The Nozzle

Antique Garden Hose Nozzles 

I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that singing teachers have been using analogies for a long time. One such analogy, which I haven't heard for more than a decade, and which was used by García School exponents, likened the vocal instrument to a garden hose. 

Surprised? Don't be. I can quite imagine the father of voice science using this analogy since he often talked about sticking close to nature, had a garden outside his studio in the suburbs of London, and refrained from using physiological terms in the studio, believing that their use only confused the student. He's also the same teacher who gave Anna E. Schoen-René a rose from his garden, saying it represented perfect tone (see America's Musical Inheritance: Memories and Reminiscences, 1942 ). What can we learn from this? García was probably more of an empiricist that we would like to admit.

The analogy of a garden hose is a simple one; the hose itself representing the singer's open throat and flow of tone, as well as the avoidance of guttural or nasal production, which would close the throat by "stepping" on it. It's origin low in the body, the hose ended in the face with the aural awareness of voice placement.

Breath, Open Throat, Voice Placement.

That's how they thought about it. If we don't think about singing in these terms anymore, well... that's because voice science took voice placement out of the picture, thereby confusing physiology with audiology and the singer's perception of tone, which was predicated on Italian tonal values.

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