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Posts Tagged ‘speech problems’

More and more, I am getting requests to have a video chat (Skype, FaceTime, WeChat and what have you) with my prospective clients who, on top of it, asking for some tips on how to fix their speaking and singing voices…?

??hoarse-voice+ facetime??

Nevertheless, some of them have pretty serious voice/vocal disorders.

One of them very recently told me about his excessive acid reflux, which (almost on the root) ruined his singing voice.

This is a direct quote from his e-mail:

“2 years ago my voice would crack on low notes, and now today I have some good days, but still not 100%  I went last month and had my throat looked at.  He said he seen scared tissue, and 2 pin drop nodules at top and bottom of my vocal cords.  Also he said I had a lot of mucus on my cords.”

“I am reaching out for any tips you can help out with on full recovery, retraining the vocal cords to be stable on all notes.”

So this person (and any other people for that matter) truly believes that something serious (as he described), he would be able to fix on his own, shall he receive the “right tips” how to do it…?

Forgive me, but it sounds completely and utterly ridiculous to say the least! Comparing it again with the car problems, I could see that the car mechanic could give some tips to the driver; like, for example, to try to top up the transmission fluid or brakes fluid, to temporarily improve the car performance.

However, if the engine, brakes or transmission are out of whack, no topped up fluids are going to fix the actual problem. The car has to be towed to the car mechanic shop to be assessed, diagnosed and then fixed accordingly.

Needless to say, IT CANNOT BE DONE REMOTELY!

The car has to be present in front of the mechanic, as the student has to be present in front of me, so I could do assessment and evaluation on his/her voice and his/her voice performance; run some tests and then, once the problem is defined, outline the best course of action to rectify it….IN PERSON!

The person in question (by definition) is NOT a car mechanic; and thus NO TIPS from the very best mechanic will help him to fix his own car, as he simply does not have the required knowledge and/or the license to do so.

Ever since the Internet took over our lives, human beings began to behave like robots; with no presence of any brains, let alone any form of common sense.

They think that the Internet could fix all of their problems by just reading about anything and everything online; take the useless tips from anybody and everybody and then try something which they are not competent to even embark upon.

Some of them are, evidently, asking for nothing but trouble!

Our society in general became very lazy and very laid back, as they think they can solve all of their problems, wants and needs while not even getting off of the couch. No doubt, slowly but surely, they are experiencing brain atrophy and body inadequacy.

Not enough that their emotions and compassion (not to mention physicality) are also gone. Some of them LITTERALY “cannot walk and chew gum at the same time”.

The nature of the Vocal Science technique requires the solid connection between the mental understanding of the procedure and motor skills reciprocation in order to discover and uncover their true speaking/singing voice…

Some of the exercises require the student to walk and combine their walk with certain body moves, which (in turn) will allow them to understand the movement of the physical sound in a more tangible form…

I have been teaching in Toronto for almost 37 years (and 33 of those years in my own school). Unfortunately, with full-blown technology kicking in, day-by-day, I have been seeing a great decline of people’s intelligence, intellectuality and musicality for that matter. They literally have nothing to sing about, as they are too consumed with texting and e-mailing 24/7.

I always smile when I hear the Northwood Mortgage commercial.

They are advocating and advertising their best mortgage rates and invite people to sing about it (as it is so good that they would want to sing about it). I have to say that their jingle is actually pretty good and certainly much better then some music and some singing that I have been hearing on the radio! LOL!

How sad is that?

Sad indeed!

People now are afraid to speak on the phone (let alone in person) or sing.

They have lost a sense of communication.

Since they are degrading so rapidly, their music is becoming truly unlistenable. For many years, I have been working with a lot of singers/songwriters and I have to say that I used to enjoy at least some of their music in the past years.

Unfortunately, no more!

No doubts, our world has gone crazy and is getting crazier, now by the second (in the not-so-distant past, I used to say, “by the minute”).

I, however, am praying everyday for the world to get better and for the people to re-acquire their humanity…

And, of course… for world peace!

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We truly love to transform lives and put people back into their “vocal shoes”, (like one of our clients from the past professed to us).

We work with regular people with speech problems and with those who want to turn their speaking voice into their profession. We also work with people who just simply want to learn how to sing better. And, respectively, we work with professional singers who either want to prevent their voice from damage, or who already had damaged it. And are now in need of non-surgical voice repair.

If we are talking about any voice repair cases at all, we are talking about a very complex approach to treatment, which, first of all, includes psychological counseling, and thus helps to identify the actual cause of ones’ vocal trauma.

Sometimes, their vocal (and other related) problems have very deep roots lying beneath. And thus, from my side, it requires a lot of skillful experience, as well as true desire and passion to really get to the bottom of it in order to recover that voice (i.e., shut-down and wounded spirit).

