Friday, November 21, 2014

Vocal Issues… Can I fix my voice by remote means?

 As technology progresses, more and more, I have been asked if I could do my instruction and an actual voice treatment via Skype, FaceTime, or phone. 

The people who are inquiring sincerely believe that the above is possible. 

I have news for them, IT IS NOT!!! 

The problem with the voice is a serious matter and it has to be treated seriously. 

Yes, perhaps, you can learn how to play guitar or even piano remotely, but the voice is an “internal instrument” and it requires special manipulations with the body and body language to discover it, uncover it, and recover it from within; especially when it’s trapped in the neck, shoulders, and chest, not to mention throat and nasal passages. 

In this case the physical body has to be completely balanced and centred, the subconscious and conscious mind have to be aligned, the intellectual understanding has to be totally coupled with motor skills, and thus the wholesome mechanism has to be in place to allow the voice to work in the fullest capacity possible with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy. 

When I’m recovering the voice, or even just instructing the person on how to speak or sing properly, I connect with that person on an intimate, so to speak, level of being (almost like a mother connects with her baby by umbilical cord). 

Without that, the restoration of the voice, or even an instruction of voice placement for the healthy voice is not possible. 

So now, you my reader, please tell me whether something like that described above could be achieved remotely, without the master instructor and the student being present, in person, in the same room? 

So this is your riddle.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vocal Damage: Bad Vocal Habits Backfire… Adapt and Embrace a New Modality of a New Vocal Behaviour

Nowadays, a lot of singers are susceptible to a variety of vocal disorders. 

That happens because in the first place they never “owned” the right vocal technique, the kind which would prosper their voice to the fullest capacity possible; and at the same time it would save and protect their voice for life. 

The result – Voice Disorder

Now the process of restoration of one’s voice begins. 

A lot of those students, “who were really very good students,” have learned the wrong technique really well and formed it into their vocal habits. 

Not only do we have to fix their “vocal instrument,” so to speak, but also have to get rid of bad habits, like: dropping their jaws down, sticking their stomach out, scooping and sitting under the notes, excessively using their nasal passages, or their very throaty sounds. 

It’s easier said than done, though. 

Those habits are usually deeply embedded in the person’s psyche and the body muscles, which are also retaining the memory. 

Now we have to re-teach the body and the brain to feel differently, and rather than interfere with the voice, help the voice to be supported, structured, placed and projected to its aimed destination. 

The lower abdominal muscles have to be conditioned to be tucked in for the greater support of the height of the sound. 

The upper diaphragm muscles have to learn to work on the principle of an accordion, so to speak.
The singer has to be able to access the length of the phrase coming and open the upper diaphragm muscles accordingly. (No pun intended). 

If the phrase is short, but the upper diaphragm open to the fullest, it will backfire, as the singer will not be able to close the diaphragm back in, and instead will end up working with the old air, the result of which, quite possibly, would produce hyper-ventilation, which in turn could cause shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitation, and deprivation of oxygen, altogether. 

Al those symptoms could be completely deadly to the human body, and may not only damage the voice, but could become literally fatal.

So the wrong singing business could be more dangerous than anybody could anticipate. 

Therefore, it is a must for anybody who attempts any singing (even at the karaoke) to know what they’re doing vocally. 

You will not visualize a figure-skater who attempts to jump a triple-axle without a very specific training, as this, too, could result in a great injury. 

So please do not attempt to do any vocal “escapades” unless you know predominantly what the result would be. 

Thus, you would be able to prevent any vocal injury occurrence.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"RRRR" Plan In Case of Voice Damage

·         REVIEW
·         RELIEF
·         RE-BUILD

More and more people seem to be suffering from one or another cause of vocal damage. There are different symptoms and, of course, different causes. So the very first stage for the person with some kind of voice issue is to "Realize" that it is actually present. Something definitely changed in their voice quality, speaking and/or singing. 

In the majority of cases the voice became raspy and hoarse, flat and dull. However, some people are totally in denial of it. Nevertheless, they feel a change in their voice quality anddelivery, but they would not admit it even to themselves. Then comes the time when the sufferers start self-analysis and begin to "Review" and analyze when and how the voice started subsiding and disappearing on them. 

