Throughout childhood the voice will experience many different changes. Some of these changes include a higher pitched voice in women, and lower pitched voice in men. These changes can occur during a large portion of life. The reasoning behind these changes is caused by the rapid growth of the larynx, and the vocal folds. The larynx gives a passageway for air to reach your lungs and is also known as the voice box. The vocal folds are what vibrate and create sounds. With both of these growing the voice will experience change.
Considering the previous information it may come as a surprise that since a babies larynx and vocal folds are smaller, they won’t produce as much sound as a matured adult. Well we have all heard a screaming baby and know that is not the case. The baby has smaller vocal folds, which can produce a higher intensity of sound. Babies also have a higher lung pressure than average adults. This makes them capable to be as loud as an adult just with a little bit more effort.
When a child has reached adolescence the male in particular will experience more vocal change then female. The larynx grows faster and thicker which changes the range and timbre of the voice. You will notice that boys ages 12-13 will start to gradually change into a deeper set voice. When the boys are 17-18 you will notice the changes will stop and they will seem more comfortable with their deeper voice. Meanwhile there will not be as many noticeable changes in the female voice. The girls may experience a husky or breathy tone to their voice.
The voice will stabilize around the age of 20 and will not change till your middle ages. The cartilage around the larynx will harden and create more tension around the vocal chords to create a better support system. In other cases age age can diminish the voice. Some of these less beneficial outcomes include, atrophy, dystrophy, and edema. All of these symptoms happen in the soft tissues. The thyroid muscle controls pitch and when some of the soft tissue deteriorates it can become difficult to speak or use the voice properly. When dealing with dystrophy the voice can become very weak. The voice becomes weak and fluttery because the nerve cells are no longer sending the neural signals properly. The last thing that can occur is Edema. This has to do with the vocal folds swelling causing hoarseness and lowering of the voice. It is always important to tune into how your voice is sounding and feeling.
If you would like to learn more fascinating information about how the voice works, come and take voice lessons with our fabulous instructors at OMSD! Check out our website today for more information! https://www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com/voice-lessons-omaha-ne/