Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vocal Science: Were You Involved In A Car Accident, Or Any Other Accident Of Sorts? Had Your Voice/Vocal Anatomy Ended Up Compromised In Any Way, Shape Or Form?

If so, we can help to restore your speaking and/or singing voice!

Fix your voice, regain your voice and maintain your voice for a lifetime! - This is our motto!

More often then before, we are getting inquiries from people who (at one time or another) had been involved in some kind of an accident; and due to that fact, their voices (and vocal anatomy in general) ended up being severely injured. Most common, of course, are automobile accidents; but there are also work-related accidents, bicycle accidents, slip and fall accidents and pedestrian-related accidents.

In our roster of voice repair clients, we had a person who, due to the bicycle accident, fell with his throat right onto the handlebars; and thus damaged some parts of his vocal box. We also had a person who was working on a construction site and, somehow, the electric saw fell DIRECTLY ON HIS THROAT…, in this case, the cut happened to be on one of the vocal cords.

We also had a martial artist in training, who did not give the appropriate sign to his opponent (during a choke-hold) to stop chocking his throat; and thus, our client ended up with broken cartilage in his vocal anatomy. Needless to say, we came across quite a few people who woke up after an automobile accident with their speech-centre (in their brain), quite damaged. 

The above are just a few examples from our practice.

In the worst case scenario, some of our voice repair clients were actually singers in their healthy pasts. Since the parts of their anatomy were damaged, due to their accidents, some of them were told by doctors that they would never be able to sing ever again. Obviously, receiving that kind of news, caused total devastation to the use-to-be singers. In majority of cases, their speech was also quite compromised.

The medical profession, in most cases, unfortunately, did not offer much of a solution… They just articulated to the patient a very undesirable (and negative in its nature) verdict.

Some sufferers agreed with that and went on with their lives the best they could. Others had been looking day in and day out for an alternative solution; and hoping one day, some day, to reclaim their regular lives back, and maybe, even speak normally and even sing again…?

How realistic is that? 

Unfortunately in some cases, it may not be… but in other (more mild) cases, it is actually possible!

For those who just want to speak normal (or close to normal) again, it is more realistic then for those who want to sing as good as before…and better. The speaking and singing voice are definitely related in nature and the mechanical application of both is mostly the same… However, to restore the singing voice, it would take an enormous effort and persistence from the sufferer and from the alternative voice repair specialist as well

Of course, it all depends on the severity of the vocal anatomy damage and, nevertheless, on the alertness, desire and enormous perseverance and patience from the voice repair client him/herself.

The mechanics (of the speaking and/or singing voice) need to be fully restored via repetition - over and over of certain words, syllables and vowels.

The voice now has to be redirected to an alternative set of muscles in one’s face, so that that damaged vocal anatomy would play a lesser role in the actual production of the sound.

In this instance, the pressure of the sound will be removed from the damaged vocal anatomy; and then, in turn, the vocal anatomy itself will become stronger, while also concurrently being nourished with natural herbs and (when needed) homeopathic remedies.

The facial muscles’ memory will be assured and the abdominal muscles will become strengthened; thus allowing the voice to be “fully lifted”; therefore, allowing the sound of the voice to “soar with the ease of the eagles”, in a manner of speaking!

With respect of the singing voice, we would need to establish a proper tone and also assure a proper pitch.

Once the voice is ready to accept the above, we would need to create a whole new approach to a singing voice mechanics.

Now we would have to employ not only speech exercises, but also singing exercises reflecting the certain sounds, duration and pitch, i.e., (what is called in music notation) intervals. The song, naturally, would consist of only so many different combinations of sounds, duration and pitch.

Those combinations (intervals) will also exist in only so many situations…

So while adapting the knowledge of all possible combinations of sounds, duration and pitch, and exercising all possible situations where they may and will exist, the use-to-be voice repair patient will actually transform to a singing student and, quite possibly, will become a singer again…. and, in this instance, we will guarantee that the quality of singing (and the now-recovered voice in general) will be nothing short of miraculous…!

