I have spent many years teaching young girls singing lessons. Taking them through the transitional journey of their own voice from girl to woman. This is something I actually really enjoy because first hand I can protect and prepare their voice for healthy years of singing ahead. There is a fine line to preparing/protecting verses pushing the young voice. It is important that are never pushing the voice especially the young voice to do anything. Your singing should always be natural to your bodies ability and development.
The one real difficulty though is the patience required of the student (and their own parents) for the tween’s head voice to file in properly and develop fully. As you can imagine. A tween girls higher register is usually breathy. So they often come to me telling me they are altos. (That is another subject I shall write about at some point, but know that I have rarely met a “true” alto.) Or they bring me a song with high notes for an audition and want the “problem solved” by the end of a lesson. – You can’t force a head voice to develop. Especially in one lesson.
Check Out an older blog of mine regarding what age is appropriate to start singing lessons if you are interested: http://voicelessonstogo.com/blog/category/young-singers
The young girl who has been belting her way through her single digit years, will eventually find herself needing to sing a higher then beltable high note. This is where the head voice comes in. The head voice usually develops along with puberty. Girls hit that mark at different times. There is nothing you can do to rush the process. Rather, you must let your voice do its own natural thing. Its hard to wait for things, I know.
It is especially frustrating when a young singers friend is hitting the high notes and getting the parts while the student is just getting a lot of breathiness. Patience is key here. The voice is going to do what it is going to do. There is a biological clock involved. Just like a boy can’t force a beard to grow, a girl can’t force her head voice to develop.
In voice lessons there are things that your teacher can do specifically in prepping the head voice. Vocalizes that practice going from the lower register smoothly into the upper register. Singing them smoothly and comfortably will help the transition between chest and head voice as your sound comes in. It is great to have a head start on this so that you don’t find yourself with two completely different voices that can’t work together. You can use my Voice Lessons To Go CDs to help you out with blending your registers: http://voicelessonstogo.com/products.html
So, if you are parent of a younger singer or a younger singer yourself. Allow the process to happen naturally without any pressure. Some girls are going to walk in at 11 sounding like young operatic sopranos and others may not have anything but breath till their 17th birthday on a high G.
It is really all OK. We all grow up in time. Enjoy your young voice. Keep it healthy, and never force, push or strain it.
Ariella Vaccarino (a once young singer myself!)
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written by Ariella Vaccarino creator of Voice Lessons To Go (singing lessons on CD) and author of Vocalize!
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