Someone I know told me she used to sing well but now can only sing low in her chest voice. She blames years of exposure to secondhand smoke and age (50's or 60's). Is it true that you lose the ability to sing with age? If so can anything be done about it? Thanks
Post by Coach Yvonne on May 12, 2003 14:52:21 GMT -5
I have the same answer. ;D If you keep your voice and body healthy and free from abuse, you should be able to sing to your grave.
However, some notes on some of the things that can happen:
I am not in as good of physical shape as I was ten years ago (although I am working on it!). This means I am a bit more challenged in the airflow department.
Other factors that could affect the voice over time are: environmental factors such as those you already mentioned, but also talking incorrectly or too much or too loudly among many other bad habits.
One big one for retired singers is "lack of use". You may be able to sing like a lark when you are twenty, but if you don't use those muscles and keep them in good shape you could end up sounding like a frog when you are sixty!
Just like anything else in life, it seems that it will last as long as you take care of it.
There is a new site dedicated to vocal health. It currently is highlighting helpful products for singers/speakers. You may want to check it out:
I'm sixty and have only in the past five years become active in singing, after decades since my college choir years. I think my voice is better than it was then, I certainly know more about using it. Who knows how it would have been if I'd been singing all this time? You start with what you have. There are big recording stars whose voices are surprising: Tom Waits, Melanie, Bob Dylan to name only three. So the question is simply: do you lose the ability to sing like you did at twenty? Maybe, but so what?
Yeah, I'm scared about that too. I'm quite young still, and all my friends, family, and teachers tell me that I have a beautiful voice and tone, but I am scared that as I get older my voice will change, and I will lose my touch. Although most people who hear me sing say I already sound older than I am, I'm am still afraid of my voice changing for the worse over the years.
Everybody says you get goosebumps when you touch your soulmate, and I ask if maybe they were just cold...
Post by suspenseful on Apr 10, 2004 16:26:26 GMT -5
I find that my range has now increased.
That part about your range going lower, well that happens if you don't practice. (Yup, once you reach a certain age, you're stuck in the altos and if you're better at learning by ear than by note, you have a problem.) I find that I can now reach the Soprano C, the C after the high C and I'm in my early 60s. I couldn't do it when I was in my teens. However I find I have to do scales and practice at least 5 days a week to accomplish this and have to remember to breath deeply from the diaphragm. It isn't easy. I regret that I was discouraged from singing after my teens.
Many operatic singers prime in their older age. Great examples are Luciano Pavarotti(whos 68 and still singing in a high range), Placido Domingo(also quite old but still singing strong), Andrea Boccelli(I'd say he's almost 50 now...? He's just priming too), so yeh.
You shouldn't be afraid of a failing range, never live in the future! As everyone said, if you keep practising and training and striving to improve, you'll be great!
"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Post by lorifredrics on Dec 23, 2004 20:16:41 GMT -5
Yes, women can have an enormous voice change a restriction or range flexibility and slowing of the vibrato rate. If an older woman is serious about maintaining a soprano range see your doctor or a specialist endocrinologist about hormone replacement. If you take the hormones during the change of life you can prevent this change of voice.
Post by suspenseful on Dec 25, 2004 14:30:51 GMT -5
You really don't need hormone replacement. It can be detrimental. HOwever a good diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and salads, plus soya beans (careful of soya bean sauce with the salt) will help. I heard that flax seed is good so, but don't quote me on that. What you should do is go on a web site about natural hormone replacement therapy etc. Anyway not all the women start getting wrinkly, and sound like a bass when they pass the age of 50. Some can sing high, colatura even. You might be one of the lucky ones and if you take care, your voice and range shouldn't lower, but you have to practice.
Hi I trained in opera to jazz I am now 58 and the only things that has went down is an octive was soprano .Most important thing is use it your voice is a muscle neglect it and it will become weak like any other muscle.take care annmac happy singing
Post by suspenseful on May 28, 2008 23:23:31 GMT -5
I have not been on here for a while. I am 65 and my voice has gotten higher. I was an alto in my teens, so the information that when you grow older and you are a woman, you are going to turn form a soprano to an alto may not be correct. I never took hormones, I heard that they are also dangerous but I ate a lot of salads with broccoli and stuff and maybe that is keeping my voice young. Besides telling women that once they go past menopause, their voice will eventually turn into a bass, is rather discouraging.