The Non-Surgical Voice Repair has been my forte for well over 3 decades.
I’ve worked with both – regular people with speaking voiceproblems, ‘wannabes’ and, of course, professional singers. This blog is mostly about the professional singers who have done nothing but sang and performed most of their lives.
Understandably, the voice is their prime ‘instrument’ and, nevertheless, those artists’ livelihoods would very well depend on it. When, down the road, their voices would experience natural wear and tear, they would become alarmed and rightfully so.
Usually, it starts in the later stage of their professional lives, as their voice cannot withstand the same workability and sound pressure as it could in their younger years.
Not to mention that most of those artists are just simply talented, but they never had an exposure to the right vocal technique which would save and protect their voice for life.
So before they know, the symptoms of overworked voice begin to surface. Some of them are coming with per-nodule conditions or already with full-blown polyps or nodules on their vocal cords.
For many years, deep inside, they knew that something had dramatically changed with respect to their vocal performance. They realized it, but it usually takes some time to admit it, even to themselves.
As they go along, the condition keeps persisting and then they begin their internet search for a vocal cure. Some of them, out of desperation, jumping straight onto the operating table in hopes that when they will come out of the O.R., they will be as good as new and will sing as good as before and better.
The others are looking for a ‘magic pill’ and the conventional vocal instruction, not realizing that to deal with any vocal problem is a big task and it definitely requires a highly qualified voice specialist. It also requires them to be in cooperation with the instruction and treatment.
The majority of people are naturally very frustrated, extremely scared and totally obsessed with the sound of their voice. My recent US client, through the process of his per-nodule treatment, was literally coming on and off what I call a ‘vocal orgasm’.
When we have overcome his vocal injury and started the actual vocal instruction, not only was he flying off the handle from the excitement, but continuously kept listening to his own voice, forgetting that the next segment of the song was coming.
When I pointed it out, he said to me:
“But Diana, I am addicted; it is like a drug to me. I guess I am a vocal Junkie, as I am completely addicted to my voice now. I never herd my voice sounding this way for many years!”
With these words, he knelled down and touched my feet. That gesture suggests a great respect and admiration for a Teacher, Mentor or a Guru. I first had learned that from my former voice repair client, who came to me from India many years ago
He too did the same gesture to my enormous surprise then, and after I recovered from the shock of the unknown, he gave me the full blown explanation of that ritual.
Needless to say, to teach “an old dog new tricks” is not very easy.
We all know that bad habits die hard.
Due to that process, I have to free the artist from any ‘addictions’ he/she may possess:
- Misalignment of the physical body
- Poor connection between mental clarity and motor skills
- “Dropped down the floor” jaw
- Stuck out (as a pregnant ballerina), stomach (lol)
- Fears and insecurities of accepting the new modality of the certain proper vocal and overall behavior
- Elimination of what I call “vocal narcissism” behavior (me, myself and I, and…my voice)
The name of this game is to find a balance which has to be achieved by a performer on every level: mental, physical, emotional and vocal. Once the above is acquired, no addictions or bad behavior could take place, and not only vocally, but, as well, on an everyday basis.