I was observing a private voice lesson in Boston, as I have done many times since moving here last winter, and I heard an interesting metaphor about stopping the sound or ending the note -
"When you stop singing the note, it should be like Wile E. Coyote chasing roadrunner off the cliff, even though there's no ground underneath him, he still keeps going the same speed."
The sound in this case would be the ground underneath him, and the continuous running speed would evoke the sensation that air keeps 'moving' even when the note stops.
Language about 'air speed', 'continuing the air', 'not stopping the air', 'air flow' before, after and between notes, seems very prevalent and can often yield successes. I'm still very curious about what specifically happens in the system with the sensation of 'continuous air flow'.
I'm guessing in this example, that the goal for the student was to focus on the offset of the note. There is the concept that you can stop making sound by either opening the vocal folds or closing them. The image of continuing to run off the cliff, or continuing the air, was probably meant to evoke the former. Does stopping air flow by squeezing the folds tighter interrupt the sound waves mid-cycle and provide an abbruptness inappropriate for some styles or emotional motivations?
This seems to go along with the images of 'inhale immediately when you end the sound', and 'imagine you're still singing after a cut-off'. Are all these images translating to - create the offsets by opening the vocal folds, not squeezing them shut?