Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Vocal Boutique… What Do We Mean By That?

“We offer 'Cadillac' quality of voice/vocal coaching and voice repair. Our services are classy, timely, high-end & simply unprecedented.”

What exactly do we mean by the above statement?

The Royans Professional Vocal School, aka, The Royans School for the Musical Performing Arts, was founded on February the 15th, 1984.

Originally, it was designed to be a local music and vocal school. But in 1987, after the partner of the school passed away, the school took a different turn. Since I have always been specializing and highly educated in voice, I decided to turn The Royans School for the Musical Performing Arts into a professional vocal school; and thus discontinued offering any lessons pertaining to musical instruments.

So now, my institution became a ‘vocal boutique’ specializing in voice and voice only.

Those years, people were able to appreciate the quality and were able to make the differentiation between the “Walmart” or “Honest Ed’s” (Discounted department stores, which have carried everything and anything for the highly discounted prices) and highly specialized boutiques of whichever kind. Those who appreciate quality, and of course, nevertheless, could afford to go to a specialized store (boutique of whichever sort) did so and felt quite dignified purchasing much higher quality stuff; and respectively took pride that they were able to pay for it accordingly.

Then the next phase kicked in where  the people still understood the difference between the department store and the high-quality merchandise boutique. But at that time, they somehow presumed that they could buy a “Cadillac” for the price of a bicycle, or at best, for the price of a cheap Hyundai vehicle.

We started feeling it when people began to bargain with us and thus, by definition, dismissing the highly professional quality of our services; and therefore, respectively, they started bringing down our professional fees which we, in fact, have been charging for all of the previous years without any problems. I verbalized that experience by saying that I feel that I have been forced to sell “Cadillacs” from…a junkyard! To say the least, that’s what my potential clients were making me feel!

Little that I knew…! Now, we came to a time of the financial recession, “digital pollution” and complete & total illiteracy and, the least to say, ignorance due to the “excess of information” via the internet. Nowadays, people do not even have a differentiation between a bicycle, a Hyundai and a Mercedes or Cadillac - It looks and feels like that it is all the same to them…

How sad is that?
Sad indeed!

We, however, always had been a high-end quality services vocal boutique and are very proud of that.The Toronto Star, in 1999, published an article about myself titled “Not as Easy as it Sounds”. It mentioned that my method and technique is not for the faint of heart (to put it mildly). I also added that it is not for the people with a below-average IQ… Go figure!

Given the above, it is clear that it is not for people who blindly trust the internet and get drowned in the right and (a lot of the times) wrong information. Those are the ones who presume that the Scooter and the Mercedes come from the same family, so to speak…

To those kind of people, I think that even I would not be able to help…

However, I am hoping that the world in general will smarten-up and sooner rather then later, for their sake and for everybody else’s sake; as otherwise, we might begin to experience reverse-evolution - From the human, to the monkey (no offence to the monkey) and, perhaps, even below…?

I certainly hope that it would not come to that, as if it does, for me, it will be a sign that the world has not only gone crazy exponentially, but it is also, evidently, approaching its VERY END!

To conclude, I always say: “ The smart person will understand my philosophy, the not-so-very smart will have their own view and, no doubt, will enjoy the consequences”.

The latter, my reader, is your riddle…

Friday, September 22, 2017

What is the Difference Between Voice Problems (Voice Disorders) & Speech Problems (Speech Impediment)?

For the last 2 and a half decades, we are more and more treating voice problems and also, sometimes, quite serious speech problems – the identification of which is  speech impediment.

What is the difference between the two described above, you, my reader, may ask?

There is definitely a difference between speaking voice problems (which are usually much easier to correct, as they are caused by a wrong application of one’s voice), and a speech impediment. 
The former may cause voice disorders like:

Muscle Tension Dysphonia
Spasmodic Dysphonia
Vocal Cord Nodules, Polyps, Lesions, etc.

As for a speech impediment, it is usually either some kind of a birth defect, (which directly effects the manner of the person’s speaking) or it is a consequence of some other diseases; like for example, stroke (pre or post condition) ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or the aftermath of any kind of accident occurrence. In the latter, the speech center of one’s brain may be quite severely compromised.

In one of our blogs, we described a young boy who’s speech impediment had been mistaken for a lisp…

In real sense, during the introductory/exploratory session with him, I pinpointed that it was a consequence of a birth defect; and thus, all ENT doctors and speech therapists, for the last 13 years of his life, had severely failed to help him in any shape or form.

They have treated lisp and lisp had nothing to do with it; it just simply was a symptom of a much more complicated and greater causes.

I actually did not know any of this until the session took place. After the completion of the session, I revealed my observations and beliefs to the parents - who actually agreed with my “diagnosis”…

They, of course, never told me any of this beforehand, but with experience of over 42 years of teaching and repairing voices, I was able to “see through” and underline the cause of a very severe speech impediment problem. I have to note that there was nothing wrong with this boy’s voice. On the contrary, his voice sounded nice, well projected and healthy. Go figure…

So the conclusion of the above is:

If you find anything unusual with your own voice, your child’s voice or your loved one’s voice, please seek professional help immediately, as the longer you wait, that much harder it will be to fix it. If it lasts for months or even years, the sufferer adjusts to his/her condition and finds the comfort within that voice disorder.

