“Voice is speech, and is produced by the mouth, not by the vocal folds (cords).  The vocal folds in the larynx produce only sounds, or primitive vibrations, which are transformed into vowels and consonants by a phonetic process taking place in the mouth and giving origin to the voice”.       

Dr. P Mario Marifioti, ENT (ear nose and throat physician)

There is so much discussion in the singing world about vocal folds or what used to called vocal cords.

I hear some voice teachers and coaches teaching their students how to manipulate the vocal folds to improve the singers sound and range.  But as Dr. Marifioti’s scientific principle points to, this is not where the voice is produced, neither speaking or singing voice (since they are the same physiological process).

We now know that it is the Inner Ear, in collaboration with the Central Nervous System or brain, that speaks or sings.  Any time that you do anything in the Sound Center or laryngo-pharyngeal space (larynx and pharynx), you interfere with Nature and limit your possibilities of communicating authentically, naturally, and resonantly, whether singing or speaking.

It is this Inner Ear structure that manages all body awareness, movement and coordination (middle ear muscles controls all the body’s muscles) and all sound production, language, resonance, prosody and much, much more.

So, as Dr. Alfred Tomatis, another ENT made clear, it is the ear the sings (if you know the nervous system) and a highly developed listening ability is key to artistic innovation, virtuosity and vocal mastery.

Whereas it has taken a dedicated singer 7 to 10 years of study and performing (if they have the aptitudes that are needed), today we can accelerate that process with Inner Ear training in the Tomatis® Method. With specifically programmed listening training base on the singer’s specific issues (we do a Listening Test), we can bring a high degree of balance and stability to the Inner Ear system and this will have immediate benefit in the voice. Any dysfunction in any one of its aspects of the vestibular-cochlear system, will lead to a marked dysfunction of the entire system. When we re-balance the Middle Ear muscles with training the voice improves dramatically.

I write about this extensively in my upcoming book, “Intrinsic Singing”.