Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Lately I attract more and more voice repair clients who have problems with speech and not necessarily with singing.

Some of them have been suffering for two or even three decades with diagnosis’s like muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), spasmodic dysphonia, vocal cords burned with acid reflux and many other voice issues.

None of them were able to get any meaningful help from medical doctors or even specialists and let alone from speech therapists.

Some of my clients have seen numerous speech therapists who offered them to blow into a kazoo, blow into a straw to a glass of water, and yawn with an excessive sigh!

According to those speech therapists the muscles on their patients’ necks and their vocal cords for that matter will get relaxed and that’s how all of their vocal issues will be solved … ???

In my humble opinion, all of those manipulations are completely obsolete, useless, and counter-productive.

By following the above, nothing meaningful can be produced except the dry throat, more strained vocal cords, and more frustration for the voice repair sufferer.

A lot of my clients reveal to me that they felt like hostages being (nevertheless) tortured and by that had achieved nothing but more pain and more disappointment.

Some of them were asked to produce loud noises and when they refused to do so, they were scolded and told that they were very quick to give up on their so-called advanced treatment.

In my practice, I have also received people whose vocal disorder were not very obvious at the glance.

Those particular people had no growth on their vocal cords like nodes, nodules or polyps, they simply had strained their vocal cords, drowned their voices in a very low neck and chest position, and thus, in some cases, they have acquired a mild muscle tension dysphonia condition.

Needless to say, that their necks and shoulders are usually very painful, and that, in turn, affects their ability to speak without any pain or strain.

However, since there are no obvious damage being presented to the ENT doctors or speech therapists, the patients have been labeled with the unthinkable – “It’s all in your head and there is nothing wrong with your voice.”

In some cases, they have been thrown out of the doctors and speech therapists offices!

How sad is that?

The patient is blamed for the crime he/she never committed, so to speak.

The voice sufferer is “punished” for the medical “professionals” inadequacy in the aforementioned field!

Evidently the so-called medical professionals have no insight on how to provide help to these poor voice problem sufferers.

The voice, in a manner of speaking, had drowned and needs to be recovered.

Some of my clients in the past were advised not to speak for six months or even longer to give their voice a rest.

By the time they were trying to speak again, they had nothing but hiss and whisper!

If the car’s engine is broken, by putting the car in the garage “to rest”, it will not fix the car’s mechanical problems.

Similarly, if you don’t revive the drowned person back to life, the person will die.

Given all that, needless to say, if the mechanics of voice and the surrounding muscles like neck, shoulders, chest and proper posture overall is not fixed, the voice sufferer will never acquire their normal – needless to say –  improved voice back.

The tedious and very intense work required (overall) where the integration and synergy of the intellectual understanding is coupled with the patient’s motor skills and the employment of methods of visualization. All of the above will be necessary in order to achieve (if not a complete vocal recovery) but a much improved voice condition; not to mention, a much better psychological state of mind and a vastly improved physical condition of one’s body.

Working with voice repair clients for over 4 decades, I have determined that any voice disorder requires at least 30 hours of intense and tedious instruction and natural herbal and, in some cases, homeopathic treatment.

The voice repair sufferer should understand that not only their speaking and/or singing voices have to be fixed, but it also requires the adaptation of the new modality of the completely new behavior with respect of using speaking, and especially, singing voice. Moreover, after the voice is fixed and the new vocal behavior has been established, the, so to speak, “screws” have to be tightened to confirm the new adapted habits.

The intellectual understanding of the very intelligent method of visualization has to be interconnected with the motor skills and the kinesthetic feel. It also requires an establishment of the muscle memory such as facial muscles adapting the sound, and upper and lower abdominal muscles which require to work in full conjunction and coordination with the facial muscles and which are being used for the support of the height and the width (body) of the sound.

Yes, I do offer 10 hour Non-Surgical Voice Repair courses and treatments, but only for those who do not want to spend more money right away and, so to speak, “test the waters”. I call that course an introductory/exploratory session.

