Laryngeal Tilt – a correction

This term is an example of describing something that happens, but it isn’t obvious about what “action items” will get you there. If you sing a rising octave, sliding between the pitches, and keep it gentle and sweet rather than loud and forceful, you can get in touch with the fact that the cricothyroid muscles pull the thyroid cartilage forward. A few years ago I started to hear teachers online talk about “working on laryngeal tilt”. I had questions and couldn’t find answers, which really bothered me. Is the larynx tilting because the singer is consciously specifically commanding CT muscles to contract? Why call attention to something you can’t really explain as a teaching tool? The teachers that I encountered were not coherent about explaining it.

“Laryngeal tilt” didn’t make any sense until I met David Jones. He actually teaches the how and why of making it work for you. A few months after I wrote a harsh blog post on this term, I attended a David Jones teaching weekend and saw what he does with real singers, using that language. He explained the provenance of the term in his background, including his work with Alan Lindquest. In lessons and classes one can see how he uses it successfully.

David recently challenged me on the original post, and rightfully so. The harsh and complaining post has been switched out for this one. I wonder how many other voice terms I have misunderstood in a similar manner? I am trying to stay open to corrections, explanations, and demonstrations that can unravel mysteries and make me a better teacher and writer.

Thank you, David!

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