Children Singing Voice - Maintain that Youthfulness!
Children Singing Voices are unique in their own way, differing from adult singing voices in terms of vocal timbre, range and expression.
Prior to puberty, boys and girls have voice boxes and vocal cords that are similar in size and structure. This results in young boys having a similar vocal range as young girls, and even sometimes singing higher than what some girls may be able to sing!
However, this may also mean that as young boys grow older, they also begin to become more aware of their voice and may start to reject their children singing voice, which is much higher in pitch, and favour a lower and seemingly more ‘manly’ one.
With the onset of puberty, both male and female vocal cords develop and grow, but male vocal cords develop much more than those in females. Most teenage boys will experience great changes in their singing voice as the male vocal cords will grow longer and increase in thickness, causing the overall vocal range of the teenage boy to become around one octave lower than his female counterpart.
For those who are unsure what are vocal cords and how we use them to sing, do check out
my website section on ‘Vocal Cords’ to find out more!
Most of this voice change would happen during stage 3 – stage 4 of puberty, with the male larynx also growing and lengthening in height, resulting in a vastly different timbre and tone compared to a children singing voice.
The young boy undergoing puberty changes would usually have some problem in controlling their singing voice due to the many changes in range and tone occurring during this phase of their life.
These problems include manipulating the passagios or register changes between the various vocal registers, adjusting to the drop in range, as well as getting used to the 'new' voice that is vastly different and lower from the pre-puberty voice.
Some useful ways for young children, especially boys, to tide over this difficult period would be to maintain regular practice of
vocal cord exercises like the ‘lip trill’,
so as to be able to keep the vocal cords well exercised during this period, as well as to get used to the sound that is produced during these puberty changes, and to understand how to manipulate the new register changes.
A unique voice type applicable here would be that of the ‘Treble Voice’, which refers to male and female voices in the Soprano range that remain relatively unchanged even after puberty! This is less common among singers, and used to be referring more to boy sopranos, before girls were also included in children choirs.
An approximate vocal range for the Treble Voice would be from the A note below middle C (A3) to the F note one octave above middle C (F5), and the tessitura or most comfortable vocal range for a Treble singer would be similar or higher than the tessitura of a Soprano singer!
and if you are female, find out which voice type you belong to!
Knowing how our voices change during puberty helps adults to understand how they got their present voices, allows teenagers to be more aware of their vocal changes during this period, and also lets young children cherish their youthful voices more!