And I make it clear to anybody who inquires for any such courses. I have to note that I still produce miracles; however, the voice repair client cannot expect the full completion of their voice repair endeavor in such a short period of time. Everybody in Canada knows about Dr. Bernstein’s Diet clinic (Dr. B Diet). He guarantees that the overweight person, (Via his starvation diet, LOL), could lose up to 20 pounds a month.

And, believe it or not, it is true, as I have been there myself several times over. So, if you follow the protocol, you are indeed guaranteed to lose 20 pounds. Let’s say that the person who enrolled into his program needs (for arguments sake) to lose 50lbs.

It is a known fact that the human body is pretty much able to release a maximum of 20lbs to 25lbs a month.

Is that the doctor’s problem that the person is overweight 60, 80 or 100lbs? Evidently not, as he had nothing to do with that person putting that weight on (and probably for a number of years).

In fact, if, let’s say, the 50 pound overweight client will walk away after losing just 20 pounds in a month period of time, he/she is guaranteed not only to not lose more weight on their own, but to put back on those 20 pounds, and much more.

Why, you may ask?

The answer is: Because the new lifestyle model could not be changed and established in such a short period of time, especially if you are older (remember, bad habits die hard). Therefore, the overweight person will come back to his original habits in no time, thus his investment in him/herself will be, (if not completely), but for the most part, lost.

So naturally, the person who is overweight over 20 pounds cannot expect that they will lose 100 pounds in one month and will not have to spend the time, energy and money for that matter any further.

Sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it?

It is indeed!

But, believe it or not, people who are coming to me for non-surgical voice repair and arranging a 10 hour introductory/exploratory course, are convinced that all of their vocal problems and voice issues will be way behind them…

Go figure!

The ten hour course and natural herbal treatment allows the voice repair client to completely understand and experience first hand what the Vocal Science ™ method and techniques are.

So, if in doubt, and if especially located locally, by all means arrange a 10 hour course and see for yourself what it could do for you if executed properly and, especially, projected at least 20 more hours of instruction and treatment forward.

Best of health and prosperity now and in the future.

Sincerely

Diana Yampolsky

I must have given not million, but billion singing, speech and voice repair designated hours, serving at least 20,000 clients for over 31 years running a professional vocal school.

For the last three decades, I have been mostly specializing in Non-Surgical Voice Repair more so than the regular singing or speech lessons.

It appears to be that more and more people are ruining their speaking and singing voices, not knowing how to properly use their voices, let alone knowing how to take care of their voices.

Usually, their lifestyles are quite unhealthy – diet wise, fitness wise, and enormous stress wise.

They live a very strained life, so to speak.

Naturally, a lot of them, (speakers and singers), are pushing and pulling their voices while concurrently gripping their voices into their necks, thus paving their way to what’s called Muscle Tension Dysphonia.

While having these symptoms, naturally these people affected by them, are thinking of going to an ENT specialist. They are hoping to get their diagnosis, (unfortunately, most of the time, quite wrongful), and after that, also hoping to get some relief and also have a ‘quick fix’ of their vocal problem.

Quite often, the ENT specialists suggest the “standard labels” like: acid reflux on the vocal cords, vocal gap (sulcus vocalis), muscle tension dysphonia, etc.

If there is any growth on the vocal cords; (like nodules, polyps or cysts) they, no doubts, will suggest a surgery whether it is needed or not.

Meanwhile, the mind, body and voice have to be assessed separately and collectively.

In fact, I have heard numerous of times that the ENT specialists suggest to the vocally injured patients that it’s “all in their head”, while the person is literally having a vocal damage and thus, is devastated out of their wits!

I never could understand that and at first, it was really hard to believe that something like that is possible!

Naturally, the person with the vocal problem is very upset and frustrated, to put it mildly and, of course, they act a little erratically and are being very emotional, which is completely understandable.

Their body usually is very tensed, as almost any vocal injury results in muscle tension dysphonia, i.e., a very tight neck.

By virtue of the Vocal Science technique, I work on client’s posture and get the pressure out of their neck, shoulders and lower back, which a lot of times, they have a problem with, as they are standing and walking with their pelvis out, throwing their sound backwards instead of forward and thus, pushing and pulling their voice forward double force.

