I started taking vocal lessons and the first thing we started working on is raising the soft palate. Wondering if I can get any other ideas on the importance of this and some suggestions. The suggestions I have been given is to singing like a ping pong ball is my mouth and to do a horse bite thing. I think it's working but its kind of hard to get feedback if I am doing it right on my own, which is why the lessons. On my own time, should I record myself and compare it to someone?
Its not really a great idea to compare your voice to anything other than your voice. Its something that is unique unto yourself and therefore incomparable. My favorite idea is that of a yawn, that's the space you want in your mouth. It's important because that helps channel air out of your mouth instead of out of your nose which would make your tone more nasal. Another way of accessing this is to talk like Hedonistic Bot (or whatever his name is) from futurama and that will give you some idea of the space that you need.
Cool, It's it okay to close your nose when you sing to evaluate whether or not if you are doing it correctly?
Ya having a flexible soft palate is good, because it will allow you to use your upper register and allow you to build a whistle/head resonance on your vocal cords.

Two more extremely important tips is 1. always sing with your nose, 2. sing with/focus on your upper jaws to balance both upper and lower registers. For some reason, focusing on the upper mandible allows the singer to perfectly blend high and low sections.
for me, the yawning sensation is a good way to feel how to rise my soft palate