Monday, May 27, 2013

Vocally Speaking; If your leg is broken, will it be wise to run a marathon, in a manner of speaking?

While talking to one of my European clients the other day, who has  been diagnosed with quite serious vocal injuries, I found out that he  went to one of the most renowned voice institutes in Europe where they  promised that they will fix everything non-surgically, and after that  he will sing and speak the way he used to.

Meanwhile, nothing has improved and the former professional singer is still out of commission, and still searching for ways to fix his voice, and fulfill his hope to go back on stage and do the real live singing again. When I ask him, what exactly has been done to improve your voice condition? He answered, that they were strengthening his voice by asking him to sing in rock-n roll style....?

I nearly fell off the couch that I was sitting on while talking with him.

The rock-n roll genre is the most “honest”, and thus the most difficult to perform. It requires a really good vocal apparatus, healthy anatomy inside of it, and absolute knowledge of the proper application of the voice, as otherwise, the vocal anatomy could be ruined in the nick of time, and without any warning.

I have to note that my potential client is a classical singer, and definitely has no knowledge on how to sing rock. It never ceases to amaze me that a lot of vocal coaches put all the genres and styles under the same umbrella. Let’s take for example, skating: There is figure-skating, there is speed-skating, and there is hockey skating.

All of them fall under the umbrella of skating, but the purpose and technique of each listed above styles of skating are vastly different. The skates are different, and the purpose of performance is also different. Meanwhile, in the music business, they mash all the styles together while concurrently saying that if the person knows how to sing opera, he can sing rock-n roll...?

In my potential client’s case, it happened the opposite, as he  revealed to them that he was a classical singer already, therefore  they decided to reverse the facts, and asked him to sing hard rock,  which was designed, according to them, to “strengthen” his voice. If you visualize an athlete, who while running ended up with a broken  leg, will anybody, in their right mind, suggest to him to run more on  a broken leg, and preferably to participate in a marathon?

I personally don’t think so.

Once the leg is broken, it has to be put in a cast and allowed to be healed. However, in my philosophy with respect to the vocal injury, you are  not necessarily have to have a vocal rest, as I provide rest for the  vocal anatomy via special speech and vocal exercises,  lifting and  restricting the sound to a different set of muscles, thus relieving  the vocal box from the pressure of the sound. Therefore, leaving the vocal anatomy alone, and allowing it to heal, I concurrently begin the actual voice repair, employing developed by me, unique vocal technique, and simultaneously using natural herbs and remedies to heal the vocal anatomy. 

To conclude: You cannot pretend, so to speak, that nothing happened while vocal  injury has occurred, but on the contrary, treat it with care, and yes,  give it a rest while, however, working on the problem, smart and not  hard.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Vocally Speaking... Transforming lives since 1984

It Could Be, Very Much So, A Life Altering Experience.

For the almost three decades of the Royans Professional Vocal School's existence, I've been attending to people of all walks of life -- all heights, weights, colours and genders.
Needless to say, some of them had more vocal talents than others; and some did not have any at all.
But all of them, evidently, wanted to express themselves through music.
Some of them came purely for singing lessons; some of them had other agendas.
A lot of them were trying to find themselves through the means of music and singing, as some of them were lacking their own identity.

The voice is an expression of a person's being. It is also an identification of who that person is.
Throughout my practice, I have sometimes pictured the person completely differently while talking to them on the phone.
Sometimes, for example, I wasn't quite sure if I was speaking with a woman or a man.
Those people, have been experiencing the most problems.

The women with extremely low and raspy voices, were sounding like males with a cold.
The men, with high soprano-like voices, were sounding like teenage girls.
I found that especially the above-decribed people, were extremely shy and timid, and needless to say, were lacking a great deal of confidence.
Interestingly enough, all of them thought that singing lessons would solve their problems, while in reality, they needed in depth speech development which would bring their voices, and their body in general, into much more balance.

By the way, by my observation, the above-described people usually do not possess an outstanding singing talent.
It does not however, mean that they will never be able to sing. But it means that their priority should be the proper speech and the proper conduct of their body and its posture.
They need to learn how to speak with conviction, clearly, and coherently.

My extensive experience shows that when I apply the Vocal Science™ method on one's voice, the total balance does occur.
Those who spoke with higher voices developed a bass underneath that voice. And yes, it may still be a little on the higher side, but it will sound like a male with a little bit higher voice, and not like a female.
Females on the other hand, will sound much more feminine, and will also be identified immediately as women with a little bit of a lower voice, which sometimes could pass for a desirable, sexy voice.

Now that the identity crisis is over, it is time to learn how to sing if it is so desired.
Now it will be so much easier, as the solid foundation has been laid via specially designed speech exercises and scripts.
The wholesome mechanism, which allows the voice to work in the fullest capacity possible, and with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy, has been instilled in one's mind, body and soul.
The voice has been built and now is ready to soar, speaking and singing.
The instrument -- and the player -- are both transformed and ready.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Vocal Science™ Technique: Challenges and Tips for Rock Singers

Evidently, Rock style singing requires more precise vocal technique than any other style.

