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Once you notice that you’re speaking or singing voice is not performing in a regular fashion, you should try to attend to this voice problem as soon as you possibly can!

You would need to find the cause of your vocal disorder and the source of the proper and efficient treatment.

Acquiring the proper knowledge will bring you to an understanding of what’s actually happening; and hopefully you will act accordingly, addressing the root of the problem. Some people think nothing of it and hope that the problem will fix itself and everything will come back to normal on its own. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen!

Your ultimate goal is to stop “loving” your problem and do everything in your power to be able to conquer it, which in turn, will allow you to come back to a normal life.

I’ve noticed over many years dealing with non-surgical voice repairs that the sufferers are almost afraid to part with their voice/vocal problems. They declare that they want to fix it, but they do not do much towards rectifying their voice/vocal inadequacy.

It appears as if they have difficulty to combat their fear of the recovery…?

Sounds like a complete paradox, doesn’t it? But believe it or not, it is the truth of the matter. Some of them are going to various specialists and getting completely confused on their diagnosis. It is understandable, but what I don’t understand is why would singers (for example) look for help from speech therapists…?

My take on this is that these people have no understanding (or knowledge for that matter) that it is not only about the “quality” of their voice, but it is mainly about the mechanical application of their voice (speaking or singing).

Furthermore, speech therapists primarily never had been trained in restoration of vocal mechanics, or furthermore, in the development of a vocal technique. People are exponentially losing their sense while being constricted by the economical turnaround. They are looking for speech therapists because the latter are accepting medical insurance, while concurrently not realizing that “insurance” will no help them rectify their voice problem the way it should be done. These people don’t have any proper knowledge because they refuse to verbally express themselves; and sometimes (especially if it is about the voice) the real message gets lost in translation… so to speak.

It never ceases to amaze me when the people that inquire about their voice issues do not want to reveal the sound of their voice, even to the voice specialist! That’s why, sometimes I wonder… Do they really want to treat and restore their voices back to normal, or they love to be “special” accepting pity and sympathy from their friends and family?

I will leave it to their discretion, but will hope that one day, they will realize that the voice was given to them for the purpose to communicate verbally and or vocally; and to have it not functioning in its full capacity (especially when it could be fixed) is a real shame.

You clearly feel and know that you have a voice issue, but your ENT Specialist declares that there is nothing wrong with you and he can not detect any voice problems from the medical point of view… So naturally, it makes you upset and confused and you don’t know what to do next.

Since our motto is that ‘your better voice tomorrow with start with us today’, we can pinpoint any mechanical problem(s) which your voice may experience. The fact is that from the physical point of view, everything within your vocal anatomy may seem to be intact. Therefore, you cannot blame a physician or ENT doctor for not seeing any problems with your voice.

If that is the case, you should realize that you have been using your voice incorrectly (Speaking and/or singing) and thus, most likely, you had dropped your voice in the lower-throat position.  Also, with incorrect breathing, you could have dried up your throat flora.

Singers would probably realize that they have a voice issue a little faster then just regular speaking people. The singers would notice that their range is subsiding and it is much harder for them to reach higher or lower notes and that the quality of their voice had become much poorer. Whereas the speakers might not detect their voice problem soon enough.

The regular people will only realize that they have acquired a voice problem when their voice becomes raspy and hoarse and they experience difficulty speaking. Also, people with the poor diet (heavy mucus-filled foods and highly acidic foods), may have their voices affected by it. The dry and filthy air (polluted with chemicals like mold, asbestos, etc.,) could affect the upper and lower respiratory functions of the body, and then respectively effect the breathing and the voice by osmosis.

And the last (but not the least) cause could be the suppressed emotions.

 

That’s where the affected person needs to check their thyroid with a holistic practitioner who is aware that the thyroid (according to the holistic teaching), represents suppressed emotions and hurts. Once the thyroid becomes tight and practically “closes on you”, it is that much harder for the voice to ‘come out onto the surface’ freely and easily.

We at The Royans Institute for Non- Surgical Voice Repair, specialize in a holistic approach to voice mechanics.

And where the doctors say “We don’t know”… we say “We do”!

We promise that we will make your bad voice days good and your good voice days better!

How do we deliver that promise…?

By addressing your symptoms and the causes, and by making YOU understand what happened and why. We also teach you what not to do and what to do in order to avoid future voice problems. We will teach you how to maintain your voice hygiene, strength and overall health.

The knowledge is confidence and the confidence is success… in whatever you do…. and do by design!

The answer is… if (God forbid) you were involved in a car accident and the body of your car got damaged, you would probably need to go to a body shop…. wouldn’t you?

However, on the other hand, if your engine or transmission were acting up, then you definitely would want to check with a qualified mechanic who, nevertheless, specializes in “car mechanics arts” in a manner of speaking.

