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I love Julie Andrew’s voice and have always loved her work. I love it because I could always hear every word and her singing was relaxed and easy. Singing is really about telling the story and so we the audience needs to get every word clearly and easily.
She did have vocal nodules (nodes) eventually and I can see how that might have happened. If you listen carefully, you hear that she inhales though her mouth, literally draws air in with her throat after many longer phrases. And if you watch her body, you see that she uses her breath in a compressional way, meaning that rather than maintaining a lift and separation in the upper rib cage, her chest cavity compresses downward as she begins to sing the next phrase. When you are younger, you can easily get away with singing like this. But as you get older, from you mid thirties onward, this will have a wearing effect on your vocal apparatus, or your larynx. This can lead to irritation and eventually nodules.
Because she sang on stage a child onstage, she had put her time in her art and she had mastered the singing abilities that made her a sought after actor who sings. But if you have not been taught how to keep the Sound Center and the Speech Center fully independent of one another, you may eventually cause your own vocal issues. This is because your larynx is meant to be completely relaxed at all times while singing in order to allow it to ‘set off a vibration in the spinal column’ . This is called bone vibration and it is completely under the control of the ear. We feel our own voice as bone vibration before we hear our own voice through air conduction of sound. Bone vibration of our own voice is ten times faster than air conduction of our voice, based on the work of ear, nose and throat Dr. Alfred Tomatis and whose work I am trained in.
You have to learn the precise motor skills, or somatic motor skills, in order to have your larynx remain in complete relaxation in order not to generate irritation in the delicate vocal folds, that used to be called vocal cords. This takes time to get it into what is called procedural memory, or body memory, if you don’t already have it innately. You also have to have superior listening capabilities while singing or again, you can eventually cause your audio-vocal loop to become dysfunctional due to poor vocal emission.