The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Songwriting Article
Support is for Jock Straps and Bras – Not Singing!
by Sally Morgan
© October 2011 Sally Morgan. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

Have you ever had nightmare-ish voice lessons? Boy, I have! One of the issues that constantly came up in my voice lessons was ‘support.’ I was punched in the stomach to make sure I was ‘supporting’, had 2 male teachers try to shove hands down my pants to make sure I was ‘supporting,’ told to lift up the piano while singing to engage the support, go into a clothes closet and sing as loud as I can to, well… make sure I was supporting the tone.

Did I really have the above experiences with voice teachers? Yes. Are these people crazy? No, just woefully uninformed (or lecherous as the case may be) about how the voice functions naturally. My life’s journey as been to discover how the voice functions naturally as an instrument, then make that process simple for my students to understand.

‘Support’ is a word uttered by vocal trainers everywhere. But what does it mean to ‘support’ the tone or ‘support’ the breath? Support as it relates to singing in my method is defined as: to be strong enough to keep the instrument (the breath/sound path) open without interfering with breath flow.

Think about the path that is opened when you inhale. Nasal passage, mouth, soft palate, windpipe, down to the deepest part of your lungs. Hopefully you engage muscles deep in your abdomen on inhale also. When you exhale and create sound, the breath follows the same path to 1) set the vocal folds vibrating and 2) then carry the sound out to the world. Any interference with that breath flow, adversely affects your sound.

Give this a try. Inhale simply by opening your airways – do not haul breath into the body. Opening the airways draws breath into the body naturally. Now as you blow the breath out, do your best to keep the airways open without the breath stopping and starting or being pushing or holding. That’s support.

Broadway performers love to work hard – even at their singing. Beware that working hard to produce sound means that your voice will never be free. Broadway performers need a voice flexible enough to respond to the demands of character, communication and content with the strength and vulnerability to bond with the audience.

After many years of frustration with good and bad voice teachers who didn’t really know how to help me, I developed a contemporary vocal method, Sing Like You Speak™: Morganix Method. What I hear most often from my students is, ‘That can’t be right! It’s too easy!!’ Yup, you got it. It is easy when the voice is ‘supported’ by staying out of the way of the natural process of vocalization. Staying out of the way by keeping an open instrument while you sing. Give it a try!

Sally Morgan is author of Sing Like You Speak™: Morganix Method, a respected singer/actor and an expert vocal trainer.
Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Berklee Music Resources
The Muse's News
Entertainment Cyberscope
Newer Articles
Past Columnists
Past Columnists - After March 2007
Market Information
Songwriting Contests
Chat Logs
Songwriting Books
Regular Columnists
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement