During the teen and tween years, the voice is continually changing and growing. Typically, this is more obvious with guys, but much to my surprise, girls are affected as well. Beautiful tones summoned by our minds escape our mouths as croaks and squeaks, which leads to frustration and embarrassment.
Around the age of 12, the male hormone testosterone causes many significant changes to the male voice and changes the quality or timbre of their speaking and singing voice. Surprisingly, girls also go through similar changes, but it is much less obvious—that is, unless vocal practice and performance singing is a part of your daily life. Then, YOU NOTICE! An increased breathiness or husky quality may appear, and sometimes even a cracking sound. There will most likely also be increased pitch inaccuracy while crooning out a favorite musical theater tune.
When this first started happening to me, I was a mess. My singing was all over the place with notes that had once seemed easy and secure. I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to continue performance singing. It was an awful feeling. There were times that I even thought about quitting altogether. But then I began to notice others in my class were going through the same thing. And even though I sometimes felt like all I could do was croak out notes off pitch, hearing others in my class doing the very same thing helped me realize I wasn’t alone. For me this lasted about eight months, but it’s different for everyone. Once much of the fluctuation is gone, our voices continue to develop until we hit our twenties—something to look forward to!
So if you’re finding that you are suddenly no longer pitch perfect, take heart, it won’t last. Just keep doing your daily vocal lessons, and before you know it, you’ll be back to belting out notes that will make you proud.
-A teen who likes to shimmer and shine!