One of my prospective clients had been diagnosed with two (nevertheless) voice disorders, which are clearly of a mechanical nature, as one of them is Muscle Tension Dysphonia and the other is named Sulcus Vocalis (unhealthy gap between the vocal cords).

Both of those voice issues are caused by a misuse of the voice i.e., by straining the vocal cords and pushing/pulling the voice out onto the surface; and instead, by default, placing it right into the neck muscles.

Needless to say, during those actions, Muscle Tension Dysphonia had been initiated.

Meanwhile, the strained vocal cords also got tired of being pushed and pulled constantly; and thus, they had been no longer able to ‘snap back together’ and close properly (The Sulcus Vocalis disorder then had taken place and the gap between the vocal cords had been created).

On this note, my prospective client started looking for alternative treatments; one of which happened to be acupuncture. In fact, by the looks of things, the session was performed by a very good and experienced acupuncturist.

My prospective client was very excited, as according to her, right after that, it was much easier for her to speak to her husband and her sun. On this premise, she right away decided that this was the answer to her prayers; and by doing this acupuncture work, her (nevertheless) two mechanical problems, will be fixed…?

In other words, like we said before, if it was about her car with broken parts under the hood, she would go to a body shop and wash, wax and polish that car in hopes that the engine (or whichever other essential parts under the hood) would miraculously be fixed.

Does the above sound realistic to you…my readers?

My answer would be that it is highly illogical, as if any problem of a mechanical nature occurred; the bodywork instead would not help to fix it.

Let’s (for example) take an athlete who, during a marathon, broke his leg.

Yes, indeed, he/she could attend all kinds of alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy and etc…

Yes, all of those treatments could ease off the pain and speed up the healing.

But would they be able to assist with putting all the bones, tendons and ligaments together so that the runner could start running again without any surgery, cast or crutches?

My answer would be…very unlikely! In other words, with the help of alternative treatments, the healing probably will also be enhanced, but in no shape or form, it would substitute the mechanical repair of the injured limb…

Similarly, in the case of my prospective client, the acupuncture actually helped to send the energy to the vocal box ‘chakra’; and therefore, the aforementioned person felt an exuberant energy directed to her vocal anatomy; and thus she felt (momentarily) the relief with respect of the use of her voice. Therefore the occurrence of such result is quite understandable and logical.

Would that solve the voice problem in the long run?

The answer is… NOT ON ITS OWN, but it could be a great help to the actual voice mechanics repair!

What do we mean by that?

Firstly, any person should possess a healthy voice which is also consistent with the persons’ height, weight and the their inner ‘make-up’ in general.

Sometimes, and luckily not too often, you can see a quite petite woman, but yet hear her heavy and ‘bassy’ voice.

A good example would be two well-known actresses (one of whom is also a singer). The singer/actress is Miley Cyrus and the other actress is Julia Stiles – pretty girls that are speaking with much heavier voices then their physiques would ever suggest.

We, in fact, at The Royans Professional Vocal School, would be able to get rid of the heaviness and thickness of their quite-low voices. If they (or them alike) embraced the Vocal Science technique, their voices would be lifted off of their (somewhat) heavy and thick vocal cords, which were given to them at birth.

The thicker the vocal cords are, the lower voice will prevail.

And, on the contrary, if the person possesses very thin vocal cords, the body of the sound will never happen and the voice will be high and squeaky.

Now, speaking of the lower voice (lower then desired), it would become much lighter if it was coming out of the sinus cavities (facial muscles). In that case, it would be sufficiently amplified, while concurrently supported with the person’s abdominal muscles; and thus, the person’s voice would sound much lighter, much brighter and much more resonant. Needless to say, the person’s enunciation and pronunciation would be greatly enhanced as well.

On the contrary, we have received male clients with extremely high voices who suffered enormously as, very often; they were mistaken for a female (especially when they were speaking over the phone).

By virtually employing the same speech and singing exercises, we were able to make a person in question to sound more solid, and thus, possessing a much lower tone. While doing so, we were able to build a platform underneath of a skinny, light sound. In other words, in both cases, due to incongruences between the individuals and their voices, the natural balance was compromised.

So our pedagogy and methodology assures the perfect balance between the human voice and the human body.

With that said, people who are speaking ‘too high’ (given for consideration, their inner make-up’) will speak lower, and thus, will project more certainty and more confidence delivering their message. The male speaker will no longer feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

The people who are speaking too low will sound a little more “human” and more coherent and, therefore, they will be better received with their message, and thus, more understood.

I am sure that those females who possess much lower tone than anticipated, probably also not always feel ‘feminine enough’. So they too will acquire more confidence with their newly-found femininity in their voice and, perhaps, even more grace and poise (so to speak) attached to that premise.

