When you hear a recording of Whitney Houston belting out a classic like “I Will Always Love You,” it’s impossible to miss her raw talent and refined vocal skill. What’s amazing is that anatomically speaking, there’s no difference between Whitney Houston’s vocal system and yours.
Extraordinary singers “have the same size lungs as other people,” says Linda Carroll, a voice rehabilitation specialist. Dr. Steven Zeitels, director of the Voice Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, points out that singers’ vocal muscles are also the same size as yours — that is to say, they’re tiny. “I can place all your vocal muscles into one corner of one facial muscle,” Zeitels says.
In fact, whether we’re famous singers or not, our key voice apparatus is a little area in our larynx called the vocal folds. The vocal folds are made up of white ligaments shaped like the letter “V,” covered in a membrane. And when we speak or sing, those ligaments vibrate to create our voice. Our vocal folds are so small