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Music Teachers Forums Music Forum A Student Closes His Nose on Open Vowel Sounds (Singing Teachers)

  • A Student Closes His Nose on Open Vowel Sounds (Singing Teachers)

    Posted by Eliza Fyfe on August 19, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    A student commented on how he closes his nose on open vowel sounds and how it’s impossible not to. I am getting mixed up I think, between closing your throat and nose (I know that makes no sense) and what happens to the air during different times. I also don’t want to confuse the student. I’ve been doing new siren warm ups on “zz”, “ng” sounds which is how this all came up. Sometimes I wish the voice box wasn’t such an invisible mystery!!

    Eliza Fyfe replied 8 years, 1 month ago 2 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Not sure exactly what you mean, but if you want to test if air is coming out primarily through the nose you can see what happens when you pinch your nose with your fingers. Notice that with a “zz” nothing happens but with an “ng” the sounds stop. The throat should only really “close” during swallowing or lifting heavy things. Not sure if that’s helpful?

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    If you’re interested in the effects of different vowel sounds or consonants, you could always start up a forum topic on the mgr website! Would be great to see more discussion on this 🙂

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks, sorry for the late night ramblings, I shall endeavour to be more clear in the morning! And yes I’ve seen the site, it’s going to be great for research!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    With closing the throat, I actually meant when the back of the tongue meets the soft palette with “ng”

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Well, it’s what I am guessing the student means!!

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Totally! So when you’re thinking about the tongue position you can think of it lifting upwards to block the access of air to the mouth. The air is still coming up behind the tongue and exiting the nose :).

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Sweet, I’m guessing what the student means is that they’re closing the ‘passage’ to the nose, meaning that no sound is coming out of the nasal passage when they say open vowels.

    This is a good thing. Only three sounds in the English language should be nasal: ‘m’, ‘n’ and ‘ng’. On every other sound, the nasal passage should be closed. You can test this by holding the nose while singing vowels to see if it buzzes with resonance. If it buzzes, it’s nasal.

    But how does it close? It closes with the soft palate, in the back of the mouth above the tongue, which stretches up and seals the passage to the nose. This operates independently of the tongue (not counting the palato-glossus muscle). So if you look up soft palate nasality exercises you’ll find some solutions. Or does anyone else have any?

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Hey Matt, you say at the end there you can look up exercises for soft palate nasality as a solution to something. I’d be interested to know what it a solution for? Like what would be the objective for such an exercise?

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Apologies, maybe I wasn’t clear – I meant exercises to work the soft palate to prevent nasality in open vowels 🙂 So if a student is using too much nasality, you can use these exercises to make a clean sound. Does that make sense?

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Very helpful, cheers 👃 x

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks all. I’m anatomically challenged but thankfully with help at hand!