Saturday, November 24, 2012

Live Today, Love Today, Sing Today... Will There be a Tomorrow?

Everybody knows, and will be awaiting with anticipation, of what the predictions are - THE END OF THE WORLD... which is supposed to take place on December the 21st of the year 2012.

I personally do not believe in it, but you never know...

In Russia we say "there is now smoke without the fire".

Therefore, every one of us has to have a reasonable doubt in our minds, hearts and souls...

If it is the truth, have we accomplished everything we planned for this short or long life we've lived?

Have we lived our lives to its fullest, have we sung to our heart's content, have we expressed our love to the world and to that particular one we truly have loved?

In other words, have we succeeded so far and to the best of our knowledge in the time we have had, being present on this Earth?

Running my own music business for nearly three decades, I've been hearing a lot of justifications: "not now, can not afford it now, some other time, when I find a better paying job, when I get married or complete my divorce proceedings (lol)" and some other nonsense like that.

Why nonsense, you may ask?

Because these people are not living in the precious present moment.

They are fantasizing about a better future, which unfortunately, might not materialize for them or for anybody else for that matter.

I was really touched by a documentary of the events of September 11th, 2001, and I would like to share it with you, my reader.

It was showing an episode where the couple on that very morning on Tuesday, September 11th, found out that they were finally pregnant.

The husband might have had some premonition, as he was solely against his happy wife going to work to one of the towers where her insurance company was located on the 97th floor.

She would not agree, as she had clients she had to serve and e-mails she had to fire out.

She promised, however, to return earlier and then go and celebrate that very precious moment they were expecting and anticipating for quite a few years.

On the way to the office, she went to the pharmacy, got the pregnancy test, and went to her office's 97th floor bathroom to take the pregnancy test.

And surely enough, it showed positive - she was pregnant.

Then she went in to her office and right away picked up the phone to call the husband to confirm that they were pregnant.

And then...

She had heard a terrible noise, turned her head towards the window and saw... The Boeing 747 flying straight to her office's window...!

Unimaginable!!! You would say.

INDEED!

But it is a true story and it had happened.

The moral of it is that we don't know what will happen in the next second, let alone in a year, two or five.

Therefore, live today, love today, sing your heart out today and hope that there will be an even better tomorrow.


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 and Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.

If you would like to stay up to date with Vocal Science news, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group.
 
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)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

X factor American Thanksgiving Episode The Emotions Were Flying as High as a Kite!



Yesterday, again, I was religiously watching yet another X Factor episode, which was dedicated to the American Thanksgiving Holiday.

It was very emotionally charged, as the top 10 and the judges, especially the female clan, were crying, as for some reason, the participants were talking about the events which happened to them in the past, but not exactly the positive ones, for which they would want to be thankful, but rather, in my opinion, quite disturbing and intimate ones… 

I suppose that was good for the show, but I am not sure if it was good for the performers, as a lot of them lost the quality of their singing, which is, in this instance, quite understandable.The question is, though, should they have had been driven to that state of mind, heart and soul, or rather, would that be more productive, performance wise, if it was a little less dramatic? For some of them, the emotions definitely took over, and their voices were not in their usual state.

That, in fact, and quite unfortunately, could affect the voting, and thus their placement in the show, or even, in the worst case scenario, it could provoke their elimination from the show completely.
If they were high calibre professionals, they probably would have been able to use those emotions for even better quality of their usual performances.

But this top 10 are yet, amateur singers, and therefore, a majority of them, somewhat, fell vocally apart. But on the positive side, we also witnessed a good and vulnerable side of them, which brought us closer to their humanity and thus, we got more familiarized with them as people, and not just singers.

“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger”, sings American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson.
Indeed, I would say…

I know it first hand and by my experience, being involved in the music industry for almost 4 decades! 

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 and Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.

If you would like to stay up to date with Vocal Science news, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group.
 
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)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Artists/Coaches vs. Coaches/Coaches...?
What about the technical merits of vocal performance?

Ever since 2002, I have been religiously watching all the reality TV shows concerning vocal performances.

It started with American Idol, then it was followed by Canadian Idol and then, we got The Voice and almost right at the same time, we got X-Factor.

Some of them are better than others, but all of them are quite entertaining.

Sometimes, actually, they are almost too entertaining...

What I mean by that is that the entertainment part is overshadowing the vocal performance part.

In some cases, it looks ridiculous, as not every vocal performer is strong enough to offset the very good and strong dancers, not to mention tons of effects and "fireworks" on stage, so to speak.

It does not actually help the artist to showcase their vocal talent.

On the contrary, in my opinion, it is pretty distracting for the artist and for the audience.

Also, especially this year, the quality of the vocal performance by the remaining top 10-12 participants has quite deteriorated.

You would think that it should have an opposite effect, as by now the artists got accustomed to the stage and the audience and had their mentors attending to them.

To my knowledge, there are some vocal coaches that are around and employed to work with the artists, but the latest trend that seems to be taking place, is that the judges, who are also the artists themselves, are playing the role of vocal coaches.

Granted, they have experience to perform on stage and definitely could help with that immensely.

But when the actual technical help is needed, would they be qualified to give a sound advice and actually teach a singer how to overcome certain technical difficulties, which may occur during some complicated songs?

Let's, for example, take a good car driver and ask him if he could qualify as a driving instructor or, moreover, as a car mechanic?

I presume some would, but generally speaking, the person who knows how to drive the car does not necessarily know how to fix the car or how to play the role of a driving instructor.

