The Vocal Instrument 101

Course Outline

– Shannon Coates –

Sound 101 : what sound is & how it is made

frequency | amplitude | timbre | duration : let’s take these super-sciency words and break ‘em down.

The Power Source 101 : anatomy & physiology of the breathing mechanism

Boyle’s Law | diaphragm | intercostal muscles | muscles vs bones : you’re actually kind of awesome at breathing (I mean, you’re still alive, right?). now let’s become super-experts on how we’re doing that breathing thing.

Respiration 101 : breathing for singing

you know that the spine should have a nice curve in it, right? SO WHY DO WE TELL SINGERS TO STAND UP STRAIGHT? you know that the diaphragm moves every time we inhale, right? SO WHY DO WE TELL SINGERS TO BREATHE FROM THE DIAPHRAGM?

awww yeah: you know some things. LET’S APPLY IT TO SINGING (and maybe never use that “breathe from the diaphragm” thinggie every again).

The Resonator 101 : anatomy & physiology of the vocal tract

oral pharynx | nasal pharynx | laryngo pharynx | SO MANY PHARYNXES (PHARYNGI?
PHARYNGES? PHARYNXI? AAAAHH!) : wait. what’s a pharynx?

Resonance 101 : vocal resonance

now that you know what a pharynx is, let’s figure out how they work in creating vocal sound.

The Vibrator 101 : anatomy & physiology of the larynx

thyroid cartilage | cricoid cartilage | arytenoid cartilages : meet the OIDS. but also? meet the muscles that are named after them.

Phonation 101 : vocal sound source

how do those muscles work to create a sound source? HOWWWW?

The Vocal Instrument 101 : putting it all together

the denouement | the icing on the proverbial cake | the end of the road | the answer to LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING : don’t be silly; we all know it’s 42.