Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Evidently not…

It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Let’s
analyze what has been happening in the last few years and, nevertheless,
recently:
Majority of our very talented artists had experienced vocal problems in one-way or
another. A lot of them had undergone vocal operations:
  • Adele
  • John Mayer
  • Joan Rivers
  • Megan Trainor
  • Sam Smith
  • Roger Daltrey
  • Steven Tyler
  • Keith Urban
  • Michael Buble

And that’s to name a few…

All of the above listed people are talented artists, but obviously, majority of
them had been lacking the proper vocal technique; and thus, they ended up
having vocal issues (and some of them more serious then others).
Could they have avoided the interruption of their professional lives, careers, joy
and monetary loss?
No doubts they could – They just could have been more attentive to the technical
aspects of their craft and not just rely on their talents and love for music.
Could you imagine a figure skater trying to jump a triple or quad not knowing what it consists of and, moreover, not having proper muscle training assuring that the physical body could withhold the weight of the landing of such jump? Also, if you think of ballet dancers who work at the bar at least 4 to 8 hours a day, would you imagine them doing ‘pirouettes’ and ‘pas se deuxs’ wearing point-shoes and having no prerequisite with regards to what they are doing?

In this case the serious injuries would, no doubts, occur.

singing-on-the-brain
They, nevertheless, have to be able to keep their whole body weight on those toes of theirs. That means that their balance has to be unshakable, their point-shoes techniques have to be immaculate and their ballet elements (separately and in correlation), have to be ‘on point’. (no pun intended)
So where do the singers come with the idea that the technical aspect of using their
voices properly and efficiently does not necessarily need to be embraced?

Lately, it has been all about the show and showmanship.

For example: there has been about $40,000,000 dollar stage, built for Bono’s performance.
That said, basically, everything had been in place to cover up the inadequacy of a true vocal performance.
How Sad is that? Very
Sad, indeed!
If our truly talented artists possessed a proper vocal technique, which would protect and save their voice for life, we would not be hearing (unfortunately, quite often) on the news about the next upcoming vocal surgery of the next pop-star.
Go figure!

*Mind, body and soul… and your voice*

In 1984, we have opened the school, which was originally
named: The Royans School for the Musical Performing Arts. Almost right from the
start, we have enrolled over 100 students, consisting of children, teenagers
and adults.
After my partner (the second Royan) had passed away in 1986,
a year after, (in 1987), I changed the name of the school and it became well
known as The Royans Professional Vocal School. And at that time, the school
became primarily an adult vocal school and children became a minority. However,
we always have been working with teenagers and young adults, developing their
talents for the music industry at large.  Nevertheless though, working primarily with
adults, provided me with a lot of experience and education concerning North
American mentality.
Being an educator by trade and a very inquisitive person by
nature, I have been tuning in to those adults who allowed me to get themselves
under my care; and not only vocally, but holistically over all. They allowed me
“in” (so to speak) and carried on with quite intimate details about
themselves, their families and their relationships.

Not all of them, by far, enrolled in my program out of happiness.

On the contrary, a lot of them possessed stuffed-up emotions
sitting deeply inside of them, and also a lot of hurt and very low spirits. I
always said that the voice is your “spirit”
and has to be discovered, uncovered and ‘made to be flown away from the
physical body’. So their vocal training had consisted of a lot of counseling on
life in general and their lives in particular.
Via special speech exercises and specially selected scripts
(peculiarly enough) quite related to their situation in general and even their
own situation in particular, they have been able to open up their chest (in which
the human beings usually hold a lot of unreleased emotions) and thus, to bring
their voices (i.e., their spirits) up and out onto the surface.
With the lift of their voice off of the vocal anatomy and
(so to speak) un-stucking it from within, they felt much more released, and
nevertheless, much freer from whatever was bothering them in the recent and
even distant past.

The freer the sound of the voice is, the freer the person will feel.

Once the voice is discovered and gets to be flown, the
person feels that he/she had acquired “wings” in a manner of speaking. So now,
we had killed two birds with one stone, so to speak.
The voice got developed in its fullest capacity; the “Genie
in the bottle” got freed up and flew to the Universe where the sky is the limit;
and thus, the person finally got free from all of the stuffed-up emotions and
inhibitions. The confidence now is soaring, as the great knowledge and
understanding took place.
So, you (my reader) should agree that, all and all, it is a
WINNING combination; and, no doubt, WINNING situation on every level.

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:12.0pt;
font-family:Cambria;
mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Good luck to all of you with best of health, best of spirit
and, nevertheless, best of voice!

Teaching for nearly 42 years, I have dealt with children, teenagers and, nevertheless, with adults of all ages and walks of life.

Children and teens definitely require more effort and more care. Some of them are very emotionally fragile and sensitive, especially when they are approaching puberty at the age of 12 to 14. A lot of them become practically silent and very closed-in inside. Naturally, they don’t speak much; their speaking voice becomes low and dull.

They are basically living in their inner-world.