Naturally, the voice itself becomes really strained of constant pushing and pulling, the vocal cords become weak and sometimes to the point that the vocal folds are unable to come back close together.

That’s how the vocal gap, (sulcus vocalis) takes place.

Also, the vocal cords become dry and deprived of oxygen; thus such growths as vocal nodules, polyps and cysts will, no doubts, occur.

Also, one of the main components of the wholesome vocal mechanism is proper breathing.

If the person does not execute the proper breath intake and would not leave the air underneath of the sound to propel the voice forward to also separate the physical body from the sound, that person starts to hyperventilate and feel dizzy, not to mention drying up their throat even more so than before.

So one more time again, the Non-Surgical Voice Repair has to be approached holistically, as I can promise you, no other approach will ever work.

Through my extensive practice I have been treating a lot of singers (professional or not) and just regular people with speech problems.

Some of them are quite easy to deal with, while with the others it is extremely hard, to put it mildly.

In general, both described above categories are quite troubled.

Some of those people, unfortunately, have been suffering for a decade or two, if not even more.

Some of them almost lost hope for their vocal recovery, while the others never gave up and continued their search.

Finally, the person arrives to my studio.

They are trying to look and act brave until we start the process, which is in its nature very tedious, very intense vowel-on-vowel, syllable-on-syllable, word-on-word instruction with simultaneous herbal remedies intake.

It is indeed not for the faint of heart and also definitely not for the person with below average I.Q.

It requires an intellectual understanding, in depth; it also requires the motor skills to be present, as the intellectual understanding works hand-in-hand with motor skills to recover the voice and bring it out on the surface.

I always said it before: “It is an integration and synergy between the mental, physical, emotional and vocal state.”

That’s what “in my books” defines the holistic approach to voice mechanics.

Needless to say that all of my voice repair clients are holding on to their emotions which they are desperately trying to keep inside.

When I deeply engage into them, so to speak, all of their frustration, anger, anguish and what-not is almost uncontrollably pouring out of them.

Interestingly enough, it is more pronounced with the regular people (not singers) who are experiencing speech disorder.

Moreover, when I begin to open up what was stored inside for so long, I often uncover more vocal and other issues than originally was determined.

This is completely normal when I, for example, treat sulcus vocalis, I suddenly uncover that the person also has muscle tension dysphonia, and what have you.

Just like during surgery, often some more deep and dangerous problems cannot be seen on x-ray or ultra-sound, and then during the surgery, the surgeon discovers something else which was not even anticipated.

So the voice repair client has to be prepared to face the unexpected and take it with a “grain of salt”.

Sometimes, I compare it with a complicated baby delivery, those which are conducted with the forceps, especially when the fetus is wrong positioned in the womb.

In most of the cases of the described above, the baby is still delivered healthy. Thank God!

The complications, however, could be very unpleasant and painful for the mother in question.

I hate to say it, but in the case of non-surgical voice repair, some discomfort and some unexpected surprises could also occur.

In other words, the voice repair process is definitely not always a “picnic”.

If you feel that mentally, physically and emotionally you are ready for such an endeavour, you are very welcome to contact me and get more in depth details.

Until then, I wish you all a speedy vocal recovery with whichever means you will find most suitable for you.

When you got any voice disorder, your life could change (and not for the better), momentarily…

