Knowing how to move the soft palate and coordinate movement with the tongue is important for speaking and singing. If the soft palate does not rise, there is a sound that has too much resonance in the nose. Learning to control the soft palate effectively is essential for a healthy singing voice, as it is one of the few voluntary muscles associated with singing, diaphragm and vocal cords, which are also involuntary muscles. The soft palate can be considered as the “door of the nose”. Using the soft palate in the correct way ensures a constant resonance and adequate airflow on each of the resonant sounds; essentially “closing” on a vocal sound, and “opening” on a resonant consonant or buzzing like an “N” or “NG” sound. To create a sound that has a resonance tone, follow the advice in this guide that will explain how to use the palate in singing.
Illuminating the soft palate
Singers spend a lot of time trying to “lift their soft palate”. Sometimes their efforts to do this can cause bad habits. Controlling the soft palate when singing is a basic skill, often implemented by the best singers. Stand in front of the mirror and light up the back of your mouth with a torch. Locate the soft palate and try to move your tongue. Move your palate upwards and then release it.
Lift the soft palate
Lift your soft palate and practice. Release it and hold it down again for four counts.
Keep your soft palate up and move your tongue up and down.
Practice moving the back of your tongue up and down until you are sure you know how to move it and then release it. Lift your soft palate and release your tongue. Do not press the tongue down, but release it so that there is space in the mouth or the right distance between the soft palate and tongue.
Checking the palate
Learning to control the soft palate for open throat singing will increase the reach of the sound, build your resonance and also free the tension from your voice as you rise. The best way to develop this simple mechanism is to deliberately close the soft palate before training each of the vocal sounds. If you create a habit in implementing the soft palate in this way, the correct use will be the healthy habit that you build and will become a second nature. The soft palate is a natural function of your voice and can be trained daily through these simple exercises.
It is important to distinguish this simply because you are lifting your palate during a breath, but this does not mean that your palate remains throughout your singing.