The bad habits will be created; and to break them might take a lot of energy, persistence, perserviearance and nevertheless, time.

We advocate an alternative approach to voice and voice mechanics. We are looking at the cause to treat and cure… and not just trying to mask the symptoms. We are practising alternative medicine; and therefore would like to bring to your attention once again that any of the above cannot and will not, be addressed remotely.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Vocal Cord Paralysis - What Could Be The Causes & How To Deal With Them?

Vocal cord paralysis, also known as the vocal cord paresis, is the inability of one or both vocal cords to move. It can greatly impact the daily life of the sufferer, including, job, social interactions and leisure time activities.

The condition is caused by damage to nerves going to the vocal cords-the nerve impulses in the larynx are interrupted, resulting in the paralysis of the vocal cord muscles.

Patients with vocal paralysis typically experience hoarseness, vocal fatigue, mild to a severe reduction in speech volume, a pain in the throat when speaking, and swallowing things down the wrong way and choking.

Signs and symptoms of vocal cord paralysis include:

Changes to the voice
Noisy Breathing
Changes to vocal pitch
Coughs that do not clear the throat properly
Voice volume may be affected

Treatment for vocal cord paralysis

The treatment for vocal cord paralysis depends on several factors, including what caused it, how severe the symptoms are, and how long they have been present.

Voice therapy: Equivalent to physical therapy for large muscle paralysis, can be beneficial for sufferers of this condition. There is an alternative form of voice therapy which incorporates some specific exercises and some other activities that will strengthen the vocal cords. You might also learn how to use your voice in a different way. And as a result, the voice disorder sufferer will know how to effectively utilize the maximum potential of their voice; while, at the same time, minimizing the chance of the voice disorder reappearing in the future.

Surgery & Alternatives: As a last resort, if the patient does not recover totally with the voice therapy, the doctor may recommend a vocal cord surgery. But, as indicated in the above paragraph, there is an alternative method of voice recovery/rehabilitation that will ‘get the job done’ without the need for surgery. This is known as non-surgical voice repair.

If you notice any unexplained voice changes or discomfort, you can consult Diana Yampolsky at The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair. One of the world’s foremost specialists, she works with a wide spectrum of clientele as a Voice Coach, Consultant, and Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist.

For more information regarding vocal cord paralysis or if you, or a loved one, are suffering from any voice problems/disorders, contact The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair at: | 416-857-8741

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Certain Signs Which Are Indicative Of Vocal Cord Disorder.

Almost anyone, at one time or the other, experiences hoarseness, or even loss of voice due to the occurrence of various circumstances. Some of the causes of hoarseness could be due to the common cold, exposure to high volumes of sound in a concert or even simply cheering for your favorite team at a sports event.

While these conditions can temporarily compromise one’s vocal cords, with a little care, (such as vocal rest and good hydration) it can actually be recovered quickly.

There are certain times where people are not able to decipher the problem(s) with their voice which they are experiencing. With that said, it is important to have an awareness of the most common disorders, and how to rectify them, in order to avoid long-term or even permanent damage.

Here are the major signs that demand immediate attention followed by proper care:

1) Persistent hoarseness or voice changes: Hoarseness is a general term that includes a wide range of abnormal voice qualities such as a raspy or hoarse voice. While hoarseness can be caused by a cold, persistent yelling or talking for extended time-frames, it can also be a symptom of a severe condition such as a growth on the vocal cords.

Many of the above voice conditions can be treated with voice therapy. Although in more advanced cases, there is an alternative form of voice therapy that can effectively eliminate the problem. In its most critical condition, surgery may be required. If you experience any change in your voice or a persistent hoarseness in your voice for more than two weeks, you should see a laryngologist for a proper diagnosis.

2) Chronic Vocal Fatigue: Vocal fatigue can be the result of voice overuse. Often, you can see this problem effecting professional voice users such as teachers, singers, speakers, actors, preachers, call centers employees, etc. Your voice can and will get tired if you are using it incorrectly and for long periods of time. It is recommended to rest your voice for 10 minutes after every 90 minutes of voice use. If you often feel a disturbance or loss in your voice, you must get an accurate diagnosis in order to see if your vocal cord(s) may have succumbed to some tissue damage.

An alternative voice therapy (known as Non-Surgical Voice Repair) will allow you to learn specialized techniques that will help reduce stress within your vocal box and your vocal cords. It will also help to reverse tissue damage (if such problem occurred), with the use of natural herbs and remedies.

3) Discomfort in the voice: If you feel that you need to exert a great deal of energy in order to speak or sing, it's obviously cannot be considered a normal condition. Sometimes, if you use the muscles in your neck along with your vocal cords to produce the sound, this can actually lead to muscle strain in the neck and may cause the condition which is known as Muscle Tension Dysphonia. This problem is hard to self-diagnose, hence the proper diagnosis must be performed by a voice specialist who specializes in such matters.

Again, there is a form of alternative voice therapy which will, in fact, teach you how to relax the neck muscles during speaking and or singing.

If you are experiencing any voice abnormalities like chronic hoarseness, problems with speech, vocal fatigue or pain while speaking and or singing, it is highly recommended that you contact a voice specialist.