Sad Girl

Recently, I was travelling to Dallas, Texas to work on a person with a paralyzed vocal cord. She happened to have one of her granddaughters, who was about to turn 9 years old. My client’s daughter, at the dinner table, did confess to me that her older daughter was hardly speaking to her; and moreover, was put in a special class for children with dyslexia. When I met this beautiful girl, who hardly looked beautiful, as she was so down and obviously (in my opinion) was quite misunderstood.

I asked her to read the same script that her grandmother did during our sessions with her; and she read it perfectly and definitely without any signs of dyslexia.

Go figure…

Vocal Singing princess

Of course, my approach to a child was vastly different then my approach would be to any adult. I am using certain body movements, which help the client to lift the voice off of their physical body and re-channel it into the different set of muscles (their facial muscles and their abdominal muscles for the greater support of the lifted voice). With the little girl, I turned it into a ballerina game!

She loved to be tall, slim and beautiful ballerina, while concurrently; I was lifting her speaking voice. And then, to everybody’s astonishment, the little girl had begun to sing!

Then we have learned that she had always wanted to sing!

But she never knew how to and her speaking voice (and nevertheless, her spirit) was positioned extremely low and her speaking voice was coming out with an extremely low tone. At her eight years of age, she was considered to be a complete outcast with a diagnosis of dyslexia, which never had been present in the first place.

Within an hour, this child turned into an absolute beautiful angel with no inhibitions whatsoever!

Continuing communication with my original voice repair client (her grandmother), I was told that the child joined a school choir, being much more talkative and much more happy. The transformation (personality, spirit and voice repair) was inevitable and, in this case, miraculously got complete within only an hour and a bit.

Way to go, little angel!

Stay tuned for other case studies concerning children, teenagers and lastly, adults.

Spending over 32 years running my own professional voice/vocal business, I have been working with (estimated) over 20,000 clients on their speaking and singing voices. Luckily, the mechanics (which are applicable for the speaking and singing voice) are exactly the same.

Surgert Bog Pic 3 - Singer

Both my speech (The Total Communicator Course) and singing course begin with exactly the same speech exercises. Those exercises have a very important purpose, as they are designed to relieve the pressure of the sound from the vocal anatomy as a whole.

The wholesome mechanism takes place to allow the voice to work in the fullest capacity possible with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy. The voice, restructured to the facial muscles, begins to work in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles, which play the role of the support for the lifted sound. And the upper diaphragm muscles (rib cage) assure the width and the body of the sound.

When all of the components of that wholesome mechanism begin work simultaneously, the voice then becomes supported, structured, placed and projected to its aimed destination. The speaking voice begins to sound clearly enunciated and projected.

The latter is good preparation for embarking upon the singing voice development. Utilizing the same mechanics as for the speaking voice, now it is the time to address the musical side of it.

In this case, the singer-to-be represents the “Instrument” and the “player” at once. The physical body and its emotional makeup would represent the “instrument”. The proper application of the speaking and singing voice will represent the “player”. If the “instrument” is in good physical and emotional balance, the voice (which will be bouncing off of it) will sound that much better. The future singer should know the parameters of his/her “instrument” to be able to apply the sound above the physical anatomy (an out-of-body experience, so to speak…)

Therefore, needless to say, before attempting to sing any song, the music analysis of the chosen song should be applied. Any song consists of certain combinations of sounds, duration and pitch, (i.e., intervals). During the singing exercises, all possible combinations of sounds, duration and pitch, should be addressed.

Also, the situations where those combinations may exist will also have to be addressed.

With that said, once you are aware of all of the combinations and all of the situations (where those combinations may and will exist), you will become the owner of your voice. (Speaking and Singing).

One day, you wake up and you notice that suddenly, your voice is not the same as it normally is. You think to yourself that ‘maybe its just morning raspiness and it will go away later in the day.  Five (or more) days pass and you realize that your voice is not getting any better. It’s actually getting worse with every word you try to convey. On top of that, your throat feels like it is on fire and it has been burning severely.

So, by now, you have come to the realization that something is definitely wrong there… The voice feels weak, and on top of it, it sounds raspy and hoarse.

“What could I do to make it better” you ask yourself in desperation?

Of course, right away, you turn to the “all reliable” internet for answers to your vocal dilemma, and find out that all of their “answers” are just generic explanation websites which, at most times, do not lead you to the best diagnosis and/or treatments.

Throat Problem 9

Now, you are lost completely and totally unaware of what to do to conquer your newly discovered vocal problem…

My advise would be that, first and foremost, do not panic; but instead, find a good medical professional and get an accurate diagnosis. If you get a clean bill of health, then seek a holistic practitioner (voice/vocal specialist) who specializes in voice problems. Acquiring appropriate voice/vocal techniques and the application of natural herbal and homeopathic remedies, should do the trick, so to speak.

If you, (God forbid) are diagnosed with some kind of growths on your vocal cords; such as polyps, nodules, cysts, lesions and etc., you should still look for a non-surgical alternative before committing yourself to surgical interference.

For example: The Vocal Science™ Technique advocates the minimal (if at all) use of the vocal cords.

