“Voice is a muscle and it has to be trained”, Said one of the judges of the television show, ‘The Voice’.

It is, indeed!

However, like any of the human body muscles, the voice muscle has to be approached with a ‘working smart and not necessarily hard’, attitude and knowledge.

If some body builder is trying to lift the weight which is above his capacity and way beyond his capability, or expertise on how to do it in such a way, so he would not end up hurt, he actually might get injured in no time and his body building career may end in a split second. Likewise, if a singer (or wannabe singer), will start working really hard on his vocal pieces and not realizing that he is excessively using, (and abusing for that matter), his vocal anatomy, he may end up with a vocal injury which pretty much could jeopardize his singing career. The majority of vocal damage could be approached and treated non-surgically; some may require a vocal surgery. 

The latter is definitely not desirable, as any surgery of any kind may do more harm than good. In my previous blogs, I described the unfortunate precedent with Joan Rivers, who died during a routine minor vocal procedure. I also mentioned my friend - Mikhail Baryshnikov’s first ballet teacher, Bella Kovarsky, who also died on the operating table during a minor surgical procedure.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from South Africa which really touched my heart.
Please read below:


Hi, My name is Thabang and I am in South Africa. My mother took my sister who is 9 years old to remove her tonsils. She started whispering, but now, 4 months later she can’t’ talk at all. She doesn’t have a voice. Nothing comes out. Nothing. This is very heart breaking. Please, we need help. How can she recover her voice? I would appreciate assistance. I look forward to hearing from you.”


How sad is that?

Unfortunately, from where I sit, I will not be able to help the little child, as she now has no sound at all! As I said many times previously, unless I have some sound to work with, I cannot provide any help. In this case, my guess would be, that during the surgery, the doctors, (or, quite possible, the residents), damaged one, or most likely both, vocal cords and thus they got paralyzed. They, by mistake, probably clipped a nerve which most likely will not be recoverable. Basically, the aforementioned child will be remaining silent and mute for the rest of her life. 

It is a tragedy indeed.

That said, if it is not the case that you definitely would die, unless you will undergo the surgical procedure, please do not embark on it and seek non-surgical alternative treatment first. A lot of very reputable hospitals are also serving as educational and training facilities for future doctors. If any of you ever watched television shows, ‘Saving Hope’, or ‘Grays Anatomy’, you could very often witness the portrayed scene of the “actual surgery” where the head surgeon, after conducting the main part of the surgery, leaves the operating room and leaves to finish the surgery to the residents (students), or other subsidiary young surgeons. 

Yes, they have to get trained somehow, but it is never guaranteed that you will leave the operating room completely intact. So, please try to avoid any surgical procedures at any cost.  That may save your life and also prevent you from uncalled injuries. In fact, the consequences of any vocal surgery could be as such as scar tissue left on your vocal anatomy, damaged nerve or, as we all already know, it could just cost you your life altogether. So yes, train your voice as a muscle; treat it with care and knowledge, prevent any vocal damage and enjoy your singing and your singing career for years ahead. Simply adapt the wholesome mechanism which will allow your voice to work in the fullest capacity possible and with no pain or strain on your vocal anatomy. 



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