Over the years I got quite a few of singing teachers. One of the mantras is singing into the mask. However, some teachers disagree on the fact being nasal is a good thing or not. But this is not the question.

The real question is: can these 2 things (singing in the mask and being nasal) be really separated? I don't think it's possible to do one without the other. What would the physical mechanism be, which allow someone to bring the vibration in the face (mask) but not in the nose. Is it even physically possible?

You can do a simple experiment now. Try first not to sing into the mask (by dropping jaw and tongue completely). You will see that closing the nose with your fingers will create no change in the sound at all.

Now try to sing into the mask (by smiling a little bit and bringing the vibration forward). At this point, if you are really in the mask, you will notice that closing the nose with your fingers will create a slight change in the sound. That means you are nasal.

So, again... is it even possible to really sing into the mask without being nasal?

3 Answers 3


I just tested. I first dropped my jaw and tongue completely and sang a drone. Closing my nose with my fingers did not change my sound. Then I projected my voice and vibration forward while still singing the same drone note. Closing my nose with my fingers still did not change the sound.

It's possible I missed a few details about "singing into the mask" and I therefore did this exercise wrong, but as far as I can tell, it is possible to "sing into the mask" without being nasal or introducing enough nasal elements to the voice that closing your nose will affect the sound.

At points, though, I projected my voice wrong and did have closing my nose affect my sound....


My experience is that you will need to be nasal to sing in the mask. The air flow (which produces the sound) will need to pass through both the mouth and the nose. For sufficient air flow (the amount of air must be huge!) you will need a lot of space inside your mouth (note that it does not mean that your jaw is opened as open as you can!). The space inside your mouth opens the passageway to the nose also, making your voice larger and adding more air flow to it.

If you only sing nasal, your voice is well in the mask but it is not round and full enough, because the air flow goes primarily through the nose, and does not "circulate" at the back of your mouth. And if you sing through the mouth only and close your nose, you will not have the metallic sound of the voice (CVT people might find the term twang helpful) at all, even though your voice could be big and round - it still does not travel as far in a theater!

can these 2 things (singing in the mask and being nasal) be really separated? According to my text above, they can. Singing in the mask also requires sufficient air flow for the sound to resonate in the facial region, and after that resonating in the body, and this also means training the muscles inside the mouth and in your facial region. Without the air flow you only get the sharp nasal sound (compare it to a witch cackling) which also is not round enough and does no resonate in the body, only the nose.

I will have to try closing the nose myself. Closing the nose with your fingers also closes the air flow, which should affect the facial resonance (= singing in the mask) too.


My understanding is that closing the nose is quite different from singing using the mask. Checking for no sound change when you close your nose shows that air is coming out the mouth not the nose (generally good).

Singing in the mask (to me, I could be wrong) is a question of getting certain "head" resonances going - typified by the sound "nay". You can sing "nay" quite OK with the nose closed (OK it sounds like you have a cold but the sound can be there and still very resonant.)

So to me air coming out the nose too much is not good (you are losing air and efficiency), while using the mask is a source of resonance which gives power and projection, use it to taste. It's done by some kind of shaping of the vocal tract to control how the instrument resonates.

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