Lifting Palate

Posted in Category Open Discussion
  • G
    Grp 3 years ago

    Hi, I've learned that we should lift the soft palate when singing high notes. I can clearly feel that lifting in some wider vowels such as A and O, but I cannot maintain that feel of expansion all the time I sing. Also, I feel some tension in my jaw when I lift my soft palate. Am I doing anything wrong?

  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 3 years ago

    It's perfectly fine that your palate isn't staying at exactly the same heighth. I'd just ask you to monitor two things: when your palate drops, (1) are you still in tune and (2) is your tone still desirable? Those are the two reasons you'd want to keep it lifted (if you're going flat or getting a nasal/harsh/constricted tone). 

    I think I understand what you mean, about jaw tension. Because we're most familiar with the sensation of a lifted palate when yawning, your jaw may automatically start to feel "locked" like it does sometimes when you yawn. To correct that, I'd work on gaining independence with your palate and jaw. For example: lift the soft palate when your mouth is completely closed and keep it lifted as you open and close your mouth, lowering and lifting your jaw. Let me know if that helps!

  • G
    Grp 3 years ago

    Thanks you so much for providing the exercise! I think it helps!

    By the way, when I lift my soft palate, I can feel that my tongue goes backward and my larynx lowers. 

    Am I lifting my palate correctly? I kind of feel awkward at the moment.

  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 3 years ago

    Of course!

    It's very normal for your larynx to lower, and that's actually desirable in classical/operatic music - but if the resulting tone is too "classical" for you, you can try lifting less and see if your larynx stays more neutral!

    Your tongue should be independent of your palate; however, your tongue is attached to your hyoid bone, which is also attached to your larynx, so the movement of your larynx is probably why you're feeling your tongue retract! It's definitely possible, though, to keep your tongue relaxed. Try this: drop your jaw and have your tongue relaxed in the bottom of your mouth. When you lift your palate, bring your tongue slightly forward (so the front of your tongue is starting to touch your bottom lip). Then when you're able to do that, practice lifting the palate with the tongue remaining relaxed in a neutral position. 

  • G
    Grp 3 years ago

    Thanks a lot for solving my problem! I really enjoy your teaching!

  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 3 years ago

    It's my pleasure! Thank you, and keep up the great work!

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