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Showing posts from 2017

“Speakaholics Anonymous”… What Do We Mean By That?

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For many years, we have been attending to various people with speech problems, who were possessing some voice disorders like: Muscle Tension Dysphonia Spasmodic Dysphonia Polyps on the vocal cords Nodules on the vocal cords Cysts and lesions on the vocal cords Acid reflux & simply… strained vocal cords My answer to a question of "What do we mean by 'Speakaholics'?" would be to go ahead and beat all the bad vocal habits; and once it’s done, keep practicing (ongoing) the new adapted skills (instructed), the new adapted application of the speaking/singing voice, the new acquired diet/nutrition, newly acquired proper posture,  and  physical fitness in general. All of the above listed voice issues would cause the sufferer (to say the least) a hoarse and raspy voice, unclear enunciation and pronunciation and could even cause partial or total voice loss… Given all of the above described, these (listed above) and other voice problems suff

Clearer Speech? More Sound Singing…? It’s Got to be the Vocal Science Method!

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In the previous years, I had worked a lot with amateur singers who were labeled as wannabe singers. A lot of them were recognized by various talent scouts and agents, especially when they were appearing in karaoke clubs or open mic events in a variety of bars and clubs. Once upon a time, one of my beginner students was brought up by her husband to a big karaoke club to show him what she had achieved with only 5 hours of instruction (by that time) with me. She told me that she was very nervous and, understandably, felt very insecure… However, she also told me that she remembered what we still call to this day “smile and bite”, as well as to also enunciate and pronounce her words with absolute clarity and to the best of her abilities. Before she finished her song, (to my memory, it was a song called “Time After Time” – by Cindy Lauper), she was helped down from stage by a person who came up to her and praised her on her vocal performance. He continued talking to

Have you ever had a thought, or were even told, that you could not sing… but really had the desire to do so?

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Were you also, perhaps, ordered to keep your mouth shut and not to sing…ever…? For the majority of you, it was happening in your childhood, but had this “minor insult” really left your mind now that you are in your adulthood?  Not really… as it appears to be. More and more people are inquiring about singing lessons who had never sung before and, nevertheless, would dare to sing at all!  How so; you, my reader, may ask? Apparently, the majority of those people were traumatized in their school’s music programs, choirs, auditions for music plays and what have you; or even some family gatherings like Christmas caroling during Christmas time, etc. Now these traumatized individuals finally decided to find out the truth and to discover whether or not they could actually sing. Luckily for them, the Vocal Science technique is designed to give the gift of singing to practically anybody! Very recently, we were running a Healthy Voice/Vocal Workshop and one of our participant

What are the Symptoms of Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD) and What Are The Treatments (Let Alone Alternative) Available for That Nasty Voice Disorder?

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The term Muscle Tension Dysphonia is a general term that could be associated with an imbalance in the vocal anatomy's muscles coordination and breathing patterns required to create a voice. Muscle Tension Dysphonia (often called MTD) may occur on its own, or as a result of a strained voice being pulled into the neck muscles. The reason behind this disorder is not always clear. It may be triggered by allergies, illness, acid reflux or by whichever other means... Symptoms - The most common symptom of this disorder is a change in voice quality, often associated with discomfort of the vocal cords and/or vocal box in general while speaking or singing. Also, almost always, symptoms like hoarseness and raspiness will be associated with an increased effort to talk or sing, coupled with subsequent fatigue during continuous voice overuse and/or (outright) misuse. Treatment - There is an alternative form of voice therapy which is the gold standard for the treatment of Muscle Tens

Part 2, Neo-Singing…? Neo-Skating… Anything Else?

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What do we mean by that? We mean… NO singing and NO skating… per say. “It’s quality of skating, not quantity of jumps” - states Canadian figure skating champion, Patric Chan. “Skating can be rewarded” -   said the figure skating commentator, Rod Black, after the U.S. well-known skater, James Brown’s ice performance. James Brown himself said: “ Of course, I can land ripples and quads, but not in the expense of the artistry!” Given all that, in this case, the skaters themselves are revolting against “ice acrobatics” and overall “ice circus”, so to speak.  They actually have been missing the artistry of their craft, as well as poise and grace, which had always made figure skating field a very special place where they had an opportunity to show off their very special skills (and not just very dangerous and vigorous jumps which, in turn, could, at any time, become very detrimental to their body’s anatomy and physiology). I just watched a pre-holiday movie where the

"The Unique Application of the Vocal Science™ Method can be the Best Approach (concerning the voice injury) for various Post-Accidents and/or Stroke Occurrences."

