Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Non Surgical Voice Repair II: Might Herbal Remedies Be Instrumental in Susan Boyle's Case?

In the first article, “Non-surgical Voice Repair. What’s that? Does it apply to Susan Boyle as well now...?”, I described the Sony artist’s performance on The View as being an unfortunate precedent. In that article, I was talking about her (in my opinion) beautiful, however improperly used voice and about my revolutionary Vocal Science technique, which could (no doubt) remedy that problem. Sometimes a performer may severely damage his/her vocal cords, larynx and even the whole vocal box while using the incorrect technique. In this particular instance then, the performer’s “instrument” is at stake. 
In North America we have an expression, “He/she has a nice voice” (or good/great voice and what have you). That’s wonderful, but it’s only a description of the instrument. What about knowing how to “play” it? Imagine if Liberace, who had a famous great pink grand piano, suddenly would start playing it with his elbows? Funny, hah! But the singers with good voices, including Susan Boyle, are doing exactly that in a manner of speaking. And while doing that, they’re damaging their beautiful “instruments” and, needless to say, the expression “she has a good voice” becomes obsolete. 
The question now is how to fix the “instrument” and as a side effect, how to “fix” the player? 
For many years now, I’ve been using natural herbs and remedies which greatly aid the human voice. They lubricate the throat (you would not drive your car without lube and oil), they strengthen the vocal cords and they clean the vocal anatomy from excessive mucus and other pollutants. So, in this instance, the “instrument” will be taken care of. If the performer will stop “hammering” their newly tuned up instrument, he/she will be able to achieve what I call the “Total Performance”. At the same time, he/she will do a service to the public by not cracking his/her voice or stopping the performance all together, but rather the opposite: serenade the audience with a beautiful, coherent and intelligent sound. 
Wouldn’t any performer give their “right arm”, so to speak, to have a beautiful instrument and to know how to extract the most from it? After all, an artist like Susan Boyle cannot hide her vocal problems by dancing and prancing around as Britney Spears does. So many artists today have, nevertheless, 40 million dollar stages built for them with fireworks and pyrotechnics going off while they perform (Bono is a perfect example) HIT ORIGINAL songs and in sexy clothes and attire. Susan Boyle has a beautiful voice, but she performs covers in simple clothes on simple stages... and that is her charm: with an angelic voice she doesn’t need the other distractions. That means, however, that without her voice, she will (unfortunately) not be worth much, will she...? 
In short, if the damage to her voice is not properly attended to, it could be (God forbid)permanent and in this unfortunate instance she will have nothing left and neither will any  of the other parties involved (management and labels included).

Let’s hope that this will never happen, as it would make a lot of her fans also very sad.

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producerand Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist at The Royans Professional Vocal School in Toronto, Canada. She is also the creator of the Vocal Science (TM) method and Talent Scout & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.

If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone, Toll Free in North America, at 1-888-229-TUNE (8863). Local and International Inquirers please call: 416-229-0976.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Non-surgical Voice Repair. What’s that? Does it apply to Susan Boyle as well now...?

Almost everybody knows now what happened to Susan Boyle on the television show “The View”. The question is why, and could it have been prevented? Being a vocal mentor and world renowned non-surgical voice repair specialist for over 35 years, I could say with absolute certainty that YES! It DEFINITELY could have been prevented if Susan, as well as many other renowned vocal performers, actually knew what they were doing with their voices and were using their voices upon design and not just by praying and keeping their fingers crossed while on stage (playing it by ear). You can clearly see the fear on Susan’s face about a minute before the disaster happened. She obviously knew intuitively that she would not finish that show, as she felt the restriction in her vocal box and knew there was no more space left to go anywhere except even deeper down into her throat where her vocal cords split and what I call “vocal impotence” had occurred. 

Horrible!!! And every singer’s nightmare!!! But it could have been prevented. How, you may ask? The answer is not that complicated. If Susan and her alike (Celine Dion in her own times) knew how to use her facial muscles in conjunction with her abdominal muscles and utilize the sound upwards rather than downwards through the aforementioned cavities, she would have the perfect “flight” instead of the perfect “crash nose down” with her voice.

The technique which I developed is called the Vocal Science(TM) Method. The core principle of this technique is “work smart and not hard”. “With the minimum effort, achieve the maximum result”. Never experience any pain or strain on your vocal anatomy while using you voice “upon design”.  This method ensures the length and health of one’s vocal anatomy for life!

In a nutshell, it is a method of visualization. It is also an integration and synergy between singers’ mental, physical, emotional and vocal state. Once the vocal performer understands it intellectually, the kinesthetics then will take place. In other words, the performer has to know mentally what he/she is actually doing. They have to feel it kinesthetically and retain both of the feels. It it easy? Not at all. But just like for everything genius, the concept is quite attainable;

-   Use your body as an instrument instead of abusing it.
-   Use your body as a support and platform for the sound to take off and take the flight to the facial and head cavities and the aimed delivery of the sound will be assured.

Mainly, the performer will be at ease and joy instead of the pain and fear and thus, will be able to convey his/her positive and joyful emotions, not to mention the pleasant tone, correct pitch, right phrasing, emphasis and inflections of the words and thus a perfect and clear delivery.

If I ask any practicing performer what price tag they could put on that, the answer inevitably would be, “it’s priceless”. One of them said to me, “I would give my ‘right arm’ to know what I’m actually doing on stage and not to die 1,000 deaths before the performance ends”. I think this is quite self-explanatory and definitely should be addressed and not only to the performers, but to their management companies and record executives, as if the performer loses his/her voice, everybody involved would also lose. What is Susan Boyle worth without her voice? How much money Sony Records and Susan’s management could make, if she cannot any longer sing and perform? And how much joy is the audience going to miss out on? How could you measure it...and can you?

Stay tuned for part two…

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producer, and Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist at The Royans Professional Vocal School in Toronto, Canada. She is also the creator of the Vocal Science (TM) method and Talent Scout & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.
If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone, Toll Free in North America, at 1-888-229-TUNE (8863). Local and International Inquirers please call: 416-229-0976.