My answer(s) and point of view was inspired by a news article from CBC News | Entertainment, titled:
However, to start elaborating on the above editorial, I would like to bring to your attention a comment by my former voice repair student, presently singing student under my vocal care - Mary Ellen Stoll of Brockville, Ontario.
Please read below and get her point of view on the above-mentioned article.
I believe that she said pretty much all of what needed to be said:
I listen to and enjoy your reporting on CBC all the time.
I also listened with great interest to your report on what's robbing singers of their voices. I have a very strong and personal interest in this topic and thought I might share some of my story with you, as a way of rounding out the perspective on the coverage.
Forty years ago at the age of 22 I had surgery to remove nodes from my vocal chord -- I had damaged my vocal cords through strenuous use of them in both singing, public speaking etc. Over the next forty years my ability to sing deteriorated, as did my speaking voice, with a very busy and strenuous career in the Ontario public service. However when I retired in 2015 I wished nothing more than to return to singing and joined a women's barbershop chorus. It quickly became apparent that I would need help not only to repair my voice, but to be able to endure the rigours of our practices and performances without further damage.
I was extremely lucky to find a Toronto-based vocal coach/voice repair specialist named Diana Yampolsky who has been working with singers and speakers from around the world for both voice repair and the improvement of their voices for almost 40 years. After a number of hours of learning her technique -- first for speaking and then for singing -- I can tell you that I am seriously amazed at my repaired voice. I have been told that my voice sounds like a twenty year old again and friends, family and fellow chorus members are astonished.
Diana uses some herbal treatments and definitely no steroid injections like (mentioned by you) Sophie Milman who, in fact, is a former student of Toronto Vocal Coach, Elaine Overholt.
On this note, I have to state that Diana's instruction and treatment is entirely unique.
I thought that a quick followup to your original report could help singers or speakers focus on Diana's technique and successes; and therefore, it might help round out your previous report.
Happy to speak to you and give you further insight."
- Mary Ellen Stoll | Brockville, Ontario | email@example.com
I can only add that once the voice/vocal student is being taught the right application (technique) of the speaking/singing voice, no “close relationship” with any ENT doctor, or speech therapist/pathologist for that matter, will need to take place.
Yes, of course, I agree that it is still a big demand on a singers’ voices; but being well and properly trained, they should not be thrown off of their performing careers and “off of their vocal shoes” so to speak.
In this instance, being a big fan of figure skating (nevertheless skating semi-professionally myself for over a decade), I can add that this sport is very much prone to serious injuries. However, well-trained skaters like our dance "Royal pair" Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, never had been injured as they always assured they obtained the best training from, nevertheless, the best world-class trainers.
For 21 years, since they were kids (7 and 9 years old), they have been together, taking care of each other, loving themselves, loving and respecting the audience and loving (more then life) their craft. We will soon witness them at the Olympic Games in South Korea and quite possible will see them the last time as Canadian competitors.
In this instance, they will be greatly missed by a big sport and, nevertheless, by me.
On a separate, but quite related note, a few years ago, one of my former voice repair clients who, after the voice restoration, became my singing student, and whom I made a professional singer (signed with INTERSCOPE Records in LA), said exactly this: “Thank you Diana for putting me back into my vocal shoes”.
From my point of view, it is needless to say more then what has already been said.
Love your voice and love yourself!
And please remember, that your voice is a part of your anatomy and is an essential part of you!
Now, my dear reader, given the above-written, I would like to ask you for a favour…
Please do not EVER ask me if your damaged voice can be fixed remotely…? Please do not insult your (or my) intelligence for that matter! Maybe in the 22nd century, you will be able to send your voice via e-mail to a repair shop, get it repaired and have it sent back to you… so you can download it back into your vocal anatomy… LOL.
Wouldn’t that be nice? Yes, it would be..perhaps. But would it EVER be realistic…?
I highly doubt it.
So, on this note, I suggest, if needed, that you read more of my actual blogs which highlight my unique and holistic approach to voice mechanics and to the person as a whole.
Thank you for reading.
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