Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2011

I’ve been teaching vocals forever and close to four decades now. But never have I experienced such difficulty to deliver my Vocal Science method to people who claim that, minimum to say, they want to learn how to sing properly. Simply speaking, in my opinion, they are hardly possessing any vital signs, at least during the first 5 – 6 hours of instruction. My guess is that the people who are in an actual medical coma have more vital signs than my so called up and coming artists. How sad is that?

Figuratively speaking, it brings me near the “heart attack” to wake them up and instill some substance, first into their brains and then, if I’m lucky, activate their motor skills, which the majority of them are not possessing at all. In other words, to walk and chew the gum at the same time would be a great challenge for my “troubled” students.

The Vocal Science method requires the integration and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and finally, vocal state. To get to that vocal state I need to invent a “vocal-fibrilator” and not only for the client, but for myself as well (would be funny if it wasn’t so sad). I, evidently, am not getting any younger and due to that factor, it’s becoming harder and harder and almost nearly impossible…?

My vocal session with the student used to consist of minimum to say, five parts. The first part would contain the speech exercises, which establish the foundation for the “vocal house” so to speak, to be built in the later stages. The first exercise is to count to five with the proper placement and projection. For some people, it takes about an hour…? How so, you may ask? It requires also the movement of their feet and arms, and to coordinate all of that together, for the majority of the population, IS NOT POSSIBLE, or at least NO LONGER POSSIBLE. THAT’S TO MUCH TO ASK, they say. They’re accustomed all day to sit at the computer or play electronic games on their phones. “You mean you want me to walk and talk at the same time, let alone sing?!” they exclaim. They’re so confused and scared and perhaps even more scared than if I were to ask them to climb Mount Everest or to swim across Lake Ontario as one of the teenagers is doing as we speak and all for the good cause. Way to go! Maybe, after she does, I should inquire if she wants to learn how to sing now, as maybe, (stress maybe) she actually will be able to coordinate some movements with her voice and not only apply her motor skills in relation with the water. It’s good to know that somebody still actually’s got it.

In a real sense, how pathetic is that? Just even five or ten years ago, nothing like this was a problem or even a concern. In fact, I was able to do speech exercises, singing exercises, reading of the song in proper syllables and singing of the song while concurrently video taping the performance in only 75 minutes increments. And at that time, with absolute certainty I could say, “Beginner to Pro Singer in 10 Hours, Guaranteed!” Very outrageous claim, but I have numerous of artists who I produced then in 10 hours, i.e. Raine of Our Lady Peace (Sony), Alex Norman of illScarlett (Sony), Brian Melo – Canadian Idol of 2007,  Lukas Rossi – winner of Rock Star Supernova television show, Brian Pisani – One second Too Late (Sony), and Trish Campbell (EMI), just to name a few.

Now, my presumption is that to produce somebody of their calibre, I would need minimum 30 – 50 hours, if I’m lucky! And now I’m running my sessions in 2 hour increments and still not accomplishing all of the components I used to accomplish in 75 minutes. What does it tell you?: The world’s gone crazy and getting crazier by the second. The world’s evidently gone deaf, as they’re worshipping the ground of the artists who cannot “carry a tune in a bucket” and some of them cannot sing to “save their lives”. The people, in a manner of speaking, are physically disabled and cannot perform even simple tasks, which require coordination. Therefore, when instead of singing they’re watching a live video on stage with non-identifiable gender dancers, they’re completely amused, as these people could dance and even “lip sync” at the same time. Britney Spears once exclaimed, “Oops. My microphone was accidentally on.” That should have come to us as an absolute warning, as it took place some time ago, when some normalcy and some human vital signs were still present. She definitely was a pioneer in planting the seed and now the flowers of her labour are in a full bloom!

In 1994 the Brampton Guardian newspaper wrote an article about me, which was called “Voice Coach Teaches A Mind Over Vocal Cords Philosophy”. That was then and today the minds are somewhat present (due to the 24 hour invasion of the internet), the bodies are present very remotely and the interconnection between the latter and the former, hardly exists or fluctuates like electrical short circuits with strong activation from my part. So go figure!

Is there a solution? I’m not quite sure about it. As the more technology being introduced, the less brain and body cells are being present and being active. Where are we all going? Hopefully, not to the end of the world, but, however, it is quite probable and might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been teaching, consulting and recording vocalists for close to four decades. I’ve also been conducting group vocal interactive workshops and seminars for the longest time. It is extremely interesting to watch and experience the changes with each generation.

