Many people do not think of the singing voice as a musical instrument. Actually, it is the primary instrument as it existed prior to the invention of any other instrument which accompanies a singer or plays alone. As with any instrument, the singing voice can be trained and well cared for and, in doing this, the singer will keep in practice and keep their instrument well "tuned".
As with any musical instrument, the singing voice ought to be kept well tuned. One way of doing this is to keep the vocal chords as relaxed as possible when singing, so that their vibrations will produce an optimal vocal quality. One way of relaxing the vocal chords is to not force the sound through them.
As a muscle, the diaphragm can be trained to perform to the singer's requirements, whether the need be long sustained notes, short staccato notes or projecting the singing voice when microphones are not available. The diaphragm is the muscle which divides the lungs from the abdomen and which the body uses to regulate air intake and output from the lungs.
The way the lips, the facial sinuses and the tongue are used for vocal production will determine the quality of sound the singer emits. Singing lessons, from a well-qualified instructor, will help a student learn how to use these parts of their instrument to produce the best sound. Producing good to excellent singing depends on more than just the vocal chords.
Singing lessons are, therefore, just as important to train the singing voice as are lessons for any other instrument if the performer wishes to make the best of their vocal instrument. Just as a person's speaking voice is unique, so will be their singing voice. A singer might be influenced by a certain style, or aspire to sound like another singer, but the best results will occur if the singer is true to the sound produced by their own voice.
Training will help a singer invest in their own voice. A singing coach like Helene Goldnadel will best be able to guide a singer in how to use their instrument by introducing exercises to condition the areas and muscles of the body which support sound, such as the diaphragm, the lungs, the abdomen, the lips, the tongue and the facial sinuses. An experienced coach like Helene Goldnadel will also advise that the vocal chords will require warm up and cool down periods.
Like any well-tuned equipment or instrument, the vocal chords must be warmed up to produce their best quality sound. Similarly they ought to be clear of mucus and food well in advance of using them for singing. There will be different exercises introduced for various sound and pitch formations, for various singing styles and for the various locations of producing different sound qualities such as tone and color. A well-trained, professional vocal coach will teach a singer when and what to eat before singing as well as how to rest the vocal chords between singing engagements.
A good vocal coach will also insist that the vocal chords stay well hydrated. The singer will be encouraged to drink plenty of water before and after a singing lesson or engagement. A singer will also be encouraged to sip water between tunes when performing in order to keep the vocal chords well hydrated as well as all the muscle systems which support them.
A singer ought to record their singing voice during lessons and during performance so that they can hear and recognize areas which might require more work. As with any other instrument, developing this one requires study, dedication, commitment, practice and time.