The latter, of course, will take such place only in the best case scenario and in a case where the damage is reversible. 

We, at The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair, guarantee to employ our best efforts, unprecedented expertise and enormous experience.

On this note, we would like to make a statement:

“If you do not fail your efforts to conquer all of the obstacles there might be…, we, in turn, promise that we will not ever fail you!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Did You Need To Fix Your Voice Or Learn How To Speak/Sing Properly….Yesterday?

Well, yesterday is gone… but today is still (hopefully) not too late!  However, you yourself may think that the recovery of your voice (after you waited for so long), could not even be on the radar… but please think again.

And not only in the restoration of your damaged or lost voice, but we can also help by teaching you how to speak and sing up to (nevertheless) a professional level. We will make sure that we will repair your voice and that you will regain and maintain your voice for life!

We have people who come to us from all over the world with all kinds of voice/vocal problems. Some of them had been medically diagnosed and some of them had not been, but those of them - especially with diagnosis, never revealed those diagnosis or told us anything at all until their actual arrival to our studio/clinic.

Either way, by advocating our very own Vocal Science(TM) Method and technique, we make sure that all of our voice repair clients improve 100% in their speaking and (if needed) singing voice. The Vocal Science technique in its nature suggests that the voice (speaking and singing) has to be lifted off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords; and thus the voice gets restructured to a different set of muscles (facial cavities) which, in turn, allow the voice to fully function away from the vocal anatomy. 

Those facial muscles will serve the role of the natural amplifier or resonator and therefore will assure its clarity and volume. Those facial muscles will also work best in coordination and conjunction with the abdominal muscles, whereas the latter will play the role of the support for the lifted sound.

Now the vocal anatomy will get released from the pressure of the sound; and thus will acquire a needed “rest”. Once that is achieved, the natural herbs and homeopathic remedies will be administered to achieve a greater performance of the voice and provide (in many cases) a complete cure to a voice/vocal disorder.

However, a lot of our clients (after the initial inquiry about our very unique services) arrive to us a few months or even a few years later… With the majority of them, I initially spoke on the phone and I could distinctly remember that at least their speaking voice sounded much better then a few month or furthermore few years later.

It never ceases to amaze me why they had to wait  for so long and “drive their voices into the ground”, so to speak. Could they be so naive thinking that their voice/vocal issue will disappear on its own…? I tend to believe not! However, people by nature, like to procrastinate anything that requires effort from their part.  Especially nowadays, having full access to the Internet, they are trying to solve all of their problems by “lifting their finger” only to press a button on the computer and find all of the answers to their issues… They don’t realize that not all the answers, which they could see online, are correct; and certainly something as serious and as complex like voice disorders, certainly can not be fixed, treated or cured remotely.

Our recent U.S. voice repair client came with a few health issues. After a short assessment, it was clear to me that he was full of mucus and full of gastric acid (very pronounced acid reflux) not to mention a quite-acute asthma.

The Vocal Science technique requires the lower abdomen to hold the air by sucking one’s stomach in. Our client’s stomach was as big as a balloon and as hard as a rock. That was evident to the fact that internal inflammation of the colon was definitely present. Thought the first 2-3 days during the process of instruction and natural herbal and homeopathic treatment, our client could not hold any air in his lower abdomen. He also had quite severe breathing problems.

The latter was solved with the proper breathing technique (lower abdomen, upper diagram and mouth breath, separating the sound and the physical body between each other). Once that mechanism was put to work, the breathing (wheezing) problems disappeared, the stomach became smaller in size and softer in nature and thus the proper breathing mechanism successfully took place. 