I always say that I love what I do and I do what I love.

And in order to work with those damaged voices, and not only vocally injured individuals, you really have to have a true passion to deliver the actual result.

Nevertheless, our students, (patients), coming to us from all walks of life.

They possess different cultures, different colours, different heights and weights. What they have in common is that they are all human beings with sound (and sometimes, not too sound) minds, with the emotions which some of them “wear on their sleeves”, but some have their emotions completely suppressed.

To work with the latter, it is much more difficult, as these individuals are obviously not very open and also very afraid to reveal how hey really feel. Moreover, they withhold very important information, which could be crucial with respect to their healing process.

When I finally break through those individuals, I see a lot of interesting reactions: like, for example, uncontrollable tears or uncontrollable laughter. Yet again I have to be very sensitive and very gentle towards their feelings in order to use their natural human reactions towards their benefit.

Once I am able to “get hold of them” I am able to turn their lives around and practically “resurrect them” back to their normal lives and their normal (and even more so improved), voices.

To deal with the above, you really have to love it and feel positive and passionate about it, which I DO… on an everyday basis.

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Does anybody know…?

Does anybody care for that matter…?

Vocal Science… The Best or…Nothing.

 

Quite often, people who require voice repair have some other health problems to start with. These health problems could be a trigger to voice loss, or any kind of voice issues.

Sadly enough, our Canadian singer Gord Downie has recently been diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer; and peculiarly enough, the tumor is apparently located near the speech center of his brain…

I am not a doctor; though it makes me wonder weather or not his not exactly adequate singing (in my subjective professional opinion) and, understandably, a lifestyle of a rocker (which usually comes with the territory), has anything to do with it?

This is just speculation on the matter, but it probably has some merit.

Let’s also examine a very serious disorder called Spasmodic Dysphonia:

I personally call it “Vocal Epilepsy”, as the voice of the sufferer spasms uncontrollably. The disease, in its nature, is neurological. It, quite likely, could be environmental. However, viruses such as Strep Throat, for example, could also trigger it. It happens a lot to people who, in their nature, are very emotional; also to those who speak very fast and very loud and whose lifestyles are very poor.

So between the environmental causes, air-born viruses and smocking, drinking and drug use, spasmodic dysphonia could easily occur.

Last year, I got an email from a person who was originally diagnosed with Muscle Tension Dysphonia. With this type of Dysphonia, the sufferers’ voice gets trapped in their neck muscles. That usually happens to speakers and singers.

That type of dysphonia is very rarely induced by viruses or environmental causes. It simply occurs due to misuse and abuse of one’s voice (speaking or singing). If left untreated, it may easily turn into Spasmodic Dysphonia.

The person who wrote to me last year revealed that she has now been diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia. Speaking with that person on the phone, I had determined that I possibly could have improved her condition to a degree, but definitely would not be able to cure it. In fact, such a disorder as Spasmodic Dysphonia is generally considered un-curable. However, if it’s still in a mild form (stage one or two) it could be treated to a near-full recovery. So, in the case of the person first diagnosed with Muscle Tension Dysphonia a year prior, the Spasmodic Dysphonia disorder could have been prevented if the former was timely treated.

There is another category of people who, instead of expressing their emotions out loud, just simply suppress them. In the holistic teaching, the thyroid (the gland/cartilage in the neck that secretes hormones regulating growth and development) represents suppressed emotions and hurts.  If those emotions are suppressed for too long, the voice gradually begins to drown to the lower throat, then to the chest and could practically “die”  at the person’s gut, so to speak.

All of that brings us to a “full picture” which points out to a complete imbalance within.

So all of this means that if the person is too loud and too emotional, he or she could easily experience voice loss.

On the other hand, if the emotions are suppressed, the person could also easily lose their voice.

Moreover, in both cases, they could acquire such disorders like Muscle Tension Dysphonia or even Spasmodic Dysphonia. Partial loss of speech could also be a symptom of a pre-stroke condition, or even a Lou Gehrig’s decease (ALS).

To conclude: All of this is obviously not a joke; and the moral of the latter is that you should keep yourself in perfect balance. That will prevent you from all kinds of health problems; especially those that could lead to serious voice issues.

Best of voice and best of health in general to all of you!

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Do not ever give up hope! Do not ever listen to the, so-called medical professionals prompting you to accept your voice condition and learn how to live with it!

How pathetic is that?

They do not offer any solution and could not care less that you had spent most of your life on stage singing and do not know or want any other lifestyle, but the one you like and love.

One of our former clients (throat cancer survivor) was told exactly that and was encouraged to be thankful to be alive.

