Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
United Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Kids
Honk! Squeak! What the heck is that? A goose playing the trumpet? If you’re going through puberty (say: PYOO–bur-tee), it could be your voice. Both boys and girls experience voice changes as they grow older, but girls’ voices get only a little deeper. A boy’s voice, on the other hand, may change quite a bit — from sounding like a little kid to sounding like somebody’s dad!
How does this happen? The larynx (say: LAIR–inks), also known as your voice box, actually gets bigger during puberty. The larynx, located in your throat, is a tube-shaped piece of cartilage — the same stuff your ears and your nose are made from. One of its jobs is to let you talk, sing, hum, yell, laugh, and make all sorts of noises.
When a boy reaches puberty, his body begins making lots of testosterone (say: tes-TOSS-tuh-rone). The testosterone causes his larynx to grow and his vocal cords to get longer and thicker. Vocal cords are thin muscles that stretch across the larynx like rubber bands.
When you speak, air rushes from your lungs and makes your vocal cords vibrate, producing the sound of your voice. If you’ve ever plucked a small, thin rubber band, you’ve heard the high-pitched twang it makes when it’s stretched. A thicker rubber band makes a deeper, lower-pitched twang. It’s the same sort of thing with vocal cords.
Before you reach puberty, your larynx is pretty small and your vocal cords are kind of small and thin. That’s why your voice is higher than an adult’s. As you go through puberty, the larynx gets bigger and the vocal cords lengthen and thicken, so your voice gets deeper. As your body adjusts to this changing equipment, your voice may “crack” or “break.” But this process lasts only a few months. Once the larynx is finished growing, your voice won’t make those unpredictable, funny noises anymore.
Not only do older guys and men sound different from boys, but you can also see the difference in their necks. When the larynx grows bigger, it tilts to a different angle and part of it sticks out inside the neck. You can see it at the front of the throat. This is known as the Adam’s apple.
For girls, the larynx also grows bigger but not as much as in boys, so you can’t see it through a girl’s skin. There is no “Eve’s apple” in a woman’s neck.
Everyone’s timetable is different, so some kids’ voices might start to change earlier and some might start a little later. Some voices might drop gradually, whereas others might drop quickly.
If this hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t worry. And if you’re going through this now, try not to stress too much about the funny noises you make. It can help to talk to a parent, an older sibling, or a friend who’s already gone through the voice change. Before you know it, your voice will sound clear, strong, and more grown-up!
Where’s your Adam’s apple? Do you even have one? Find out in this article for kids.
When you’re growing up, lots of changes happen and everyone wonders: Am I normal?
On the way to becoming a man, a boy’s body will go through a lot of changes, including your body growing bigger, your voice changing, and hair sprouting everywhere. Find out more.
Voice cracking? Clothes don’t fit? Puberty can be a confusing time, but learning about it doesn’t have to be. Read all about it in this article for kids.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.