The breath was “flying underneath of the sound” propelling the sound forward and to its aimed destination. The natural cleansing and rebuilding of the physical body and vocal anatomy in particular, assure the healthy body and the healthy voice, not to mention the healthy spirit…

The proper application of the speaking and singing voice was taught and instilled in the body’s muscle memory, assuring the natural maintenance of the whole process. 

Go given the above, we invite you to take care of your voice and your health in general sooner rather then later, as evidently, and by our experience and expertise, “later”, unfortunately, can be too late!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Physical And Emotional Consequences Of The Speaking And Singing Voice Disorders.

Dealing with. various voice disorders are my specialty.

Over many years, I have attended to hundreds, if not thousands of people with different voice injuries of their speaking and/or singing voices. In general, they were all, one way or another, physically and, nevertheless, emotionally hurt practically all of them were simply distraught to say the least.

What was different about them was their reactionary response to their voice disorder and its consequences. What was in common that all of them had lost their confidence, especially the singers. And even after the restoration of their voices, their physical demeanour has been expressing the tightness and fear, minimum to say. And even after the voice sounded as good, or even better than before, the performance aspect has been significantly lost, as they could not bring themselves out of their shell and loosen up to produce a required performance quality of the equation. 

We Russians have the saying: “The good dancers do not show their sweat”.

Those dancers work really hard at the bar, but when they end up at the center stage, they’re not supposed to “bring the bar” with them. They are supposed to acquire the feel at the bar for their future performances and then translate it into the intricate steps and thus, bring the latter to the dance stage. However, if those dancers experienced any kind of injury, their performance would also feel more technical and more stiff, especially at the beginning stages of their recovery.

Granted, it is a natural reaction of the physical body induced by the highly emotional stress which occurred during, and evidently even after the injury was concurred. Similarly, the same happens to the vocal performer. After the injury, they constantly doubt themselves and that directly reflects on their vocal performance. Interestingly enough, that people, who have just speech disorders, react completely differently. The minute they acquire their voice back, they can not stop talking.
In my practice, I had people who were afraid to talk for months, but then, at the end of my course and treatment, I could not put them back to structure, as they were talking out loud about everything and anything; and to stop them talking was virtually impossible. Go figure!

Any voice disorder for anybody concerned is definitely not a “picnic”. 

It is a serious matter, as it could inhibit ones’ life quite significantly. In some cases, it may be considered as a complete disability. Some people lost their professions, as due to their trade, they had been required to speak on the phone, or publically. Obviously, with the voice disorder, they could not continue their regular duties. The singers had been on the verge of losing their singing carers, recording contracts, tours, etc. We have examples of many known artists whose singing careers, unfortunately, had to be stopped temporarily or even permanently.

How sad is that?

Thank God that, in many cases, these people, (speakers or singers), can be helped and helped non-invasively and non-surgically. Every time, when I help the person with the voice problem to get their life back and, or to get back on stage, I feel extremely gratified and thankful to God for my gift of knowledge.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Non-Surgical Voice Repair… “Backed up” Voice Anyone? If So, You Obviously Need Need A "Plumber" To Fix It.

My business, “The Royans Professional Vocal School and The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair” use to be located in a quite prestigious area in the northeast part of Toronto, Canada. However, in the building where my studio was located, the washrooms were not kept up to standards, and the toilets, quite often, were backed up.

To serve our clients better and provide them with safe and clean facilities, we had to contact the management of the building more often than we would have liked to.

They fixed it…, and then, the saga began all over again...

For the last 4 decades, I have been mostly specialising in Non-Surgical Voice Repair for speakers and singers. Quite a few of them had been coming into that very studio with shut-down voices and quite often, with, so to speak, shut-down bodies. 

The memory brings one of my voice repair client's case:

The person came from the US with a very low-drawn, hardly understandable, speaking voice, and right at the beginning of the session, (when I asked her what she ate before she saw me), she announced to me that right before coming to my studio for her session, she ate white bread, cheese, ham and mayonnaise…

She indeed sounded like all of the above blended together. It was clear to me that the problem was not per say only vocal, but definitely emotional, and it was, no doubt, significantly related to her everyday diet as well. The well-known saying, “you are what you eat”, was indeed present in her case. 