Next stage, they are looking for the "Relief" of their voice condition, as sometimes they have pain and discomfort in their throat, pain in their neck and shoulders, gastric acid reflux up their throat, as their voice has been drawn so low in its position that it meets gastric acid and the vocal cords could easily get burned quite significantly. 

So the latter is the main part, as the person with all the symptoms actually has to find the cause of these conditions in order to outline the best course of action on how to approach their treatment. Once the cause is established, hopefully the cure will be on its way. Now the affected person has to choose the least invasive and the most productive course of action towards their condition. Some people want a magic pill, others run to get their polyps or nodules removed quickly, but some (with most analytical minds) will do a heavy duty research, will first choose a non-surgical approach to their voice disorder. 

There is a saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” 

It is true, but don’t wait forever, and stay in balance, as, if you are waiting too, too, long towards fixing your voice condition, it also might be too late to do it non-surgically and non-invasively. So now, after heavy duty research and studying, begin to "Re-build" your speaking and/or singing voice. Learn the right application of your voice and acquire a wholesome mechanism, so to speak, which will allow your voice to work in the fullest capacity possible, but with no pain or strain on your vocal anatomy. Utilize your facial and abdominal muscles and use them generously to produce the sound. 

In this instance, your vocal box will be released from the pressure of the sound and thus be resting most of the time preserving your vocal anatomy for your lifetime. “All of the above is quite simple, but not easy at all.” One of my clients exclaimed. 



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vocal Rehab for Seniors and for Everybody Else for that Matter

When I work with people over 65 years old on their voiceproblems, I very often have to literally revive them back to life prior to working on their voice. When these people finally end up in my studio they most of the time look, feel and act quite beat up, so to speak.

Prior to getting to me, they have had a lot of health issues and other, aspects of life, turbulence and tribulations. Some of them have undergone various surgeries, and then, instead of getting better, they acquired some strange side effects, like for example (with one of my clients), uncontrollable cough, which has been lasting for the last 27 years!

Finally, several years ago, due to very disturbed upper and lower respiratory organs, as well as her throat and her vocal box in general, she began to lose her voice. The tone of her voice had deepened and sounded raspy and hoarse.

Needless to say, that her pronunciation and enunciation were severely compromised. Her posture was very slouched and her upper back was not straight while her pelvis was very much tilted forward. She has been distributing her weight right onto her lower back and thus, nevertheless, has been experiencing low back pains on top of everything else.

Her whole demeanor did not appear happy and upright.

Obviously, given the above, her spirit was very low, as her heart and soul (not to mention physical aspects of it) were hurting for nearly three decades. So I, no doubt, had to deal with her whole being while concurrently fixing her voice. Everybody who has read my publications before, may know that my theory is such that the voice is the expression of who you are and, no doubts, is the identification of the state of one’s being.

So, you my reader, could easily see and understand that all of those components -- mental, physical, emotional -- and yes, vocal arecompletely and totally interconnected. Once the voice started to sound brighter, more lifted, and much clearer, the person’s being became much more alive and rejuvenated in every aspect. She started to look younger and her skin on her face started glowing!

With all of the voice instructions, the posture became much straighter which helped the sound to be properly structured and thus projected.

If you visualize a violin player who holds his violin crooked, he would obviously play the wrong notes, as the proper position of the instrument plays a crucial role with respect of the production of the right sounds. Similarly, the speaking/singing sound has to be projectedup, above, and forward of the person’s body, and if the body is inclined backwards instead of forward, the sound would be drawn to the back of the throat and if delivered at all, it will be delivered to the wall, at best.

My previously doomed student went to the numerous doctors and specialists, naturopaths and homeopaths and never got any help for the last 27 years. She is 68 years old now and she missed almost half of her life dealing with her health and voice problems.

If she did, she would have never needed a surgery, as MTD cannot be fixed by surgical interference.
But in my opinion, she did not have such a thing. Her voice reflected all of her health problems from the past and as a consequence was damaged on its own due to her health problems.

Go figure!?

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