The fact is, that Rock singers are using much more aggressive sounds and, in the majority of cases, they are almost forcing their voices to perform the high level of what I call, "Vocabatics".
I compare it to the "Snowbirds" airplane show here in Toronto at the CNE, where they do all kinds of aerobatics which indeed, are very fascinating to watch.
No doubt, that the pilots have to be very experienced and have a lot of flown hours under their belts, to perform a high intensity and synchronized show like that, in the air.

The Rock singing style is a very honest genre in my opinion.
You either can sing and put your voice almost through the ringer, or you can't.
You can not fake it.

Like figure skating, you can either jump a triple axel or acquire a serious injury if you don't know how.
It takes a lot of hours of training and proper technique to be able to survive five minutes for a long-program performing 3 or 4 triples and quads.

Similarly, to survive a rock show of at least four sets of 45 minutes each, you have to be mentally, physically, emotionally, and vocally fit.
Some of the Rock genres require high and raspy screams.
 If the singer is just experimenting and trying to do it by ear, he also can acquire a serious voice injury.

In my book, Vocal Science - Flight to the Universe, I have two related chapters, one of which is called "Born Free, Vocally Yours, Within the Structure".
The other one is called, "Born Free, Vocally Yours, Playing it by Ear".
The latter describes a danger which the singer could be exposed to if he does not really comply with standards of professional singing, thus not utilizing the wholesome mechanism which allows the human voice to work in its fullest capacity possible and with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy.

Attempting to sing the Rock style, it's very easy to strain the vocal cords, or even damage them.
It's also not too difficult to acquire what's called "Muscle Tension Dysphonia".
In the latter instance, the neck becomes so strained and tight that it holds the vocal cords within its muscles, and thus the voice becomes "trapped".
The vocal performer just built for him/herself, their own "vocal prison".

The key for him/her to come out, is to learn how to bypass his/her vocal anatomy, eliminating the use of it almost altogether, and then instead, employ the different muscles of his/her body, which are not only safe to use, but also very efficient to use.
The facial muscles will play the role of a natural amplifier or resonator, and will amplify the singing voice at least quadruple times over.
In this instance, the voice will be soaring up and over the vocal anatomy and will be supported by the abdominal muscles which will secure the structure, placement, and projection of the singing voice to its aimed destination.
The moral of this blog is: do not attempt to do something which you love, but evidently have no idea how to approach safely.

Learn the proper tips and techniques, and employ them as designed, and thereby ensure a safe and successful arrival to your Rock vocal destination.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vocal Science Technique; Tips on How to Increase your Vocal Range and Hit the High Notes Safely.

Vocal Science Method represents an unconventional vocal technique. Whereas the conventional vocal technique suggests, for example, to drop the jaw down loose, stick the stomach out, replicate the weird sounds and lip trills, the Vocal Science technique advocates exactly the opposite.

I find the latter completely redundant, as it does not produce anything except the voice damage.
The voice becomes drawn to the very low position in the singer’s throat, which flora’s becomes disturbed and thus, the voice may easily become husky and simply hoarse. It has a danger not only to disturb the inner vocal parts, but also to meet the gastric acid and produce the acid reflux, which is very uncomfortable and very damaging for the singer’s vocal cords and vocal anatomy in general.

On that note, our motto is:

The sound is a physical material body and it travels as such.

The law of physics and geometry suggests that the sound, as any physical entity, does travel in a circular direction and in the instance of the vocal performer’s producing the singing sound, it travels relatively, respectively and prospectively to the person’s height, width and the central line of the singer’s body, (nose and belly button, speaking colloquially).

Taking the above for consideration, you, my reader, could visualize that the sound now, in the described instance, will actually have the “arc”, i.e., the needed amplitude, and as a result, the sound will actually be delivered in its predominantly structured and designed destination.

Now, the vocal performer will be, so to speak, broadcasting his message via singing sound by, metaphorically speaking, a “satellite dish”, apposed to a small “little straight antenna” down. In this premise, if you visualize a baseball pitcher throwing the ball down to his feet instead of drawing a circle with his hand in the glove, and applying his whole body weight, thus establishing as high “arc” as possible, you will understand that the latter would be the right way to do it, as the established trajectory will be long enough, (due to its achieved height), it will be completely centered, and therefore, the aimed destination of the physical sound will be reached efficiently and without failure.

Given all that, you can naturally assume that the sound lifted on the absolute top of the facial muscles, with the total support of the lower and upper diaphragm muscles, will have the needed height and needed “body” (circumference, so to speak), to reach the very high and very low notes. Both the high and the low notes are located in the upper chamber, (upper sinus cavities), of a singer’s facial structure. Like a fine acupuncture, you can trigger a needed muscle to respond and produce the certain task, to achieve your goal with respect of safely extending your singing range to the absolute max of your physical and vocal abilities.