Sunday, July 13, 2014

Voice Repair: We Don’t Just Speak About It - We Make It Happen!

I have been teaching and repairing voices for many years now. I have taught actors, professional media personnel, voice-over speakers, fitness instructors, and, of course, singers of all calibers. To survive in those described above professions, you need a strong voice, a voice which will never let down its user. 

Those people’s livelihood directly depends on the strength, health and command of their voices. If the person, of any of the described above professions, would damage and/or lose their voice, their livelihood would be (very much so) in jeopardy. 

Over the years, I’ve fixed the voices of quite well-known radio and TV personnel, public speakers, pastors, worship leaders, to name a few. All of them needed their voice back to the normal operational state and as soon as possible! So there was no time to just speak about it or feed them with promises of a future recovery — I had to get to the action and  to act upon it immediately!

These people were desperate, as they were literally losing their jobs along with their passion and zest for life. Some of them just had to restore their speaking voice; some - their singing voice; but others had to restore both. I cannot describe the emotional, physical, and mental impact the damaged voice had on those sufferers. 

The voice is our main tool for communication. 

It reflects on the state of our being and actually identifies who we are. When the voice is damaged, the in-congruency between who that person is in reality and what he/she is able to express, makes the whole matter devastating. The voice sufferer ultimately loses his/her (known-to-them) identity. When the voice damage occurs, the surrounding people now have difficulty to assess the person in front of them due to verbal communication breakdown. The person with the voice problem becomes (understandably) less communicative due to the difficulty of speech and constant tiredness of their voice. 

When those people happen to be in a loud environment, they nearly become mute, as they intuitively feel that if they tried to speak and (on top of it) with more volume, they might actually push their voice to the max (possibly) the last time; and thus, lose whatever has been left (at all) of their sound. So, in not so many words, it is a real tragedy and practical help MUST be administered immediately. 

A lot of voice practitioners, speech therapists, vocal coaches like to theorize about it, but the clock is ticking and every day counts, especially for those who have to return back to their everyday lives, not to mention, their speaking and/or singing career. Now voice repair – hands-on-experience should take place. 

Majority of people, especially with growth(s) on their vocal cords like nodules, polyps, lesions etc., luckily do not want to, right away, jump onto the operating table. They are usually looking for alternative ways to solve their voice/vocal problems. 

Now, I – the non-surgical voice repair specialist – have to go into action, along with my client, as it “takes two to tango”, so to speak. Both of us, my voice repair client and I, are facing a very intense and detailed (syllable-on-syllable, vowel-on-vowel, word-on-word) instruction. 

The first thing to do is to fix the speaking voice (this applies to both speakers and singers); and then teach both (a speaker and a singer) how to apply a new technique for their speaking voice.

Then, respectively, teach a singer how to sing a new way – not pushing the sound of their voice down to their throat by virtue of dropping the jaw almost down to the knee, and also not simultaneously sticking the stomach out and pelvis forward. 

In order to recover the voice, the speaking and singing voice application has to change completely. To accomplish this, I have to practically use a “Pavlovian conditioning” method and virtually re-teach the psyche and the human anatomy a completely different behavior, which also falls in the science of neural-linguistic programming (NLP). 

So it is a complex endeavor and it cannot be treated lightly (furthermore, remotly). 

There is indeed no time to just speak about it; there is a lot of mental, physical, emotional and vocal work to be done, and, nevertheless, in practice and not just in theory.

Our device:  We don’t speak, We do! And we make it happen in all cases where it is at all possible!

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