All of those qualities are somewhat related, but they are not necessarily implied.

Every skill has its trade and requires a specific certification.

Also, even a very good car driver is not qualified to drive the truck or a truck trailer.

For each of those skills, there is a specific license required.

Therefore, I think that if besides the qualified mentors, there would be somebody who could help artists not only to interpret the song, but also with the technical merit, we would be presented with much better quality and much more on target singing.

Also, when the artist is covering somebody else's song, he/she is usually suggested to make that song his/her own, which is a great suggestion.

However, some of the artists are taking it almost too literally and the other night, watching an episode of X-Factor, I hardly could recognize the song by Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On".

Not to mention that the technical merit of the performance was not present at all.

The song has to be recognizable, and if the artist wants to put his/her own twist and spin, so to speak, on it, it's great, as long as the song is not completely lost and ruined in interpretation.

Either way, I'm glad that those shows exist, as there is something to look forward to in anticipation, every time it airs.

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 and Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.

If you would like to stay up to date with Vocal Science news, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group.
 
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)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vocal Repair Shop - We Have the Tools!

In this article, I would like to talk a little bit about how to deal with voice problems. As much as I wish it wasn't the case, most untrained singers put unnecessary strain on their vocal chords and will as a result damage their voices. This is especially true for rock 'n roll singers who often strain to hit high notes to cut through the sound of distorted guitars and heavy drums. I don't know how many times I've heard amateur singers say that their throat is sore for quite a few days after a practice. And the problem is actually worse for professional but untrained singers; they go on long tours and have to sing every night in a smoky environment. These are the singers that you hear about having to cancel tour dates because their voices are giving out and hurting to the degree that they simply cannot perform. It also concerns professional actors, who act 24-7 and have to use their voice nonstop. Very often they require the same services as professional singers because, after all, professional speaking requires the same technique as professional singing, and safety measures are a must!

The fact of the matter is that your voice should never feel sore the day after a performance or any time due to the act of singing or speaking. You should be able to sing or speak for at least 4-5 hours every day or night seven days a week and never feel even a slight discomfort in your throat. God forbid you have damaged your voice, but if that's the case, the first thing you need to be aware of is that in most instances your voice can be cured with special vocal exercises and specific herbal remedies. Only in the very most serious instances should surgery even be considered!

First of all, I recommend the use of natural herbs to counter the damage that has already been done to a singer's or speaker's vocal anatomy. There are herbs available that will strengthen and repair your entire vocal anatomy: larynx, vocal chords, vocal box etc. One of them will coat the voice and soften the vocal box tissues. Another is a herb that is widely used by many cultures around the world; it works to restore the voice AND helps an individual's emotional state, as it works on the adrenal glands which are responsible for the emotional state of a human being. This is a very important point. Most people assume that vocal problems are the result of straining the voice to the point of physical damage and they often are, but, vocal problems can also be related to emotions as well. As I mentioned in my first book, Vocal Science - Flight to the Universe, when I work with my students, quite a lot of my time is spent dealing with repressed emotions and hurts which inhibit the voice and prevent the singer from reaching their full potential. For this reason, I often offer my clients special herbal remedies which will help them put their emotions in balance and, thus, free their voices. I also recommend herbs that nurture the thyroid, which plays a major role in voice delivery. Furthermore, as I have said time and time again, your voice is your instrument. Therefore, I also often recommend herbs which boost and strengthen the immune system. Also, as I mentioned before, diet is very important to the recovery and general performance of your voice. For this reason, I suggest to my clientele that they try not eat any of the following types of food: spicy, sour, salty, acidic and consume as little dairy as possible.

The other main part of the vocal repair equation are special voice repair exercises. I usually start out with speech exercises. After the client has mastered them, we move on to low pitch singing exercises, which I have found to be very therapeutic and healing. Once the voice has been repaired the next step is to teach the singer correct vocal technique to prevent damage from reoccurring again in the future. After all, you would not get a tire patched up and then go park on the same broken glass that caused the hole in the first place would you? This always has the pleasant side effect of improving the quality of singing - and speaking - as well.

Total Voice Repair

Most people always assume that voice repair is only about removing nodes and fixing the vocal chords, but what I call 'Total Voice Repair' means repairing your entire anatomy. Essentially, many of the things that the modern world presents us with - fast food, pollution, lack of physical exercise - have a detrimental effect on our bodies and thus on our voices. For example, recently a client contacted me about my voice repair services. When I first met her three things were obvious to me - she had done serious damage to her vocal box, her body was extremely "polluted" and, at least in part, the latter was responsible for the former. When I talk about someone being "polluted" what I am saying is that their body is essentially full of garbage. The colon is full of waste. The sinus cavity is clogged with mucous. In the case of this person she was also extremely overweight. The result of all this "pollution" is that the person's immune system is weak and their energy level is low; which results in the vocal anatomy being even more susceptable to damage due to incorrect vocal technique. Therefore, in the case of this client, voice repair did not begin with her voice but with her body. A complete holistic body repair was required before we could even start on her voice. Again, the first thing I did was give her a lot of herbs, but not only the herbs related to the voice but also quite a few herbs that would cleanse her body of the toxins in her system. As I have mentioned in other chapters, great and safe singing is the result of an integration and synergy between a healthy overall body, a healthy vocal box and correct vocal technique.

In conclusion, I would like to express my hope that you would never require any voice repair and will learn to speak and sing correctly before even attempting to make it through that long, nasty tour.


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 and Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.

If you would like to stay up to datwith Vocal Science news, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group.
 
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)