Q&A: In Classical Singing, does Singing into the ‘Mask’ really produce Better Sound?

Question:

“I hear a lot about the need for ‘singing in the mask’. Is this as important in classical singing as it is in pop, country, or show tune singing?”

Answer:

Classical singing is produced effortlessly with your whole body—without the help of a mic. Therefore you need to use ALL the possible resonances available to you from Nature. 🙂

That means: Use your head, throat, chest resonances, with your whole body supporting it all, of course.

  1. Head resonances include the sinus areas, under eyes, and above the nose, the whole “mask”. Those are super important, since they give your sound the clarity and ping, the laser-like quality of piercing bell-like clarity. It also helps you with good enunciation.
  2. Throat: When your throat is open, well supported by your diaphragm, which in turn is supported by your abdominals and intercostals, your sound has more room to vibrate around. A tight throat doesn’t make for a very pleasing sound, nor feels particularly good to the singer for any length of time. The more relaxed and open your throat is—like in the beginning of a yawn—the less sharp or piercing the rather nasal sound in the mask will appear. Yawn to lower the larynx comfortably. Don’t push it down, EVER!! But yes, that, and the next step will mellow out the stringent mask sound.
  3. Chest resonances: if you omit these, your sound has less depth, and may sound shallow and sharp. Lowering your larynx is the first step, and filling your chest to capacity with air is the other, ribs kept out, to make full use of these precious resonances.

So, yes, you need those mask resonances, because they give your sound “bite.” But you better mellow them with the rest of your body to add fullness, warmth, and depth. Hope this helps. In any case: Sing Yourself Well!

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