What was happening before is the history. What is happening today is the reality. And today’s reality is very confusing and at times, disheartening.

On one hand, the people are much more advanced now than they’ve ever been. In what sense you may ask? Definitely technologically. Also quite definitely, intellectually, as the technology gives them access to much wider venues than they could ever dream of before. Yet, physically, it’s another story.

The Vocal Science(TM)method, which I advocate for quite a few years, requires an integration and synergy between metal, physical, emotional and vocal state. Unless all of those components are working in compliance with each other, the mechanism required for the voice to work in its fullest capacity possible, cannot be launched. In the majority of cases, the physical component is just not present.

How could it be so, you, the reader, might be wondering? The fact of the matter is that the people are not physical anymore. They spend too much time at their innovative electronic gadgets and not enough time embarking on any physical activities. Purely and simply, they cannot “walk and chew the gum at the same time” and thus, I should say, they cannot “carry a tune in a bucket”. The balance and coordination are just not present. Therefore, the physicality of the sound cannot be enforced or can be, but with great difficulty. In other words, the people’s physical body is at least five levels below their intellectual capacities.

It is sad, but it is the reality today. Every day it is harder and harder to make people physically apply the vocal techniquesthey’re taught. Their untuned physical bodies are simply not allowing them to prosper.

Where are we all going with the advanced technology, I don’t profess to know. But my wild guess is that we’re not going to the new heights with our health and overall prosperity and definitely not vocally.

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producer, and Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist at The Royans Professional Vocal School in Toronto, Canada. She is also the creator of the Vocal Science (TM) method and Talent Scout & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.
 

If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone, Toll Free in North America, at 1-888-229-TUNE (8863)

Read Full Post »

What are the benefits you may ask? I will try to specify it for you and just will name a few.

Let’s suppose that you know a lot about computers, but do you know how to fix it if something goes wrong? Let’s say you’re a good driver, but if you break down in the middle of the trip, will you be able to fix your car and continue your road adventure? The majority of people will not be able to do that and they will rely on professional help.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as nobody could be good and knowledgeable at everything. However, some people do not admit it and try to rectify all the problems themselves and quite often fail to do so and do rather more damage than good. If to refer to the music business, I can forever elaborate about my experience (vocal consultant expert in studio) working with music producers who were claiming and posing for the great wizards in vocals. I can assure you, being working in studio productions for over 35 years that in 99 and a half per cent of the time, it wasn’t the case. Moreover, in some cases, the vocal performance was completely destroyed and was already by that time, beyond repair. In more severe cases (needless to say, without my presence in the studio) the voice was almost completely destroyed as well, by numerous and hours long repetitions of the same high range notes, while the artist was trying desperately to hit them by fluke without any proper guidance. Nevertheless, the latter was suggested and enforced by the producers involved.

So, the benefit number one of the vocal coaching is to be able to assist a trained artist not just in your studio, but in the recording studio with both –  technically and stylistically.
The benefit number two is to be able to instill confidence into the artist to the degree when the artist can reciprocate at least 95% of the recorded performance live on stage. The knowledge which the artist is supposed to get during the voice trainingand recording should shine out during the live performance as well and stand on its own leg, using the background dancers and choirs supplementally and not instead of the main act.

And lastly, while doing all of that, do not forget about the main component – health and safety of the voice. It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to push harder – to sing louder – and then before you know, the vocal cord snaps. In my book, “Vocal Science – Flight to the Universe” it’s called “Vocal Impotence – In Need of Vocal Viagra?”. Indeed, the vocal cord may lose its elasticity and strength, thus ability to perform in its full capacity. Just like a guitar string which was strummed too hard and too many times and then, as a result, hung right off the deck. The difference is that you can put a new string on the aforementioned guitar, but can you put a new vocal cord in your vocal box? UNFORTUNATELY NOT!!!

So please save and protect the existing vocal cords and remember that your vocal anatomy can take only so much, as it’s evidently not made of steel.

If, unfortunately, it already happened, there may be help on its way:

Non-Surgical Voice Repair!

God forbid you need it, but if you do?

With the proper technique which does not require the excessive use of the vocal anatomy and with natural herbs and remedies, which will greatly aid your voice and your vocal cords, per say, it’s actually achievable in the majority of cases.
Please remember that any invasive laser surgery or scalpel surgery may not rectify the problem and moreover could leave a scar tissue. The perfect example would be Julie Andrews who never could regain her singing voicedue to unsuccessful surgery, which left her with the scar tissue.

So practice safe singing or you might be left voiceless! God forbid…

Read Full Post »