Tips and advice for learning how to speak, sing, perform and live the dream of being a professional entertainer (speaker or singer) and performing artist, along with common sense commentary and rants on the state of today's music industry. Written by international master vocal coach, Diana Yampolsky, creator of Vocal Science (TM).
Case Study: Professional Artist "R.R" (Alias Name) - A Voice Recovery Story In Progress...
Your voice IS a reflection of the state of your being.
Case Study: Professional Artist – R.R
(The real name of the artist cannot be disclosed due to the confidentiality code)
A few days ago, we got approached by an artist in his mid 20’s, asking us to help him to get rid of his nasal sound in his voice. He was to prepare for his tour in Europe and wanted to sound and to look his best.
When we first met him (just a few days ago) for what we call an “Introductory/Exploratory Session”, he was late 45 minutes to start with, walked in looking and acting half asleep, and stood in front of us with a completely out-of-balance posture and body.
It took quite a bit of effort, especially from my side, to bring him to the point from where I could actually work with him and make a difference. He, indeed, sounded quite nasal – speaking and singing. We, however, liked his songs, written in the Hip-Hop style. In fact, a very prominent Hip-Hop artist (name cannot be disclosed) actually assumed his song and made it very popular.
Our (now voice repair) client revealed to us that his voice was actually OK before - until he inhaled a toxic substance through one of his nostrils. He also revealed to us that he likes to (recreationally) smoke pot… Ever since he embraced the latter, his voice changed exponentially - and, nonetheless, became quite nasal - which, in turn, started to even affect his pitch. He told us that ever since that occurrence, people began to ask him if he was sick.
No, he was not…, but nevertheless, his whole body was out-of-whack, and thus his voice (residing in the unhealthy body) was a reflection of his, evidentially, not very healthy physical body state.
Then I asked him about his everyday diet:
Dairy (galore of cheese) was included in every meal of the day. It had been proven that dairy products ( like milk, Yogurt, ice cream, peanut butter, Nutella, etc. ) make your body produce high volumes of mucus.
Now let’s visualize a Ballet dancer trying to make jumps off of a thick carpet instead of a wooden floor. Doing so, neither the dancer nor athlete, for that matter, would be able to achieve the needed height and, quite possibly, would even end up injured. So if the singer’s throat is covered with a ton of mucus, he/she will not be able to realize his/her full range, especially for the high parts of the song.
The Vocal Science™ technique requires rechanneling of the physical sound to the sinus cavities (vocal chambers) - and therefore, if one or both of the sinus cavities are blocked, the sound will not be able to enter into the facial muscle(s)… Those facial muscles (harbouring the physical sound) play the role of the natural, colloquially speaking, “amplifier” (or resonator). Obviously, no resonation could take place if the sound is unable to find its “home” within the sinus cavities.
In this instance, two main things must take place:
The sound of the voice has to be supported by the body’s abdominal muscles in order to achieve the lift of the voice from the vocal anatomy to the facial muscles.
Once the lift is achieved and the sound of the voice landed in those aforementioned cavities, the vocal box becomes free from the harmful pressure of the sound…
At that time, the natural herbal (and some homeopathic) remedies should be administered in order to heal the highly-disturbed flora in one’s throat and vocal box in general.
That’s where the healing begins - while, concurrently, the voice becomes healthier-sounding and also supported, structured, placed and projected.
That means that the “wholesome mechanism” took place – and thus, began to allow the artist’s voice to work in its fullest capacity possible and with no pain or strain on his/her vocal anatomy.
As for our client: To date, we were able to complete the first 8 hours of instruction and treatment. And, on that premise, we believe that he left for his tour a little healthier and (even most importantly, in this instance) much more aware of how the human anatomy works and that the voice is a big part of that anatomy, which, from now on, he will have to nurture and, in general, take a good care of himself, his body and, nonetheless, his voice.
Stay tuned for the continuation of this story upon our client’s return back to us to acquire his best voice under our care.
The Royans Professional Vocal School (a.k.a, The Royans School for the Musical Performing Arts) was founded in 1984 by my partner Ted Kowalczyk & myself. Prior to that, Ted and I performed as a duo around the Toronto area which was called Toronto Mini Caravan. Both of us were involved in multicultural events and had been highly profiled on multicultural radio and TV stations as well as performing at numerous CHIN Picnics. In 1983, a Veteran Toronto Polish musician named Stephan Pavliak incidentally overheard me playing piano and singing some Russian romances while I was awaiting in the lobby of the Academy of Music (where I worked as a piano and singing instructor) for my student’s arrival. He approached me, commending me on my talent and offered to help me out (along with my partner Ted) to open a music school which he thought I could successfully carry for many years to come. As of today, the school exists for almost 34 consecutive years. Unfortunately, my partner had passed away
Lately, we are witnessing a lot of shows interrupted and tour cancellations from well-known artists. Sadly, artists, during their performances, actually cannot complete the act they are performing or even often feel that they would have to stop their tour altogether... Most Recently... Céline Dion cancels tour dates as a result of neurological disorder: "Céline Dion has cancelled all of her tour dates for 2023 and 2024 as she continues to deal with a rare neurological disorder known as Stiff Person Syndrome. “Unfortunately the spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to,” Dion said. " - Excerpt from The Guardian We wish Celine Dion a speedy recovery from her nasty disorder and a successful comeback on stage where she definitely belongs. However, concerning Celion's voice, we personally think that it is interconnected with what's called Spasmodic Dysphon
A lot of you are most likely familiar with the show that is titled “Hudson & Rex”. In our opinion, it is a very smart and intelligent show (truly Canadian), which possesses a lot of subtle humour… One of the episodes, as usual, about some crime taking place, was about the woman who wrote the book about her own invented diet named “Say No to Potato”...? She ended up starving herself to death while documenting her own wedding… By the end of the investigation of what exactly happened, Detective Charlie Hudson was handed that very book, and yes, it was indeed named “Say No to Potato”. I found it extremely funny, but, nevertheless, quite to the point… In this case, concerning the human speaking and/or singing voice, I would like you to state; “Say No to Digital, Old-Fashioned Conventional Vocal Coaching, Let Alone Some Spoof of the Voice Repair” - that is if you do not want to damage or lose your voice for good. “Say Yes to Unique, Natural, Holistic, Alternative Voice/Vocal Coaching