Just in the recent past, you were a regular person like everybody else, and that one morning when you woke up, you felt that your voice is a little shut down and that you had to clear your throat extensively to bring any sound out to the surface.
“That was quite unusual” you might have thought, and hoped that all of it would go away soon.
You started thinking that your bedroom was quite dry and maybe, in the recent past, you had some cold, and maybe the new showed-up symptoms were just the residuals of the latter.
You went through your day, still feeling uncomfortable with your voice and even feeling that something just got stuck inside of your throat.
By the evening, you also started feeling a pain in your neck and shoulders, and overnight, your throat was ‘literally’ on fire, as the gastric acid began burning your vocal cords.
Due to that, some of you have even experienced a shortness of breath, which could be very scary for anybody, as you feel that you could not take a full breather.
With all these symptoms, no doubts, you lost your sleep.
You couldn’t sleep also because you were worrying, not knowing what is happening to your voice and to yourself in general.
You got thrown out of balance and out of the regular routine of your life.
To focus at work became a real challenge.
For those who have to speak during the working day, it became a nightmare.
And for those whose singing is a full time occupation, the threat of loosing their careers and their livelihoods, became unbearable.
Could those speakers and singers claim their lives back?
Yes, the majority of them can!
That is the good news!
Is it easy though?
The answer is NOT AT ALL.
The “hardware”, so to speak, is broken.
The mechanism which allows  the voice to work in the fullest capacity possible, is dysfunctional.
Let’s imagine that one of us owns a very expensive Mercedes Benz.
Suddenly, that beautiful, prestigious car, stalls.
What would you do if that happened to your car?
   A. Wash, polish and wax the car?
   B. Put it in the garage to “rest” and hope that it will fix itself?
   C. Look for a highly qualified mechanic to fix the mechanical problem, which perhaps occurred
        under the hood of your car?
If you chose the latter, you most likely still have a hope.
The majority of vocal coaches and speech therapists offer to the sufferer  to take a vocal rest.
They also recommend to do the acupuncture and to see the osteopath or chiropractor.
The ENT doctors “prescribe” Gaviscon for acid reflux, which is actually available over the counter.
None of them offers to work on actually what’s broken, i.e., voice mechanics.
Unless you do so, you will forever be looking for a “magic pill”, or shots of botox.
To claim your life back, you have to understand what it takes and execute it in a full force; work smart, not hard, and with minimum effort, aim to achieve maximum results.

Let’s suppose you woke up feeling ill and experiencing sore throat, cough and a fever. Naturally, you think that you got a cold or caught some kind of a virus

Nothing too dangerous, you may think…

So, for the next several days, you do everything to get rid of the symptoms. And yes, you were able to get rid of pretty much all of them, except your throat is still bothering you.

Moreover, after you knocked down your cold or your virus symptoms, you discover that, not only that your throat is still sore, but your voice is acting kind of weird.

It’s sounding kind of hoarse and raspy and you have to clear your throat every 15 minutes.

The time passes by and you are completely recovered on every level, but your voice is still sounding

Hoarse and not coming back to its normal state.

In this instance, you decide to go back to your family doctor, just to get a referral to an ENT specialist.

After waiting three to five months for that appointment, to your dismay, you find out that you actually have either a paralyzed vocal cord or spasmodic dysphonia!

How devastating it must be?

I agree, the devastation goes beyond words.

People who never had any problems with their voices are now practically disabled.

Some of them had to change their professions, as they could not teach anymore, be a crown attorney in court, or even continue to be a doctor’s assistant or just even an office secretary, where the person was required to answer the phone.

The worst part, especially for singers, was when the doctors, at best, gave them the diagnosis (not always the accurate ones), but never told them how to treat the problem, let alone cure it.

On that note, the effected people, (and especially singers), decided to go to a regular vocal coach in hopes to rectify their voice/vocal problems. They got regular style vocal coaching, but the voice problem was still remaining and never got addressed.

In some cases, the voice condition actually became worse.

For some reason, people in general do understand that, if some kind of internal organ problem occurs, they will be referred to a specialist who can attend to their specific problem.

The family physician is not the one who specializes in internal medicine.

Granted they have already been referred to the ENT specialist, but that is another story altogether.

The ENT specialist is not necessarily an expert in the voice mechanics. In real sense, to restore the voice mechanics to whichever degree possible, takes a vocal expert who specializes in such matters.

Yes, the ENT doctor could, for example, prescribe medication for the acid reflux occurrence, or the Botox injections, especially in the case of spasmodic dysphonia, which is, unfortunately, also only a temporary measure.

But beyond that would be only a surgical procedure offered, which also could be detrimental to your voice, (scar tissue and other post-operative residuals), or even your health and life in general. So your first measure would be to search for a voice/vocal specialist who has the holistic understanding how to approach the vocal issue mechanically, mentally, physically and emotionally, and how to cater it to a specific person and personality.

