Vocal cords are set in the larynx (also known as the voice box or ‘Adam’s Apple’). They are tiny folds of skin attached to either side of the windpipe. Think of them as window shutters about the size of rubber bands.
When we breathe, they open to allow the air to pass in and out, but when you prepare to sing, the shutters close leaving just a bit of light between them.
The pressure of the column of air underneath the cords sets them vibrating and a sound is made. This sound is amplified by the spaces in the throat, and it escapes through the mouth.
The larynx is very delicate and can be easily damaged with rough treatment. Sometimes the word ‘attack’ is used for the onset of singing…not the right thing to do.
The onset of a note should be smooth and gentle. A ‘caress’ is better than an ‘attack’.
Watch the beginnings of your notes and be sure you have a gentle and smooth beginning, not an attack.
Have fun singing!