The body definitely contained a high volume of mucous and yeast. The voice got literally "stuck" in that heavy and thick muss and was unable to get projected out to the surface. So the first protocol was to do the full cleanse of the body and even most importantly, clean up the flora inside of her vocal box.

The second protocol was to identify the source of the high emotional and stressful 'make-up' of her entire body. The thyroid, in fact, upon the definition of the holistic teaching, represents suppressed emotions and hurts (colloquially speaking). That issue had to be addressed as well.

And finally, the voice work begun and resulted in a much clearer, much more understandable, much better pronounced and higher volume voice. Thus, the mission was accomplished!!!

The holistic approach to the person as a whole cured the cause of the voice disorder, while scientifically and, nevertheless, naturally, addressing the symptoms. In this instance (and figuratively speaking), her "toilet" was officially "plunged"; and now, due to that fact (and THANK GOD) the person's voice was brought up to its usable state! 

Unfortunately, in real sense, our management of our building had not been addressing the cause of the plugged-up toilets; and thus, we did not have an assurance that it would not become unusable again tomorrow... or the next day.

On the contrary, since we addressed not just the symptoms, but also identified the cause of the persons’ voice issues, we are certain that if the now former client/student of ours will continue her protocol with respect to the diet, also to more-contained emotions and proper use (as she was taught intensely) of her newly found and recovered voice, she will not necessarily have to come back to us again for a heavy duty work, but maybe only for the light maintenance, or only, perhaps, just for a social visit...

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 & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.
 If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone at 416-857-8741

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vocal Science: For Greater Learning… “Should You Be Coming To Someone Else’s Church With Your Own Prayer”?

My answer would be: “No, you should not.”

With that said, if you want to learn something valuable from your coach/mentor, or your voice specialist for that matter, YOU are the one who has to be submissive to such learning and NEVER DOMINANT!

For example.. during my session, one of my students/clients had been constantly trying to take over, so to speak. In general, I have always reminded them that one of us has to be submissive… and it ain’t going to be me!

What do I mean by that?

What I mean is that when I try to convey my message, and for many years (along with it), the tested, tried and proved curriculum, the student/client tries to impose his/her own way of running MY session; and therefore, no doubt,  interferes with the process of his/her own learning progress.

I have been consulting, teaching and repairing voices for over four decades, but some of my clients, instead of listening and embracing my expertise and extensive experience, trying to prove their own point; and then, not to mention that one of them had the audacity to tell ME that he feels that I am not RESPECTING HIM…?

Go figure!

All of my sessions are always extremely interactive, but my word should have more weight then my attendee.  

Nowadays, people do not know how to differentiate the roles between the teacher and themselves (the pupil). They do not pay the required respect and do not keep the required distance; and thus, all of that dramatically infringes on the desirable outcome of such process.

Call me “Old School”, but in my times, the teacher was considered to be a Guru and a Goddess. With such respect and admiration from the student’s side, the greatest mentoring (and thus high level of education) had been reaching the highest point in one’s development. At that time, we had better doctors, better engineers, and yes… better artists!

Here in Canada, spending almost four decades dealing with all kinds of people, I met quite a few so-called musicians and composers who had no idea where the middle C on a keyboard was located.

I met so-called lyricists who made five mistakes in the word “mama” LOL! 

I’ve also met University students who were speaking and writing with double-negatives like, for example:

I don’t know no more and you probably know more better”.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad! Yet…it is sad indeed!

What is also so scary is that these above-mentioned people are literally running our lives. They are driving our cars (UBER and Taxi drivers who cannot speak English at an understandable level) They are flying our planes (not always knowing how to read the instruments - The best example of that was the crash of J.F.K. Jr’s plane!)

