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Could an Invasive Surgery Be the Cause to My Vocal Problems? If Not, What is?

Hello, I’m an 18 year old aspiring musical theatre performer/singer. I year and a half ago I had a surgery to remove a large invasive but benign tumor from my left nasopharynx structure in my sinus/nasal cavity/thing. In order to remove it, they had to remove part of my cheekbone and replaced it with a titanium cheekbone in the nasopharynx area. So my question for you is, how do you think this has affected my voice as a whole, in terms of tone, resonance, range etc? My range is from a low A to the A or Bb above middle C, but I have trouble sitting on notes above an F# for multiple words and I crack sometimes, which is probably just a breath/tension issue that I’m working on correcting! Thanks a lot, I really hope my metal cheekbone isn’t a liability for my voice.

-Connor

Hey Connor,

While I’ve heard a lot about bone resonance and how it enhances the voice, given where you’re saying you’re having issues, I’d attribute your problem more to normal vocal hurdles that need to be cleared instead of an issue related to the reconstruction.

Right around that second bridge (F# to A or so) tends to be the most difficult place for most guys to sing through… myself included. And if I have to sit there for any given period of time, I have to really pay attention to what I’m doing technically to make things come out the way that I want it.

Of course, that’s prime mixing territory, and finding that perfect balance of enough chest voice so that it transitions seamlessly along with enough head voice that it’s sustainable can be a real challenge. For most guys, they need to work more on transitioning more from head voice to chest voice, as to keep the proper balance while not being tempted to take too much weight up.

Modifying the vowel to a more narrow vowel and making sure to keep the larynx low are also required.

I hope this isn’t too technical, and if it is, I describe this in a little bit more detail in this article here on How to Sing Well  This should help your issue, but getting back to your original question… I mentioned bone resonance before. But if you think about it, metal also has an interesting sound when it resonates. So if anything, I’d think it’s probably more of an asset for you than a liability if it altered your sound at all, as a unique sound is usually preferred over the typical.

 

I hope this helps!

Vocal Coach Ken Taylor

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