There is a vocal coach I have been talking to on the vocalist social network website "The Modern Voice.com" named HIH Darrison Noto Bentheim Murat. Writing on his recent blogpost, veteran opera singers have what is known as "frontal tracking" which he says is like a callous starting at the gum line at the top of the teeth going back along the "suture line" to the soft palate, which can be felt with the tongue.
Now I know most of you reading my blog will not be opera singers, but this concept has a lot to do with all kinds of contemporary singing, too. The act of consciously, properly and habitually placing your voice in the voice "Path" of the open throat that I talk about causes certain muscles to strengthen and coordinate, certain tissues to become more flexible and certain adaptations in various structures of the throat and mask. This makes it easier to get in the right place the next time you sing.
Breath function works this way, too. If you get in the habit of correct inhale, breath support and breath control, certain muscles strengthen and coordinate and others (shoulders, neck, jaw) relax and become flexible.
Psychological habits also cause physical adaptations. If you perform as communication, your face will get a work-out. Your body language will be sensitive to what it is actually communicating instead of just going through the motions of singing.
This incredible knowledge should give you fresh incentive for what should be one of your new year resolutions: To practice using your voice correctly. The better the form, the more this practice becomes your "modus operandi", and you wouldn't think of singing any other way, because your body has adapted to "make it so". (yeah, I'm a trekkie)
It should also let you know that you are capable of more voice than you think... if you work with great vocal technique. A beginning chef or guitar player has hands that are not nearly ready for the heat and moisture a master chef's hands deal with, or for the riffs and stamina of playing by a veteran guitar player.
Practicing INCORRECTLY, on the other hand, is like banging on a piano. The vibrations actually affect the wood of the instrument... playing well makes a piano "sound" better as the wood hardens around those great vibrations. Playing poorly messes up the wood.
So... work mindfully and carefully as you do your vocal exercises and/or your pitch practice, and if you are interested, join the modern voice.com network and add me as friend!