​  Presentation: Push, Squeeze, or Stretch? Training Optimal Pitch Changing     Methods in the Voice Studio

 This presentation will explore optimal and suboptimal methods of changing pitch. To raise the pitch, should singers PUSH air,   SQUEEZE the vocal folds together medially, or STRETCH the vocal folds longitudinally? In fact, all three methods can lead to pitch   elevation but the optimal approach involves elongation and stretch of the vocal folds, via the action of the cricothyroid muscle. Using   increased volume (pushing more air) to raise the pitch can be effective because increased breath pressure causes the vocal folds to   vibrate faster and at a higher frequency. Ultimately, however, it is limiting from a technical standpoint to use volume as a pitch   changer. Similarly, over-adduction of the folds (squeezing them together) increases tension and can have the effect of raising the   pitch. A raised larynx often accompanies this over-adduction of the vocal folds. Again, the singer that is dependent on squeezing the   folds to acheve higher pitch will be limited. Some research by Tang and colleagues suggests that singers with more years of training   were found to change pitch “dynamically” by lengthening the folds, whereas singers with fewer years of training used “static” pitch   changing methods, utilizing an increase in tension, without an increase in vocal fold length (Tang et al., 2008). The three learning   objectives of this presentation are: 1) to understand the varied ways that singers can change pitch 2) to learn why dynamic pitch   change is optimal and an indicator of more advanced vocal technique 3) to provide practical methods to train dynamic pitch change.​

Melissa Treinkman, DMA

Melissa Treinkman, DMA, is an assistant professor of musical theatre vocal performance at the University of Southern California. Dr. Treinkman has presented at the NATS National Conference, the PAVA Conference, the Association of Popular Music Education Conference, the Northwest Voice Conference, and the Voice Foundation Symposium. Her publications can be found in the Journal of Singing, Journal of Voice, and the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance Journal. She was the 2020 recipient of the Voice Foundation’s Sataloff Award for Young Investigators and was the first to win in the category of vocal pedagogy. She currently serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Singing, where she is the author of "The Vocal Point" column. At LA Opera, she sang in the featured ensemble for the GRAMMY award winning production of The Ghosts of Versailles, performed the role of the Vendor in Carmen, and performed the role of a Noble Page in Tannhäuser. www.melissatreinkman.com

Financial Disclosure: Dr. Treinkman has no financial relationships to disclose. 

Non-Financial Disclosure:
 Dr. Treinkman has no non-financial relationships to disclose.