I am a woman who gets mistaken for being a man over the phone and it really irritates me. When I try to speak higher, as if I’m a child (maybe a stupid technique, but am grasping at straws now), it feels false and, frankly, it seems to make my voice ‘rougher’ over time. I also sing and find my voice is too ‘male’ on playback as well. I’ve never had vocal lessons except as a child and don’t recall them. Will a vocal coach help with *both* of these issues? Is a woman with a naturally low (alto for example) voice doomed to stay there or something? Can you recommend an exercise that will put my voice back into a higher range? I don’t want to sound ‘girly’ in some put-on, silly, phony way, but I really need help.
The size of the voice and hormonal factors greatly influence pitch, as do age and usage. Absolutely, a voice coach can help with raising pitch and getting rid of roughness in the voice. The pitch and quality of the voice can change as far as your natural physiology and health will allow. You can make these shifts and remain authentic, although it might take time to identify with a new vocal tone.
In the meantime:
— Do lots of humming on “M, N and NG” (like at the end of the word sing).
— Without trying to change the pitch, just see if you can find a slimmer, trimmer voice by making sure there is no pressure. Do not be breathy, but do be gentle with the sounds you make.
— Try making little sirens, like an emergency vehicle, so that you move into the higher voice from the lower. In this way you can try to keep the higher voice connected to your mature grounded voice rather than becoming childish.
— Do little detached laughing sounds that move from low to high and back again, to just be able to touch points of sound on any pitch you like. Notice that the mechanism can be lighter without losing authenticity.