Monday, February 27, 2017

Vocal Science: Does Your Speaking or Singing Voice Have a WOW Factor?

If you think that it does not, ask us how you can obtain it!

Everybody lately is speaking about a “WOW factor”.
During the vocal competitions like American/British Idol or shows like America Got Talent or Britain Got Talent, judges constantly looking for that WOW factor in their contestants. What do they mean by that?

Well, first of all, they are looking for a good song suitable for the contestant and, of course, good and original interpretation of that song. Obviously a sharp performance with the proper technical and artistic merit should move the contestant to the top of his/her category. Similarly, during the speech presentation, unfortunately, a lot of times you want to “fall asleep”, a the presenter sounds monotone; and thus, very boring. He/she often does not have the proper emphasis and inflections in their sentences and, therefore, sometimes you can not even make out what they are actually talking about.

This is especially annoying when those so called “presenters” are simply mumbling, or putting the work “like” or “um” in every “three” consecutive words. 
Some of them (even the radio announcers) are adding the letter “h” with the letter “s”. For example: Instead of the word “grocery”, they are pronouncing  “groshery”.
Instead of “strength”, they are saying “shtrength”.
And instead of “strong”, they are saying “shtrong”. 

How sad if that?
Sad indeed!

In this particular case, they also produce (in a manner of speaking) a “WOW factor”, but definitely in a negative light. 

My question is, “who is hiring these people to be radio and television DJ’s and why, for that matter? Shouldn’t they be the role models for the rest of the population promoting the right language command and, nevertheless, right annunciation and pronunciation of the appropriate words. 

There is a commercial running on TV for a while, where a very strange looking “unshaved” man is promoting Hotels “Trivago”. If there was not a scroll on TV spelling out this very word “Trivago”, I would think that he was talking about “Dgivago”. The other advertiser (also on TV) tries to say, “Sleep is a beautiful thing”.

He is clearly lisping and saying at the end of his commercial, “Sleep is a beautiful ‘fing‘ ”. MIND BOGGLING! You don’t even have to be a voice specialist to hear all of that nonsense polluting our ears! It would be funny, however, if it was not so sad!

Singers, nevertheless, are trying to wow us while “murdering”(so to speak) our Canadian National Anthem. They are doing runs and riffs to the point that this classic piece is hardly recognizable. For no apparent reason, they “pop-it-up” and “ Jazz-it-up” to say the least. What to say but, in those vocal competitions, the judges are commanding the contestants to make a cover tune “their own”. 

However, there is some validity in it but, as usual, it had been taken (by both the judges and the contestants) out of proportion. Those cover tunes (sung previously by the original artists) were also ruined by the artists to be, as they had been “interpreted” beyond the point of recognition. That was a real “WOW”, but yet again, in a negative light. 

I am still awaiting for the REAL WOW FACTOR where the speaker actually knows what he/she is talking about and also knowing HOW to talk about it; putting the right inflections and emphasis on the important keywords, holding the right speed (not too slow or not too fast), keeping the right pace and staying on topic. Having the voice which actually is not monotone and which fluctuates with proper intonation. And, of course, preferably not lisping, stuttering or substituting the letters. 

For the singers, my wish is: stay in tune and tell the story through your lyrics and music. And also, if you decide to cover someone else’s tune, yes, give your own twist on it, but please make sure that the original version of that song would be actually recognizable. 

And of course, if you decide to right your own song, WOW us with the originality of your musical and vocal skills!

Vocal Science - Do You Lisp, Or Lightly Stutter, Perhaps? We Can Help!

I had a lot of speaking and singing students (especially in the past) with quite severe lisps and some stuttering. It is a known fact that when the stuttering person begins to sing, the stuttering disappears. But the objective here is to reduce that stuttering not just during singing, but also while speaking on an everyday basis. Similarly, when the person lisps and pronounces “F” instead of “S” (for example, “Fnow" instead of “Snow”).

Over the years, by osmosis, I discovered that the Vocal Science Technique eliminated that lisp practically on the root, as by “biting above the air”, it produces sound which puts the voice in complete balance when it enters the facial cavities, provided that the lift to those cavities is supported by the abdominal muscles. The enunciation and pronunciation become crystal clear due to all the vowels and consonants getting placed in the right set of muscles.

So when the support, structure, placement and projection of the voice is accomplished, the lisp is definitely not going to be present and even the stuttering will become much lighter and may also even disappear altogether.

Those people who possess those aforementioned voice disorders, most of the time, are also emotionally very fragile. A lot of them had been teased and even bullied during their school years which made them more silent then they should have been. Needless to say, those people are very insecure and lack a lot of confidence. They think very low about themselves, and due to that factor, their personal and business relationships are greatly affected. They try to find jobs which do not require any speaking. They are shy and timid and their confidence is often just nonexistent. 