Some of you are probably aware that you have only so many ‘strums’ per vocal cords, for the length of your life. Naturally the less you use your vocal cords; the more you preserve its health and length.

But what if you need to use your voice quite excessively? For example: What if your job requires you to speak on the phone all day, or you happen to be a professional speaker or singer?

I think that I have the answer for you:

I found the way to decrease the pressure of the sound on the vocal anatomy via my specially designed speech and singing exercises, coupled with special body movements.

Those exercises will allow your voice to be lifted off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords by the way of restructuring the sound into the set of the facial muscles, which will, in turn, begin to work in full conjunction and coordination with your abdominal muscles (for greater support of the lift); thus minimizing the use of your throat, larynx and your vocal cords.

However, if the above took place; and, after awhile, your previously diagnosed growth is not, at least, shrinking in size, you should return to the ENT surgeon and ask for a reassessment.

In this case, it might be wise to undergo a surgical procedure and then come back to the non-surgical post-operative care and thus assure that your voice disorder will not reoccur ever again.

We wish you all a healthy and pleasant voice!

All you have to lose is your stress and fear; All you have to gain is your voice and overall health.

When a regular person suddenly begins to experience some voice problems, it becomes very devastating and, nevertheless, very scary.

When a singer begins to experience a loss of range, and hoarseness of voice, not only does it cause stress and extreme fear of losing their career, but it becomes completely unbearable and extremely stressful for that individual; and of course, all of it effects his/hers overall health. The musicians in general are usually extremely emotional and quite passionate, which is not always beneficial to their physical well being.

It is a well-known fact that a lot of diseases are emotionally induced and then they manifest in the physical body. The stress alone can cause quite a change in the chemical composition and thus, can cause a complete imbalance in the body. If brought to the absolute boiling point, it will most likely attack the weakest organ in this individual’s body. Those people who use their throat and their vocal anatomy quite excessively (due to their occupation) most likely will experience a vocal issue.

Those who are already experiencing vocal problems, no doubts, will be stressed to the max (speaking or singing), and that, in turn, will create some other physical body problems, such it could be, for example, their liver…

The holistic teaching indicates that those individuals who do experience liver problems, usually posses suppressed anger within themselves. When, for example, the thyroid is attacked, it usually represents that the sufferer is experiencing suppressed emotions and hurts. Very often, when doctors order to remove the thyroid, they also, quite often “butcher” the vocal box and almost 9 out of 10 patients are waking up with a paralyzed vocal cord(s).

So all of it, as you can see, is, nevertheless, a vicious circle. In other words, if you already have a vocal problem, the stress and fear will make it worse and might even affect the other vital organs of your body. If you have stress and fears caused by other factors, you may acquire vocal issues (speaking and/or singing). However, the singers who don’t know how to save and protect their voice for life, and who don’t own the proper vocal technique, most likely, sooner or later, will acquire various vocal disorders.

If you understand correctly the content, you will draw a conclusion that all of our organs (brain included) are completely interconnected; thus the approach to any physical imbalance (voice included) MUST be approached holistically and NEVER by itself. Once the physical body is in balance and intact, the spirit in such body will be also happy and healthy.

The voice IS your spirit.

It is also a reflection of the state of your whole being and it is, nevertheless, an Identification of who you truly are!

I, personally, also had a similar question when I was offered by two (quite prominent) dentists to pull out my three (near the front) teeth.

One of which (granted) was pretty broken, the other one was slightly damaged; and the third one was previously “treated” by a dental surgeon and, as a result, that tooth appeared to be crooked and shortened to the max… I did not know any of this, as I was quite heavily sedated.

When I woke up, nevertheless, I had to face the results and that was quite the surprise…

That very doctor and then the other one who I went for a second opinion, wanted to pull out three teeth, put the implants on two of them and a crown on one. Moreover, the office manager of the first one, when I came in, I thought for an appointment, cancelled it outright and recited to me that I had six route canals to be done and redone!

The estimate I had received from that office was $12,000.00!

And the estimate I had received from the second office was $9,000.00!

Luckily, by fluke, I found a third dentist who happened to be not only a nice and down-to-earth person, but also a great specialist who, for less then $2,000.00, fixed all of those teeth without any pain or strain and without any artificial hardware (or plastic-ware) residing in my mouth.

Go figure!

The moral of my story is such: DO NOT AGGREE to any surgeries, implants or any other physical augmentations concerning your vocal anatomy, until you know FOR SURE that there is no other way to fix your vocal problem.

Nevertheless, sometimes there are situations, which cannot be addressed non-surgically; and at that time, vocal surgery could be considered.

If there is any growth on the vocal cords and they are not getting any smaller (or disappearing in a reasonable period of time) after the non-surgical holistic treatment, they have to be addressed surgically, as if left alone, they, with time, could become cancerous.

If the vocal surgery took place, the post-surgery care should be administered to assure the proper healing and the proper use of the speaking/singing voice, so that no growth (or any other vocal problem for that matter) could occur ever again.

The moral of this blog is: Get the straight facts about your vocal issue and look and find the least invasive and most viable (preferably non-surgical) solution.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.