Chatty if I may
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,454
    My second son's voice is now changing. I was hoping it was a cold? allergies? But deep in my heart I know it is puberty.
    :( It is so sad because he had the most pure and lovely soprano voice. I have two more boys (5+7) and I can tell they will be decent singers, so I'm blessed... but still... I'm sad.

    And today we were rehearsing the Crux Fidelis. I gave duos and trios in my choir the verses to liven it up. Well two of my altos blew me away. They sounded like the Benedictine Nuns. One is in her fifties, the other in her twenties. I had no idea it would be so sublime. It was a lovely gift.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,370
    What a blessing!
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • How old is your son whose voice is changing? Does he really love singing? There are those skilled voice paedagogues who can guide a young singer through this period without him having to stop singing, but helping him to find his adult voice. If you have such in your area, either a good choirmaster who works with boys and the developing male voice, or a respected university vocalist, you might look into this.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I've heard that encouraging the use of head voice until the voice completes its change is a good course of action, as it promotes vocal health during the change. If someone knows better than I, please correct me.
    Thanked by 3canadash CHGiffen G
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    Lovely story, Canadash.
    ClergetKubisz, purely anecdotally, I have seen that to be the case. Boys who weren't "afraid" of their head voices, of sounding "girlish" up to that point seemed to weather the change very well.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    CK, I don't think there's silver bullet/panacea solution, and the last place I would encourage extensive work would be in the falsetto. Each kid's laryngeal development presents uniquely, sometimes even on a daily basis (my grandson, 14, perfect case study.) And the larynx is only one aspect of the problem/solution equation- there are other instabilities that are constantly in play.
    Depending upon the situational needs (boy in a chorus, lead in a musical over a period of months, social situations, etc.) a teacher would have to address them presecriptively.
    G, I am most likey wrong, but cultivating the use of a head voice is a delicate matter because it involves using the larynx in a modified manner, especially around the shifting passagio, and I'm not sure I would try to coax an adolescent on manipulating the mechanisms in order to stay above the passagiio.
    In general, the identification and easy-does-it approach to recognizing a workable, likely narrow tessitura in the formant register that doesn't strain the developing muscular tissue would be my starting point.
    Just had a 7th grade boy duet ALW's Pie Jesu with my daughter on Palm Sunday, he's still unchanged as he didn't strain on the Ab's, but I can sense a change in his timbre from last Christmas to now, and he should be okay to sing "Pin Ball Wizard" for the Spring Sing in May. Then, all bets are off.
    Thanked by 1SamuelDorlaque
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,596
    Pray he's a Tenor (since most choirs need them desperately!)
    Thanked by 1musiclover88
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,454
    Thank you for your advice.

    Dear son (ds) #2 is 13 and will be 14 in December. He continues to sing. I think this is because we are an amateur choir and his pitch is great so he's a bit of a leader to the adults and enjoys this very much.

    I have placed him with the tenors (his choice. I think he liked being the "pet" soprano, but in the end did not feel comfortable there as the only male). I am praying that he will be a tenor. Ds1 is a fine bass and having this one as a tenor would be a boon to the section.

    He has almost entirely lost his upper range. This did not happen to ds 1. He had a fantastic range for a good eight months. It was amazing. Ds 2 is different. He told me he will continue to sing, but no solos until everything settles.

  • There was a story picked up today by the Wash Post about Cincinnati Boychoir working on a medical study of how boys' voices change and how to keep them singing during the transition. It sounds like this hasn't been done, which surprises me.

    Here's Cincinnati.com's story: StudyingMysteryBoysChangingVoice

    Here’s the choir's link CincinnatiBoychoir It looks like an amazing organization, far beyond what our churches do.

    Of interest to this forum, I would guess to justify singing religious or liturgical music, the site includes a Vision Statement & Statement on Religion:

    The Cincinnati Boychoir instills a passion for vocal arts excellence in its members and audiences and reflects the cultural diversity of Greater Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Boychoir embraces all forms of spiritual belief among its employees, members, and patrons. The Cincinnati Boychoir chooses musical programs based on the quality of the music and the educational value for young people.
  • I will be very interested to follow this study. For the last four centuries much of the area of "Vocal Pedagogy" has been governed by fantasy rather than science. The last seventy-five years have seen an increase in interest in learning what really happens. Sadly the research comes at a time when we as a society are less willing to support the arts and especially spend money and time to nurture them. Kudos to Cincinnati Boychoir and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital staff for their wonderful cooperation.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen canadash