything goes into this pipe, you choke! Honey and lozenges just relieve and soothe a sore throat - and not the vocal cords.