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An intense round of alternative speech therapy can be a better solution for restoration speaking or singing voice skills (lost in an accident or stroke) and, no doubt, it will supersede any other traditional methods.  Specialists have found that post-accident/stroke survivors who have difficulty in speaking or even understanding speech, showed some good improvements in language and communication skills after a reasonably short term of intense alternative speech therapy.  Speech impairment occurs in more than a third of people after various accidents or strokes. Sometimes, however quite seldom, and due to unknown circumstances and occurrences, speech may return all of a sudden (to some degree) on its own even without any treatments. This occurrence happens generally after a minor accident or minor stroke. If the survivor’s speech returns, it often happens within a few days, although, it's good to keep in mind that this kind of president still happens quite rarely. Anyon

What Is Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) and what is Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD) & How can you deal with those nasty voice disorders?

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Spasmodic Dysphonia is a voice disorder caused by a neurological condition, affecting your speech. This disorder can affect all ages and can develop at any time. With this voice-related problem, movement of the vocal cords is forced and strained resulting in a jerky, hoarse, tight or groaning voice. If you are affected by Spasmodic Dysphonia Disorder, the muscles inside your vocal box (mainly larynx and vocal cords) may receive some abnormal nerve signals that most of the time cause the vocal folds to spasm uncontrollably.  Symptoms of Spasmodic Dysphonia At first, the symptoms may be mild and they may occur only occasionally. But with time, they may worsen and the spasms become more frequent. The main symptom of spasmodic dysphonia is a forced movement of the muscles inside the vocal box. This usually causes a very strained voice. The words you speak may be dragged out or broken while you talk. The symptoms may also include: • A hoarse voice • D ifficult production of

“Neo” Classical Ballet…? What’s That..? Let’s Find Out… For Whatever It’s Worth!

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This time, my reader,  I’m not writing about singing, speech or even voice repair (those services which I advocate for almost 4 decades). This time, I’m going to express my opinion about what’s happening in the arts world – will it be music, ballet, figure skating or what have you. This past Saturday, on October the 28th, My husband and I paid a “gazillion” amount of money to attend a Canada All-Star Ballet Gala which was held in one of Toronto’s most prestigious venues for the arts which is now called the Sony Centre (formally known as O’Keefe Center). I, however, am a big fan of both - ballet and figure skating. In fact, in figure skating (which also entails a lot of ballet elements), I myself have spent over a decade skating; first for the professional career and then just recreationally. My very serious education in music, and also my dedication to music, took over my (also very serious) hobbies such as ballet and figure skating. Evidently, a lot changed ever

What Is Chronic Laryngitis? Causes, Symptoms & Its Treatment!

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Chronic Laryngitis In laryngitis, you will find that laryngeal mucous membrane is congested, swollen and is full of mucus. Chronic laryngitis happens as a result of continual attacks of acute laryngitis. Since the larynx is responsible for producing voice, this can naturally affect the voice of any individual. Causes Excessive use of the voice for singing, especially in a dusty atmosphere, often leads to chronic laryngitis . Heavy smoking, exposure to chemicals, poisonous fumes and harmful gases can also cause this disease. Breathing from the mouth and obstruction of the nasal sinus can precipitate chronic laryngitis. Also, in some cases, respiratory diseases such as influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and the common cold can cause chronic laryngitis. Symptoms • Hoarseness in the voice/Lost voice • Throat irritation (itchiness and scratchiness) • Difficulty in swallowing • Swollen lymph codes • Change in voice • Pain in throat Treatment If you

The Vocal Science™ Method is No Doubt “Sweat and Drench Workout of the Body”… But it is “Music” for the Mind, Soul and Voice.

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I am sure, my readers, that you, most likely, are puzzled with the very intriguing title of this blog.  What do we mean by “sweat and drench workout of the body”, you may ask? I have explained in numerous publications that the Vocal Science™ method is a very unique and holistic approach to voice mechanics and the human being as a whole.  The physiology and anatomy of one’s physical makeup, in this instance, is literally treated as a person’s  “instrument”  (in a manner of speaking). Any musical instrument (before the player attempts to extract the maximum capacity of it) has to be tuned and has to be intact, to say the least. Unfortunately, majority of our clients do not come to our  institution  with "very sound" physical bodies; I.e., some of them are not at all fit and practically unable to “walk and chew the gum at the same time”, figuratively speaking. To restore someone's voice and put it back to balance, takes an enormous effort from me (the voi