Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vocally Speaking. Are you Well Endowed? And if you are not, can your vocal apparatus be enhanced?

No doubts if you have bigger rather than smaller vocal box with longer rather than shorter vocal cords, it will be that much easier for you to become a vocal performer.  

Obviously the bigger car is much stronger and its’ engine is much bigger; so you can extract much more power from it in comparison with the smaller car. As for people, there are taller and more masculine individuals and there are shorter and skinnier ones. As a rule, the taller and more masculine person will have all of his anatomy bigger and stronger. And, conversely, the smaller petite person will not have their anatomy so present. Yes, there are exceptions of the rule, where a smaller person has a vocal anatomy and their voice bigger then they look.

So, if the smaller, petite person would like to become a singer, is that possible? The answer is, yes it is.

However, there will be much more and much harder work required realizing the future singer’s dream. We would really need to stretch the related muscles to the max. That person has to have very strong back muscles which, in turn, will be supporting the lower abdominal muscles, which are responsible for the height of the sound, and the upper rib cage muscles, which are responsible for the width and the body of the sound. Also, we need to work on the facial muscles of the person and create deep enough muscle cavities, which will be able to hold the sound and resonate and amplify it to the max.

By doing so, the shorter vocal cords will become elongated, thus the singer will acquire much more range. The person with thinner, (in diameter), vocal cords will be able to “beef-them-up”, while the facial muscles will be really hard working in conjunction and coordination with their upper diaphragm. Yes, of course, it is a little hard to enhance a keyboard into a grand piano, so to speak.

But the singer with a smaller anatomy will still be able to enhance it to a reasonable degree via special speech and singing exercises and make the best out of their vocal instrument in spite of its’ size.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Vocalscience ™ Method - The Alternative Approach to Speaking and Singing.

We often hear the saying, “ you are what you eat”.

I can also, with absolute certainty, say that you are what you speak and sing. How so, you may ask?

With the holistic approach in mind, I should mention that the voice (in my definition) is an expression of who you are and identification of the state of your being. The voice is a very important tool for communication. When you speak with the person, by his/her voice tone, you can determine the person’s mood and even the state of the person’s health; especially if you are at least somewhat familiar with that person.

On that note, I could say that when I work with the Voice Repair client and get their voice 'out of their throat' by restructuring it to the facial and abdominal muscles, the person starts sounding completely different, i.e., the voice starts to sound much healthier, more vibrant, more colorful and more reflective of the actual person’s make-up.

The sound becomes much clearer and the words are more announced and pronounced. The hoarseness disappears and the tone of the voice changes. When we are talking about the voice disorder, the voice often sounds quite "soprano'ish". It is especially pronounced with the male gender where the condition, described above, causes a lot of discomfort and insecurities.

These peoples’ lives become (in a manner of speaking) "handicapped", as they are afraid to communicate in person and terrified by phone conversations while simply not ever picking up the phone, let alone, initiating any phone conversations of their own. Nevertheless, it does affect both their social lives and their professional lives.

Needless to say, most of them are depressed and some of them are even suicidal.
Once the voice is improving and they are gradually reclaiming their lives, they are also gaining back their zest for life. Their mood becomes exponentially happier, their spirit is rejuvenated and their 'soul is now singing', even though that some of them have never sung in their lives.

Those, however, who are singers (or I should say, ‘have had been singers before they damaged their voices’), have been experiencing the "double whammy". They need to restore their speaking voice first, and then, and only then, their singing voice. However, the good news is that after the speaking voice falls into place, it is much easier to fix the singing voice - as ultimately, the voice mechanics for both - the speaking and singing voice - are very similar in their nature.

With the singers, however, I have to restore their tone and mainly pitch which, in some cases, becomes very challenging. Usually, in these cases, the confidence is really damaged, as the singer is scared to reach the high notes as he/she is naturally trying to protect his/her voice. Therefore, on the background, there is a lot of psychological counseling that is required for those cases.

“I have to say, it has been the making of me meeting you Diana in more than just the voice,” - wrote to me, one of my former Voice Repair clients; presently a United Kingdom Opera Singer.