Friday, May 16, 2008

Singing with longevity in mind

The physical element in aging. Yes, muscle fibers age and are not as supple as in youth, but muscle is renewable with the right exercise. One thing in the singing mechanism is not renewable, and that is the vocal cord (fold) itself. One of the main constituents is a tissue called elastin. It is formed in the embryo, but then the "elastoblasts", i.e, the cells that make the stretchy fibers, die off. No elastin is regenerated in the adult.Picture, then, a rubber band that is too often or too far stretched. I believe this is the case with the human voice that is pushed by career demands and large houses to perform to capacity over and over again. Yes, technique and care can make a big difference, but mileage piles up and when the "rubber meets the road" eventually the rubber loses.

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