So, in those cases, my work is definitely cut out for me. As not only I need to fix their voice, I need to work on them as a whole, carefully catering to their emotions and insecurities. The overall work that needs to be done is definitely holistic. Nevertheless, these people are experiencing an inconsistency between what they want to say and feel and what comes out of their mouths. Needless to say, it is extremely frustrating to the person in question.

So if any of you suffer from anything that I had described above, please be advised that we can help you a great deal to become the best you can be and regain your self-esteem, self-worth and your confidence overall, which by itself (would be right to make a statement), is priceless!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Vocal Science: We Believe In LIFE After The Completion Of The Voice, Body and Soul Repair.

Once, I had a request from a serious voice problem sufferer who was residing in the UK. He was a throat cancer survivor; and with all of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy, he ended up having both vocal cords damaged. One of his vocal cords was paralyzed and the other one was simply non-functional. He approached me with all kinds of questions and when his question came around the price of my nonsurgical voice repair services and treatment sessions, he exclaimed: “Oh my God, it is too much!”

When I asked him what he would do with the same amount of money if he would not end up paying for my services? He said: “I would go on vacation…” Then I asked him if he would enjoy that vacation, being afraid to open his mouth and constantly be conscious on how he would be received and perceived by other people? On that note, I’ve heard the tears in his voice. He had obviously gotten my drift… so to speak. After this emotional moment, our deal had been finalized; and shortly after, I flew to London to attend to him and a couple of other people.

You, my reader, may ask: Did you fix his voice? My answer would be yes, but to a degree. Could I un-paralyze his vocal cord or make the other one functional? The answer is no. But, applying the Vocal Science ™ Method, I was able to create some base underneath of his very soprano-sounding voice; so he started to sound quite a bit more manly. His diction (enunciation and pronunciation) became much clearer and he started to sound, by far, more coherent. Needless to say, his confidence (after lots of tears and spent emotions) became more apparent; and thus his long-ago gone zest for life was actually coming back, and (at least to a degree) his life was reclaimed!

Had he become perfectly healthy and fully regained his voice? The answer is - not quite. But he gained a lot of knowledge, awareness and understanding with respect of what was happening to him in general and his vocal anatomy in particular. He now was able to bring the best of his voice upon his wish and command which, (we both agreed) by itself, is priceless. Having a clear map in his head with respect to how the physical sound travels, he was able to get hold of the best of his voice (pretty much) at any given moment. In other words, we both did the best we could!

Leaving back for Canada, I left this (previously) very emotionally, physically and vocally disturbed man with an intellectual understanding and kinesthetic feeling of how to power the sound of his voice to its best capacity; and, most importantly, how to save and protect to what he had been left with. As far as him and I were concerned, both of our missions had been accomplished!

I clearly was able to show him that there is LIFE that is worth living, especially after the completion of our voice, body and soul repair journey!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Non-Surgical Voice Repair: What Once Was Lost, Can Now Be Found With The Vocal Science™ Method!

No matter what has happened to you and your voice, your healing journey starts here and now, with us!

We strive to provide exceptional voice-health care and overall human care at all times. As we always like to say: “Your better voice tomorrow, starts with us today!”

Regain your voice! As if you don’t take us up on our offers to fix your voice, just think what you could be missing!

We are world-class voice experts! It had been tested, tried and proven for many years!

The Vocal Science Method is a holistic approach to voice mechanics and to the human being as a whole. There could be numerous reasons why the person acquires a certain voice disorder and/or vocal issues. 

It could be overall health issues like:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Weight Problems (under or over)
  • Low fitness level - or lack thereof
  • Poor diet (consisting of fatty acidic and mucus-filled food products consumed on a regular basis)
  • High sugar and high blood pressure
  • Gastric acid reflux
  • Colon problems
  • Smoking, drinking and drug use (medical drugs including)

Those factors above are just to name a few…

And, of course, there are also environmental causes which are contributing to voice problems.

To give you an example, a few years ago, I received a client from out of town who was diagnosed with what’s called Spasmodic Dysphonia. I, colloquially, call it “vocal epilepsy”, as in this very unfortunate precedence, the voice usually spasms uncontrollably (just like one’s body would be seizing due to a regular epilepsy condition).

This client (during my assessment with her) told me her story of how she acquired such a nasty voice disorder. Her husband and her, at the time, moved into a new house with a finished basement which had carpeted floors. 

Only a few days later, they had a flood in that basement; and naturally, the carpets became very wet…

Those years, these types of carpets were treated with certain chemicals; and thus, when the flood occurred, those chemicals spread out throughout the house, and of course, effected the air my client and her husband were breathing. After that, both of them acquired a lot of health problems in general; but my client, who managed (in time) to concur the majority of her health problems, still was suffering with the very complicated disorder (such as spasmodic dysphonia is).

