Have you ever watched a performer and thought, “Wow that just looks effortless!” I think its happened to everyone once in their lives. There is so much to learn about your vocal anatomy. Singing is so much more than opening your mouth and letting sound out. There are actual techniques and skills designed to make singing effortless. One main part of your vocal anatomy is the soft palate. The soft palate can be puzzling and fascinating for singers, and at first difficult to control. When singing, we need to make sure we have an open relaxed throat. How do we open the throat? Think about yawning. The openness you feel. The release of all that air. There is so much space!
When we yawn, it triggers our soft palate to raise and our larynx to drop. To achieve this, you first need to know where your soft palate is. If you open your mouth, you will see your uvula hanging in the back of your mouth. That is attached to your soft palate! Now raising the soft palate can have its challenges because the muscles don’t want to stretch correctly at first. Just like athletes, singers rigorously train to have their muscles do extraordinary things. It is hard work to get those muscles working but anyone can learn how to do it! Your Soft palate also directs your singing sound. When your soft palate is raised, it closes off the passage to your nasal cavity which means your air and sound will be flowing predominantly threw your mouth and not your nose. When the air flows through your nose, it can cause nasality while singing. Your soft palate is your secret weapon to effortless singing.
When your teacher says “raise your soft palate.” It may not seem helpful at first. You may not understand what its supposed to feel like or you feel your throat is always closed. Just remember that it takes PRACTICE, TIME, and PATIENCE. Once you feel the open space one time, keep shooting for that same feeling. Once it becomes more consistent, apply it to your singing. You will be able to sing in ways you didn’t even know were possible. You will make sounds you didn’t even know were there. Lift your soft palate!!!! You will thank me later 🙂