Published Student Research

Michele Capalbo

Capalbo, Michele A. 2023. "Whispered Vowels for Singers: A Discussion and ExplorationAmSAT Journal, no. 21, 42-59.

The whispered “Ah,” a traditional Alexander Technique procedure, has been represented as an effective way to improve functional singing issues, including respiration (Heirich 2011, 85; Kleinman and Buckoke 2013, 101) and phonation (Dimon 2015; Murdock 2009; McCallion 1988, 26–28; Jones 1976, 21). However, the use of whispering as an effective voice-building tool for singers has been consistently challenged over time (Titze and Verdolini Abbott 2012, 264). Due to the scarcity of quantitative findings, and conflicting anecdotal evidence, the tension between pro- and anti-whispering advocates persists. This article examines current research in conjunction with multiple pedagogical perspectives to explore the whispered “ah” from a singer-centric perspective. Practical adaptations for singers are proposed through the exploration of alternate vowels, emotional affect, and shifting vocal color. Specific exercises for the articulators (tongue, jaw, and lips) both for tension release and/or adequate vocal tract tonus reintegration are proposed.