Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vocal Coma So to Speak
A Near-Death Vocal Experience...?

I've been teaching vocals forever and close to four decades now. But never have I experienced such difficulty to deliver my Vocal Science method to people who claim that, minimum to say, they want to learn how to sing properly. Simply speaking, in my opinion, they are hardly possessing any vital signs, at least during the first 5 - 6 hours of instruction. My guess is that the people who are in an actual medical coma have more vital signs than my so called up and coming artists. How sad is that?


Figuratively speaking, it brings me near the "heart attack" to wake them up and instill some substance, first into their brains and then, if I'm lucky, activate their motor skills, which the majority of them are not possessing at all. In other words, to walk and chew the gum at the same time would be a great challenge for my "troubled" students.


The Vocal Science method requires the integration and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and finally, vocal state. To get to that vocal state I need to invent a "vocal-fibrilator" and not only for the client, but for myself as well (would be funny if it wasn't so sad). I, evidently, am not getting any younger and due to that factor, it's becoming harder and harder and almost nearly impossible...?


My vocal session with the student used to consist of minimum to say, five parts. The first part would contain the speech exercises, which establish the foundation for the "vocal house" so to speak, to be built in the later stages. The first exercise is to count to five with the proper placement and projection. For some people, it takes about an hour...? How so, you may ask? It requires also the movement of their feet and arms, and to coordinate all of that together, for the majority of the population, IS NOT POSSIBLE, or at least NO LONGER POSSIBLE. THAT'S TOO MUCH TO ASK, they say. They're accustomed all day to sit at the computer or play electronic games on their phones. "You mean you want me to walk and talk at the same time, let alone sing?!" they exclaim. They're so confused and scared and perhaps even more scared than if I were to ask them to climb Mount Everest or to swim across Lake Ontario as one of the teenagers is doing as we speak and all for the good cause. Way to go! Maybe, after she does, I should inquire if she wants to learn how to sing now, as maybe, (stress maybe) she actually will be able to coordinate some movements with her voice and not only apply her motor skills in relation with the water. It's good to know that somebody still actually's got it.


In a real sense, how pathetic is that? Just even five or ten years ago, nothing like this was a problem or even a concern. In fact, I was able to do speech exercises, singing exercises, reading of the song in proper syllables and singing of the song while concurrently video taping the performance in only 75 minutes increments. And at that time, with absolute certainty I could say, "Beginner to Pro Singer in 10 Hours, Guaranteed!" Very outrageous claim, but I have numerous of artists who I produced then in 10 hours, i.e. Raine of Our Lady Peace (Sony), Alex Norman of Ill Scarlet (Sony), Brian Melo - Canadian Idol of 2007,  Lukas Rossi - winner of Rock Star Supernova television show, Brian Pisani - One second Too Late (Sony), and Trish Campbell (EMI), just to name a few.


Now, my presumption is that to produce somebody of their calibre, I would need minimum 30 - 50 hours, if I'm lucky! And now I'm running my sessions in 2 hour increments and still not accomplishing all of the components I used to accomplish in 75 minutes. What does it tell you?: The world's gone crazy and getting crazier by the second. The world's evidently gone deaf, as they're worshiping the ground of the artists who cannot "carry a tune in a bucket" and some of them cannot sing to "save their lives". The people, in a manner of speaking, are physically disabled and cannot perform even simple tasks, which require coordination. Therefore, when instead of singing they're watching a live video on stage with non-identifiable gender dancers, they're completely amused, as these people could dance and even "lip sync" at the same time. Britney Spears once exclaimed, "Oops. My microphone was accidentally on." That should have come to us as an absolute warning, as it took place some time ago, when some normalcy and some human vital signs were still present. She definitely was a pioneer in planting the seed and now the flowers of her labour are in a full bloom!


In 1994 the Brampton Guardian newspaper wrote an article about me, which was called "Voice Coach Teaches A Mind Over Vocal Cords Philosophy". That was then and today the minds are somewhat present (due to the 24 hour invasion of the internet), the bodies are present very remotely and the interconnection between the latter and the former, hardly exists or fluctuates like electrical short circuits with strong activation from my part. So go figure! 


Is there a solution? I'm not quite sure about it. As the more technology being introduced, the less brain and body cells are being present and being active. Where are we all going? Hopefully, not to the end of the world, but, however, it is quite probable and might not necessarily be a bad thing. 

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