As for singers: The male singer will be able to sing in a rock genre (if so desired), since in that context, the tenor, and not the bass voice, is required. It is a known fact that the classic rock of all times was primarily created for the tenor range of voice.

After the above had been dealt with, the speakers (especially) have to actually learn not only how to speak preserving their voice in balance and employing the components of the wholesome mechanism which will allow them to use their voice in the fullest capacity possible, but also understand what the exact message is that they are trying to convey and deliver.

Once they understand the above, they will be taught to embrace a certain phrasing, emphasis and inflections; speed and particular intonation, depending of the context of the script and (down the road) the improvisation of that script.

We call this course, “The Total Communicator”.

The singers are not immune to the latter either.  After all, they are also delivering a story through their singing. And the more they understand what they are singing about and how to bring it better to the understanding of the listener, the more successful their performance will be. The singers especially need to embrace the Vocal Science technique, as they require an aimed projection and delivery of their voice.

So the definition of the true professionalism is such that the singer would hear (with his/her “inner ear”), the command of his/her brain to their physical body and then their voice, before they open their mouth to deliver the singing message.

The latter does apply to the professional speakers as well. They too have to be able to engage the audience with their voice (and the aforementioned voice components) so they would be also heard and understood.

So, needless to say, we are in a business to help YOUR VOICE to make sense at all given times (with whatever you are doing), everywhere and anywhere!

“What do you mean by that”, you, my reader, may ask?’

To explain better, I first will give you an example concerning figure skating, which will be very-much-so related to our topic on voice mechanics down the road.

I think, by now, a lot of you know that I am a big fan of figure skating (and ballet for that matter); and in my childhood and adolescence, I was taking skating for many years and taking it very seriously. Given that, I know a lot about it, even though that I did not become a professional figure skater myself (to my dismay and biggest disappointment).

skating-blog

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Professional figure skater

I just recently (watching live and on TV, Skate Canada) witnessed some skaters literally stepping out of the “circle”. Our Canadian pair (Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford) skated fabulously; but then Meagan fell on a free skate, indeed, stepping out of the circle.  The commentator, Tracy Wilson, said (with these the exact same words) “She gets out of the circle and really came down hard”.

This was obviously an unfortunate accident.

The fact is, since we know that any physical material body travels in a circular direction employing vertical, horizontal and central parameters, the very complicated ice jumps naturally consist of double, triple or quadruple circles. Also, a few years ago, our very own Canadian Skater of all times, Elvis Stojko, also stepped out of the quad-jump and thus, unfortunately, did not become an Olympic champion.

In order to achieve successfully (land) such complicated jumps as a triple axels or quads, the skater has to take off of the ice (not with the ice), so that the height of the jump will permit three or four revolutions.

skating-blog-2

Elvis Stojko, Canadian figure skater

The skater also has to maintain a complete center and make sure that he is not under-rotating any of his circles contained in the jump. And, needless to say, the skater also has to land on one leg, while maintaining a complete strait and centered posture. Otherwise, his leg will not be able to sustain his weight impact and he will end up down on the ice.

Similarly, the vocalist should take off of the vocal cords and lift the sound to the different set of muscles; getting there while winding the sound-circles relatively, respectively and prospectively to his/her height, weight and the central line of the body. If the singer will lose the prospective of the center or under-rotate those circular-shaped syllables and vowels, he/she will most likely get out of tune, and most likely, will begin to hurt his/her own vocal anatomy.

When I was developing the Vocal Science method, I used my extensive knowledge of figure skating and ballet art. There are a lot of references to that in my book “Vocal Science – Flight to the Universe”, and also many of my blogs contain the same kind of references.

diana_alex

Vocal Coach, Diana Yampolsky & Alex Norman from illscarlet.

The Vocal Science method possesses an intellectual and intelligent method of visualization, which requires integration and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and vocal components. Intellectually, the person needs to understand the concept of traveling sound, taking for consideration that the sound is a physical/material body and it travels as such.

Kin-aesthetically, the person has to be able to feel it and be able to retain the feel of it.

Once the brain accepts the new modality of a new behavior (so to speak) and it is able to connect to one’s motor skills, the sound will be coming out upon design and command and as an actual “printout” of the new “software” which was instilled in the person’s “human computer”, provided that the person was able to “press the right button” for that “printout” to be extracted onto the surface.

Obviously, to achieve such a result, the person in question would definitely need professional help first; and then he/she will be able to “navigate” the sound of the voice to its aimed and desired destination, while concurrently, no doubt, avoiding any kind of a vocal injury.

Let’s find out what you’ve got!

And also, let’s find out what I mean by definition of the “instrument” and the “player”.

What I mean by the “instrument” is the height and weight of the person, his/her outer and inner “opening” of the vocal anatomy as well as the pitch and tonality of their voice; not to mention many other components, which will also come into play (in a manner of speaking).

