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How to Build a Working Vocal Cord Model

Understand how the vocal cords work!


  • 12 ounce sturdy plastic soda bottle

  • 9" balloon (will be the "diaphragm")

  • 12" balloon (will be the "lung")


  • Pull the first balloon tightly over end of tube so that it covers about half the opening.

  • Pull the second balloon tightly over end of tube to cover the other half of the opening and just barely overlap with the first balloon.

  • Wrap rubber band around balloons to secure in place

  • Trim balloons so there aren't ends hanging off (optional)

  • Test your vocal cords by blowing hard. If it doesn't work, readjust the balloons (most common problem is that the balloons aren't pulled tight enough).

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