They are teaching our children, while concurrently being unable to take instructions from anybody else…not to mention also, evidently, being unable to “walk and chew the gum at the same time”! I once, incidentally, had in my studio my friend’s daughter’s elementary school teacher. For over a two hour period of time, I was unable to pull out anything remotely sensible towards the voice repair matter concerning that person. How do these people teach when they themselves are not being able to learn? Beats me… It has been my riddle for many years of my teaching and mentoring career.

The good teacher, by the law of averages, should also be able to be a good learner; and also, he/she should be able to keep their ego aside, and thus allow the mentor, in the required field, to deliver the needed message successfully, and nevertheless, with flying colours, their way. 

It never ceases to amaze me when the person in need (especially of non-surgical voice repair) comes with the attitude of skepticism and cynicism. Instead of being trusting and grateful that somebody is actually trying to employ their best efforts to help them, they are looking for something in the process to turn the wrong way while projecting (towards the very serious matter such as their voice health), a negative attitude.

So the moral of the above is:

If you want to be taught something valuable to you, let the teacher in…and NEVER interfere with the process! TRUST, BELIEVE and EMBRACE… And then... enjoy the wonders coming your way!

On this note, I wish you the best of health and the best of voice which you are, indeed, in need of!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Intellectual Mind and The Physical Body... What Role Do They Both Play in One's Vocal Development?

- Revised and modernized version from July 23rd, 2011

I've been teaching, consulting and recording vocalists for close to four decades. I've also been conducting group vocal interactive workshops and seminars for the longest time. It is extremely interesting to watch and experience the changes with each generation.

What was happening before is history. What is happening today is reality. And today's reality is very confusing, and at times, disheartening.

On one hand, the people are much more advanced now than they've ever been. In what sense you may ask? Definitely technologically. Also quite definitely, intellectually, as the technology gives them access to much wider venues than they could have ever dreamt of. Yet, physically speaking, it's another story.

The Vocal Science(TM) method, which I have been advocating for quite a few years, requires an integration and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and vocal state. Unless all of those components are working in compliance with each other, the mechanism required for the voice to work in its fullest capacity possible cannot be "launched".

The physical component of such mechanism, nowadays unfortunately, is not even on the radar.

How could that be so, you, my reader, might be wondering?

The fact of the matter is that the people are not physical anymore. They spend too much time at their innovative electronic gadgets and not enough time embarking on any physical activities. Purely and simply, they cannot "walk and chew the gum at the same time" and thus, I should say, they cannot "carry a tune in a bucket" for that matter. The balance and coordination are just not present. Therefore, the physicality of the sound cannot be enforced or can be, but with great difficulty. In other words and evidently, the people's physical state is at least five levels below their intellectual capacities... Go figure!

It is sad, but it is the reality today. Every day it is harder and harder to make people physically apply the vocal techniques they're taught. Their, so to speak, "incapacitated" and "un-tuned" physical bodies are simply not allowing them to prosper.

Where are we all going with the advanced technology? I don't profess to know. But my wild guess is that we're not at all going to the new heights; either with our health or overall prosperity... and most definitely, not vocally!

We can only hope that the majority of the population will "wake up and smell the coffee" (and not the virtual one. LOL).

We also hope that people will finally have an understanding that not everything is "be-all and end-all" what they read online. And most importantly, they will realize that something like their health (nevertheless their vocal health) CANNOT be attended to remotely!

On that note... Our claim is as such:

We are here not only to teach and consult, as well as to fix and repair voices, we are here to help you to reclaim your voice, health and your life overall!

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producer, and 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 & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.
If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone at 416-857-8741

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Non-Surgical Voice Repair: “Brace Yourself For Impact” - Survive The “Crash”… Reclaim Your Life!

For some people, the loss of their voice is equivalent to a plane crash, nevertheless! Obviously they would feel lost and confused, as (for most of the times) they are not even aware of what exactly happened to them and their voice for that matter… and why?