Quite often, I have been asked if it is possible to increase the capacity of one’s “instrument”.

I can compare it with extending an average sized keyboard to a much bigger upright piano, so that it would be possible to recite on it, let’s say, a Concerto by Tchaikovsky (or something like this of that caliber).


My answer is that it is possible to a degree.

Over the years, I had singing students coming to me, possessing a very small mouth, short height and small body frame overall.

Due to my very specially designed speech and singing exercises, I was definitely able to stretch their mouth opening quite a bit and develop their facial muscles quite noticeably as well. I was also able to build their abdominal muscles, upper diaphragm muscles and upper back muscles, which, in turn, made them look and feel stronger, taller and bigger-framed. Naturally, their voices concurrently were getting stronger, louder and much more fully bodied.

So, especially with children, it is even more so apparent.

One of the parents of a beautiful (and very smart and sound) little girl keeps asking me if she possess any talent for singing. She is a little petit 11 year old; and respectively, her voice is not as strong to show any talent just yet.

However, with my skills and abilities, for only 3 hours of lessons as of now, I was able to increase her volume and implement more “body” into her voice.

Her, let’s say, “3 octave keyboard” just gained at least half an octave extra.

The objective is to bring her voice out and to its maximum capacity.

That will require quite a few more hours of very detailed and (needless to say) intense work; and a lot of it through the speech exercises, following special singing exercises which are designed to identify all possible combinations of sounds, duration and pitch, and also will identify all possible situations where those intervals may and will exist in the future songs.

But right now, mostly, we are building the “instrument” while, concurrently, teaching the “player” how to extract the maximum capacity from that “instrument”, but (at the same time) with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy.

We always suggest to “work smart, not hard”.

And we are teaching our students to reach the maximum result with minimum physical effort, but rather employing the intellectual understanding, sound motor skills and kinesthetic feel which will, no doubt, lead them to their very successful future vocal performance.

brain-surgeon

The answer is: Dealing with something serious like that cannot be self-served.

Nevertheless, one of the commercials on weight loss for men says:

“If you could do it alone, you would’ve done it already.”  Harvey Brooker

Indeed, but some people still think that if they knew the diagnosis and somewhat (in theory) how it could be treated, they would have attempted fixing their vocal issues by themselves…

The fact is that any voice problem, by definition, is already an internal problem; and thus, has to be treated very seriously and by a qualified voice specialist. The work with a damaged voice is usually very detailed and very intense, which applies to both sides:

The injured client and the voice repair specialist.

Without the guidance of a highly qualified professional, it is virtually impossible for the sufferer to lift their voice and re-channel it into the different set of muscles altogether; and on top of that, put those muscles (facial and abdominals) to work in full conjunction and coordination with each other.

The above formula would allow the person to release their vocal anatomy from the pressure of the sound; and thus, allow the bruised throat and the vocal cords to heal.

Moreover, the person has to adapt a new way of speaking, as well as singing (where applicable). It could be very much so equivalent to the modification of a whole “blueprint” of the person in question.

Let’s say that a “dancer” was dancing for quite a few years with the feet inwards instead of outwards. Nevertheless, the dancer had gotten used to it and even felt quite comfortable with it until such time that his/her ankles and knees started to give out.

So now, we have to restructure the feet position in order to save the dancer’s joints; and, as a side effect, finally teach him/her how to dance complying with professional standards and how not to damage the structural components of their body.

In this case, (and as well as in any other case), we will, first of all, be teaching the brain to think differently and translate that thinking into the physical body (first in the slow-motion and then on an “automatic pilot”, so to speak). This methodology has similarities with what’s called Neural linguistic Programing. The above discipline advocates that, via special skill application, it could change and “replace” the certain modality of the certain behavior in one’s brain.

As you see, my reader, it sounds pretty complex.

Therefore, it never ceases to amaze me when after just an introductory session, my potential client is revealing to me that he is ready to practice by himself and quite prepared to work really hard on his own…?

I’m sorry to say, but I find that a little ridiculous (to put it mildly).

It would be the same as if the person would meet with a brain surgeon, who (granted) would explain in reasonable details what exactly the surgical procedure would entail; and then the patient (who is in need of a brain surgery) would decide that he, somehow, would be able to perform it himself, on his own, and at home…?

Sounds funny, doesn’t it?

It does indeed.

But I do hear it quite often and I hope that people are thinking that way only because of the financial strain and not out of complete ignorance.

On top of it, some of them are going to regular vocal coaches to seek help with their injured voice.

I consider the regular vocal coaches, at best, equivalent to a regular physician who knows something about (let’s say) brain surgery, but never got specialized in it. If in real sense, (God forbid) you would need brain surgery, would you want your family physician to perform it, or you would rather hire a highly qualified brain surgeon to perform it?

The above is your quiz for today.

Enjoy your food for thought!