This client took only 10 hours of private sessions with me and 10 hours of semi-private instruction, which was provided in a group setting (the ‘Healthy Voice/Vocal Workshop Summit’).

Needless to say, her condition improved exponentially and she was even able to sing in church during Christmas Mass (according to her own words, it was a ‘Christmas Miracle’).

Regain your voice by “cleaning up” your act, I.e., improve your diet, do not pollute your body with fat, mucus-filled and acidic foods, stop your bad habits (smoking, drinking and drug use), stay away as much as you can from medical drugs as well, and try to employ natural herbs and remedies as well as natural and organic foods (which do not contain too much salt, flour or sugar, and also do not produce excess of mucus or acid).

And lastly, we would like to address the mechanical side of voice use which, if disrupted, could cause serious voice problems and sometimes could even lead to the point of no return.

The Vocal Science technique advocates the safe use of the voice and the use of the latter “upon design”.

With these specially designed speech and singing exercises, the voice will be lifted off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords and restructured to the different set of muscles; thus the pressure of the sound effecting the vocal anatomy will be practically eliminated. 

If the voice damage had already occurred, the natural herbs and remedies will be administered to heal the throat flora, to clean the vocal anatomy from the impurities and to strengthen the “vocal machinery” over all. 

The knowledge of the above will produce the confidence in speech presentations and, nevertheless, vocal performances. It will also produce the health and vibrant in one’s being. 

In conclusion…, the question is: What price tag could you put on the above?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Vocal Science - "Fifty Shades" Of Voice: What Do We Mean By This?

What we mean by this is that the human voice possesses a ‘rainbow of colours’, so to speak. It also possesses different varieties of voice performance

Singers always say that sometimes they really have ‘good days’ with their voice, i.e., their voice obeying their commands and give them the right tonality, bright tone and perfect pitch; whereas some other times, they refer to the ‘bad days’, i.e., when the voice sounds dark in tone and the pitch and projection also suffer.

Objectively, the latter, in this case, depends on the mood of a singer, the weather and, perhaps, the personal circumstances prevailing the performance. 

All of the above is somewhat good, but wouldn’t it be even better if the singer did not depend on the outer factors; but would mostly depend on the professional training and proper vocal technique, pertaining to the vocal performances and studio recordings. 

After all, we are talking about the human being and the human voice he/she possesses. Even the acoustic piano reacts on the weather conditions and the inner environment. 

If the place is too dry, the wood, hammers and strings of the piano will sound different, as opposed to the place which is in a balanced climate (not too hot, not too dry and not too moist either). 

So obviously, the human voice is much more sensitive then any musical instrument and it also has to be ‘balanced’ with the ‘inner physical body’, outer weather and other outside factors - like clean or polluted air, for example..

I had always been saying that the voice is a reflection of the state of one’s being and identification of who that person really is. 

I always refer to the voice as a human spirit, which with certain manipulations, flies away from the physical body (however, supported by the physical body components) and soars “like an Eagle” to the place where the sky(in a manner of speaking) is the limit! 

So there are a lot of “shades” (probably more then fifty) which the human voice possesses. And there are a lot of variations within which the voice performs.

The difference between the amateur and professional singer is such that the professional singer feels and knows predominantly what would actually come out of his/her mouth. 

He/she is able to control the colour of the voice, the intonation, the vibrato (on or off, depending on the style), and most importantly, the pitch (which he/she has to stay within). So no weather or various moods would shake that performance. 

On the contrary, the amateur singer who does not possess the proper training and/or technique will react on different conditions such as weather, his or her own mood, and some other turbulence and tribulations which could occur on the day of their performance. Any other (even little) nuances could throw that singer out of “vocal balance”, so to speak. 

The excessive emotions, lack of endurance, poor physical state of their body, could ruin that performance which the singer (usually, nevertheless, keeping his/her “fingers crossed”) was desperately trying to deliver. 

So, in a side by side perspective, there are many shades and colours to both adequate and inadequate vocal performances. 

The knowledge of the above of what to do and what not to do could save somebody’s career, and mainly their main instrument (their voice). 

The lack of knowledge of the above, (in other words; musical, anatomical and physiological ignorance of how to properly use one’s voice) could bring the performer to the voice damage which (unfortunately, sometimes) may not be curable or even treatable.

So, before any of you call yourselves a singer or a vocal performer, please obtain the right knowledge of what it entails which, in turn, will save you from a lot of troubles with yourself and your voice. 

For the greater clarity - Please do not allow your voice (and thus, your spirit) to get fifty shades darker…