June 25, 2011

The Evolution of Bones to Man

Bones' voice is changing. He's about to hit his first of two growth spurts. Any of you who have small boys, it happens twice... once between 6th and 7th grade (sometimes a bit later) and once around 15 or 16, unless you're like my buddy PT... Then it happens when you're like 21. Bwhahahahaa.

Typically the first growth spurt is when the voice changes, body hair appears, and they elongate. The second is more acne related and their bodies start to grow into man size. The muscles in their necks appear, their faces chisel, the shoulders grow broader. That first spurt is like the puppy with big feet spurt. The second one... they become men.

So with Bones we're in growth One, Ringo is on the cusp of growth Two, and Mr. T is as well. He is growing at a different rate than Ringo and may surpass him. We'll see.

Anyway, all year Bones' vocal teacher has been telling me his voice is starting to change, he can't hit the highest notes anymore, but I've not been able to tell. The only change I've seen are his long skinny crazy ugly feet, that are officially bigger than mine, no small feat as I have feet like boats.

Today I was reading during his lesson when I heard them going through the vocal warm ups. It's been two weeks since our last lesson as we missed last week. I've not posted, but Bones has some health issues that we're dealing with and it's kind of stressing me out. It caused us to miss last week.

So as they went through his warm ups... I noticed that he hit this low note he had NEVER hit before. It caused me to look up from my book, raise an eyebrow at his vocal teacher and say, "Did his voice change?"

She said, "Yup, it's been changing all year, but this week it's more noticeable."

I gather the vocal rule of thumb is the longer it takes your voice to change, as in a prolonged change, the more likely you are to be a tenor. If your voice changes like Ringo's, in what seems like over night, you'll have a lower voice, like a bass.

Bones will be a tenor. His Dad is probably a tenor.

Mr. T is a gravely Tenor 2, possibly a baritone. Listening to Mr. T speak is like wondering if he shredded his vocal cords on a gravel street. There is nothing smooth and warm about it. It took two years for it to change. He'd start to speak very low and then he'd pop into a high voice. This went on, literally, for over a year, when it finally settled. He'll never be called to read books on tape.

Ringo's voice is deep and warm, when he speaks. Talking to him is like talking into a well. The deeper voices tend to come from my side of the family. My brother's voice is pretty deep.

But Bones will be a tenor. He wants to be a bass, but it's not happening. He thinks the crazy deep voices are very cool.

And his vocal teacher told me a few weeks ago, that in the world of vocal, "Everyone wants to listen to a tenor. They make the money. But the bass get all the women..."

I think that's pretty funny. I'm not telling Bones. He'll want all the women...

Posted by Boudicca at June 25, 2011 12:40 PM
Comments

I'm not sure what I am. I can sing nearly as low as Cash (if it's particularly early in the morning/late at night I have no trouble though), there are a couple notes that I can't hit which he can. I can sing Frank, Sammy and Dino all day long though.

Posted by: Andrew Phule at June 25, 2011 09:21 PM

You may be a baritone. I think Sammy and Dean Martin were tenors, and Frank was too, but I think ultimately Frank was a baritone. I had to look him up. I assumed tenor, but I read as he aged he became a baritone. (Something about the smoking and drinking... lowered his voice.)

Tenor doesn't mean your voice is 'high' per se. Think of the three tenors. They have an amazing range, they just don't hang out in the low zone. Tenors are pretty versatile.

Last year Bones was a Tenor 1. His voice has dropped enough, he may have become a Tenor 2. We'll see during vocal try outs this August. The boys' vocal instructor has to stay on top of things in middle school. Usually they only listen to voices and distribute twice (I think) once at the beginning and once at mid year, but he is listening to them constantly and I think every now and then you get a kid who's voice just puts him in a different range right then and there, no waiting. It's absolutely fascinating.

His vocal coach also said the beauty of Bones' and it happening so gradually is he's able to keep up with it and move with his range change. She said she gets boys all the time that suddenly BLAMMO!, have a new voice and don't know how to use it.

Posted by: Bou at June 26, 2011 07:49 AM

Change can continue, too.

One of my high school vocal teachers told us that in college, he was a bass. Within the next ten years, he lost the low end of his range and moved into the baritone world. No smoking or other abuses. It just happened.

Posted by: Versatek6 at June 27, 2011 12:35 PM

Versatek6- You know, I can see that happening. I think with age and use, our bodies change, why not should our voices?

I know the range of my voice has changed considerably, and I don't even sing. And my voice takes far less abuse. For instance, I could go to a football game and yell and scream with everyone else and feel no effects. Now when I do it, I'm a mess for two or three full days.... sometimes a week. I consciously make an effort not to yell at events because I really hate losing my voice. And truly, I have actually full on lost my voice over a dang game.

With Bones, we're constantly reminding him to protect his. His... is a gift.

Meanwhile, I envision mine turning into the scratchy old lady voice my paternal grandmother had. I give it 10 years... ;-)

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