Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Vocal Insurance" - Do You Need An Agent?

Recently I wrote an article for Hit Quarters Online Magazine called "Vocal Insurance" - Do You Need An Agent? What I meant by it and what it was all about was how to protect and save your voice and thus "insure" the health and longevity of your vocal career. It was also addressed to music industry professionals by inviting them to take better care of their artists by simply referring them to top vocal specialists and professionals to ensure that they would be complying with the standards of professional singing and thus not jeoprodizing the health and safety of their vocal anatomy and health in general. To my complete surprise I got several calls from people asking if I was an agent who would LITERALLY INSURE their actual voice. On that note, I became speechless and almost lost my own voice. These people were naive enough to take it literally and, moreover, the thought never occurred in their minds that "if there is anything wrong with my voice, I should find help and fix it." On the contrary, they thought "there is something wrong with my voice - let me quickly find an agent to insure my voice before I lose it, and at least I will be able to acquire some money before it is too late". Go figure!!!!! I'm still speechless...

Vocally Speaking Part II - Is There Change Without Change? Will the "Magic Pill" Be Enough to Solve All of Your Vocal Problems?

We get numerous phone calls and emails about people's vocal disorders and vocal problems. They are approaching my institution - which is called the Royans Professional Vocal School Specializing in Voice, Speech and Non-Surgical Voice Repair. When those people called in the past, my first assumption always was that they truly needed help and would do anything to conquer their vocal problems. And, yes, some did. But the majority, interestingly enough, with quite severe vocal disorders, were literally looking for a "magic" pill.

They thought that by taking any pills internally they would fix their severely broken vocal boxes, which were in the first place caused by the wrong application of their voice for singing or speaking. Let's imagine for a second that there would be such a pill in existence and it actually would fix that severe disorder, anatomically speaking. The problem is that these people are unable to understand that there is no change without change and that unless they learn how to speak or sing properly without the excessive use of their throat, larynx and vocal chords, no change will take place and they will keep running into the same problem again and again. So the moral of the story is, if it is broken, fix it - but make sure you are not continuing to employ the same means which made it broken in the first place.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vocally Speaking - Would you like to conquer your vocal problems or would you rather learn how to live with them?

It never ceases to amaze me when a lot of people are inquiring about serious voice problems and then, in the end, end up doing nothing to fix it. They talk a lot about it, they join support groups to share their sufferings, inadequacies, insecurities, practically disabilities which rob them of the enjoyment of the regular human life. The loss of the ability to use their voice in what is considered to be a normal sense often results in the loss of their jobs and the loss of their relationships. They are all complaining about via numerous emails and discussion board postings, yet when I suggest to them to pick up the phone and let me hear their voice so I can pinpoint whether or not I can help them, there are less than 1% of people will do that even though it might lead them towards finding a non-invasive cure. You would think, "What would prevent them from picking up the phone and calling a toll-free number?" I have thought about it long and hard and finally I came to the conclusion that THEY DON'T WANT TO BE HELPED! If they did, they would be actively looking for conventional help or alternative help to boot. Instead of that, they are feeling sorry for themselves and want others to feel sorry for them, while finding excuses why they cannot obtain any help. Some people with voice disorders are absolutely terrified of using the phone. Being sensitive, I can understand that on any everyday basis that might be a task. But when they are emailing a highly reputable voice specialist and asking for help and when they are advised to place a call, they never do. Some of them even said that they would be excited and delighted to do so and then never called either. So the conclusion is - they want to be helped in theory, but not with practical means. It's a pity, but so be it. They probably rely on God, but God only helps those that help themselves.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vocally Speaking – Is There Change Without Change? If There Is, Can You Handle It?

A certain percentage of people are coming to us for speech development sessions, often followed by the vocal lessons.

Usually that category of people is comprised of shy individuals who are very soft spoken without any projection of their voice or the message they are trying to convey.

Some of them have damaged voices.

Often they mumble and there is no clarity in their pronunciation, kind of like they have marbles in their mouths.

Some of them are actually inquiring about singing lessons without having any idea that if they hardly could speak, how in the world would they have their singing voice delivered?!

In the first place, the voice is the spirit and, if the voice is shut down, the spirit of that individual is also hidden and not present.

The voice is a reflection of the state of one’s being, an identification of who this person is.

Quite often the people conducting themselves that way are dying to be more loud, more expressive, more emotional and more passionate, but do not know how to call it out of themselves.

That is where my skill comes into play.

By using a set of certain speech exercises and specific scripts which are aimed towards the person’s self esteem and self worth and that require a loud and exclaiming voice, which naturally “force” one’s emotion and, thus, the projection of that emotion via voice and sound.

Before you know it, while in a course with me and playing with their improvs, these people are turning into somebody who even they are not familiar with.

Yes, it is scary, but also very exciting.

Often their loved ones are a little shocked and confused, as my clients become very talkative, quite loud and very expressive.

The wife of one of my clients from the past was ready to file for divorce, as she was claiming that her husband became a stranger and a very “aggressive” one.

What happened was that my client undertook a very substantial voice repair and was kind of whispering before he came to me and, thus, being quite withdrawn for the past 10 years. All of a sudden he became vocal and started reaching out.

Moreover, he was suggesting to go to a Karaoke Club on a Saturday night to try his new voice and embark on some singing as well, which was a complete shock to his wife.

I had to give him some advice to slow down a little, as I did not want the family to break up.

So the question is – is there change without change?

Evidently not.

In other words, watch out what you are wishing for, because you just might get it, as well as some other changes along with it.

The conclusion of it is that these kinds of changes are definitely not for the faint of heart.