They are desperately looking for answers.

The singers usually could intuitively and predominantly feel that some voice problems may be coming their way; but the regular people who had lost their speaking voices literally experience the “crash of their lives”, as their communication with their inner and (needless to say) outer world, had become significantly compromised. 

Obviously, in the case of the voice loss, the ultimate goal would be the restoration of the speaking voice and, when needed, the singing voice as well. However, it is easier said then done. If the chosen approach for the restoration of the voice is surgical and if the vocal surgery is successful, the first part of the voice recovery is not that difficult, as the “instrument”, so to speak, gets somewhat restored and ready to be “played on” again. But what about the “player”?

Some surgeons suggest post-surgical speech therapy; but unfortunately, in most cases, it does not work. Those speech therapists, yet again, continue to work  on the “instrument” and never address the actual application of the voice (the mechanics) - for the speaking and especially singing voice. Those therapists are making their post-surgical trauma patients do nonsensical lip trills, blow into a Kazoo and blow some bubbles… Nevertheless, they are assuring their traumatized clients that those voice manipulations will help them to acquire their previously-healthy voice for speaking and, (believe it our not), also singing… and moreover, at a level that it will be as good, or even better then before…? Go figure!

I guess, singing, in this instance, is not even up for discussion; and definitely “not on the radar”, in a manner of speaking. It is a known fact that the majority of those speech therapists or pathologists had never sung a note in their lives. Then the question is how in the world could they help singers to restore their singing voice? They, however, assure the used-to-be singers that their totally irrelevant speech exercises will help those troubled singers to somehow “magically” (and obviously not scientifically) regain their singing voice… How ridiculous is that?

Those speech exercises are producing nothing but harm and, while executed, they actually induce patients’ already-dry throats to an even higher level of dryness, which evidently, by itself, slows down the healing process of the vocal anatomy. Unless the right application of the speaking and/or singing voice is properly employed, no voice will work as good as before; and most likely the damage which took place to begin with, will be recurring over and over again. 

However, to restore the voice properly and non-surgically, is definitely “not a picnic” for both sides - the provider (the alternative voice health practitioner) and the patient. Therefore, if your decision is to avoid the surgical interference, you then really have to “brace for impact”.

The Non-Surgical Voice Repair is definitely not for the faint of heart…

It is a very detailed, and thus, very intense endeavor where the voice repair client has to work literally on every syllable and vowel of the word which, in turn, will help to establish the wholesome voice mechanism; whereas, in the final analysis, this mechanism will allow the voice (speaking and/or singing) to work in the fullest capacity possible and, needless to say, execute the sound safely while concurrently experiencing no pain or strain whatsoever on the vocal anatomy.

Now the pressure of the sound has been relieved… and the alternative muscles (facial muscles) have to be able to accept and harbor the physical sound within them. The upper back muscles and abdominal muscles also have to be strengthened in order to be able to support the lifted sound properly while assuring the sound’s height, width and the actual “body” (fullness) of the voice. 

So for those with speaking voice problems, it’s only half the ordeal. For singers, (after the speaking voice is restored) there is the next level awaiting for them to embark upon… Now, when the voice is healthier, the proper pitch and tone has to be established. At this point, we have to take care of the “player”.

Also, we have to take for consideration the actual music part of it.

The fact is that any song does consist of certain combinations of sound, duration and pitch, i.e., intervals. Any song of any style could posses only so many combinations of sounds, duration and pitch… After all of these combinations are examined and exercised, the time is to talk about the situations where they may and will exist. 

So once you are familiar with all possible combinations of sound, duration and pitch…and the situations where they may and could possibly exist, you will become the owner of not only your speaking voice, but also your singing voice!

So, in this instance, we invite you to survive the “crash” and, most definitely not only regain your old life, but embrace the healthy new and enhanced life ahead!