The regular vocal coach will not qualify for such tasks.

It is an incredibly intense and tedious undertaking which requires the special skills from the voice expert and, especially, patience and compassion towards the injured individual. As for the actual vocally injured person, it also requires willingness and ‘lovingness’, open heart and soul as well as patience, to except such services.

The vocal expert and the vocally injured person should outline the mutual goal and enjoy achieving the results.

Approximately a month ago, I received a student from the US who has been a professional singer all his life, but for the past while, he had begun experiencing some vocal problems; like a loss of high range, a raspy/hoarse voice and a collection of excess mucus in the throat, coupled with minor acid reflux.

He was experiencing fatigue with his voice and could no longer sing for prolonged periods of time.

That made my client very insecure and resulted in him refusing and cancelling upcoming gigs.

He originally arrived to me, per-registered for 20 hours of non-surgical voice repair sessions, but ended up taking 30 hours to learn the new vocal technique and to lose the bad habits adopted for the last 40 years being on stage.

The voice repair was actually complete within 10 (maximum of 15) hours; the rest of the sessions were dedicated to mastering the actual singing performance.

It was not easy, as I told him, jokingly, even before we started, that it is not easy to teach the old dog new tricks. And no, it was not easy, but in the end, it was very rewarding on both ends.

Please read from (his own words), how he felt right after he arrived home:

“ My 2 gigs right after I got home went great.

I also mentioned before I left that I had a song to sing for a producer in France that I was looking forward to trying out the new technique — it worked great– I had just one day to do the lead and harmonies– there were a lot of harmonies– so I was singing pretty hard for a little over 7 hours.

Next day I felt fine — tired physically, but that goes along with being old :) Everything worked and it really helped cement some things — the circles and peripheral singing — that’s been a real hard one to get, but it’s making sense now and I know with implementation and practice it will become second nature.

The way I was able to make it make sense to my mind was to say “keep your eyes on the road” — which of course, is what you were saying — you used the GPS analogy, but I’m more old school :)”

Now, a month later, we have received another e-mail from the same client, who now has had the opportunity to test out the Vocal Science technique, combined with his performance skills (and my expertise on that matter), even further.

Please read below:

“The gigs this past week went great– one major thing that I’m noticing is in what you stressed about keeping our eyes on the (singing) road. It’s starting to come more naturally now and when it does, the audience reaction and connection is deeper and better in relation to how clearly I see the road (in fact, one of the gigs was a solo gig and I made way more tips than I have there in the past — do I owe you a commission for that? :)

We know that as artists, singers and just as people, that we want and have to connect with the audience to allow the cycle to happen– yes, of course, we have to talk to them and relate that way, but the deep meaningful connection happens on its own if we just connect with the song– that’s what the audience feels — it’s the difference between singing at them or to them.

If we’re constantly monitoring what we sound like and what we look like, where is there room for the song?–that ability and opportunity for a deep connection goes right by us and we’ve missed our chance. As you like to say, go figure.

I know this is very simplistic, but whether it’s sports, singing, or cooking etc. it’s the basics that are often the most overlooked and the most important. As always, thank you :)

I think that the above is very profound. And Bob has been an incredible person and a very diligent and dedicated student; taking instructions with gratitude and adapting the newly learned skills right into his craft.

And as we see, it worked “by the book”, so to speak.

We know about some singers who are so, ‘me, myself and I… and my voice’, that cannot connect with the audience, as they have been listening to themselves and “enjoying” their own voice instead of singing it for the audience.

The others have another extreme.

Their singing is not up to par and some of them are literally losing their voices right on stage and during their performances. However, the majority of them have good showmanship, which often they pass to cover-up their inadequacies in the actual singing field.

I would call them the ‘Entertainers’ and not Singers.

However, the ideal combination of two would create the ultimate performance, as the technical and artistic merits would be in perfect harmony, (no pun intended).

The audience, in my opinion, should become more demanding and claim and feel entitled to experience the real true performance from the artists for their hard earned money.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.