Meanwhile, that very client had spent over 45 years on stage playing guitar and singing in a rock band. After chemo and radiation, his fingertips lost the sensation of touch and his voice was forever raspy and hoarse, (both speaking and singing).

How frustrating could that be? My answer would be; above and beyond! Even though my client was suggested to accept it and “be happy to be alive”, he certainly did not want to follow that guidance.

To his credit, he never stopped looking and searching. Within only 4 days obtaining private instruction and natural herbal treatment and attending an exploratory group session, he was able to sing in a karaoke establishment, which was located near the proximity of our studio. The owners of the place were asking me why I was hiding such a good singer? And when I attempted to tell them that he was an American and came here only for a few days to fix his voice, they gave me a dirty look and said, “yeah right!”.

I got somewhat puzzled for a second, but then started to think to myself, (“this is a perfect testimonial”). Nobody could even suspect that my poor client, who went through so much, was singing straight after his voice repair got completed and, believe it or not, he actually sounded awesome!

In his post course letter, Tim Bristol of Niagara Falls, New York, said:

“I am singing away – my voice improves a little each week thanks to you. I am amazed: the doctors – the “experts” – just keep saying ‘nothing can be done, be happy for what you have left’ and they’re wrong.  You have proved them wrong with your vocal approach.”

“Stay Warm!”

– TimB

So help yourself by still keeping your hopes up!

Don’t be afraid to part with your vocal disorder and search for the “light at the end of the tunnel”.  And if you are determined to see that light, you will come out of the dark spot by being guided by the person who has the right tools, good intentions and your interest at heart; by the person who not only knows, but who also cares to get you where you are going in a fast, safe and efficient manner.

In the end, you will be the one who will be carrying the torch for your voice, for your health and for your success overall.

Love yourself; Love your voice! Help yourself to achieve your goals in life. And if your goal is to be a healthy and a well-sound individual, make it the mission of your life!

Remember… There is no mission… which is impossible!

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This Holiday season, we wish you the best of voice and the best of health and prosperity for this upcoming New Year and always!

For the last 42 years, I worked on a lot of voices; fixing them, restoring them or just turning amateur speakers and singers into professionals. I have to say that the attitude of all of those people who were seeking my services had vastly changed. I am advocating for the last decade.

Before 2005, people in general were happy-go-lucky, so to speak. They were gladly making commitments to work on their voices to whichever degree it was needed, gladly kept their appointments and happily paid for ourprofessional services.

Needless to say that, in the past, the music scene in Toronto was pretty much thriving and was attracting a lot of wannabe singers. There were a lot of bands formed at high and even middle schools, let alone Universities. Those guys and girls had a goal in mind; they wanted to become well-known singers/performers, they wanted to win various competitions and they did not mind to work hard to achieve their goals.

You could see those kids and young adults walking all over the city with guitars on their backs and amplifiers. For the last few years, I personally could not spot anybody dressed like a musician, having a specific musician-like haircut or carrying any music instruments with them. I asked one of my young adult students’ what his generation, nowadays is interested in.

He said that people like him, between 20 and 25 years of age, are interested in videogames and are searching online for an opportunity to make money to buy more games and whatnot.

How sad is that?

Where have their aspirations gone with respect to actually becoming somebody?

Where have their belief in themselves gone? The belief that they actually could become somebody, provided that they would be willing to work hard andsmart on their craft? What about their heart and soul? How will they become fulfilled?

My fear is that all those essential values are “gone with the wind”. As I said many times, that my definition of the human voice is equivalent to the human spirit. If the voice is shut down, usually, the spirit is not exactly thriving.

Given that, I am wondering…  Are we raising future robots? At times, I believe that we do. How scary is that?

I think that the problem is also that the music industry does not care anymore about their artists’ quality of singing.

It is becoming a complete ‘scary-oke’ (made up from the word Karaoke).

Singing off key, off tone and off tune has become our standards! Since nobody cares anymore for the quality of the voice, it has become acceptable!

Not enough that it is hurting everybody’s ears, it is, no doubts, hurting the so-called artist’s voices. So, needless to say, sooner or later, those artists begin to lose their voices and acquire all kinds of vocal issues.

Not specifically trained, they experience, so called ‘wear and tear’ on theirvocal anatomy. Some of them end up with a growth on their vocal cords likenodules, polyps, and lesions. Others end up with vocal cord strain, which could easily turn to, what’s called, sulcus vocalis, which is obviously not a very pleasant disorder. In this case, the vocal folds are split far from each other and are not coming back together in synchronicity to produce the proper sound.

For singers, it is a very common problem, which is identified as muscle tension dysphonia, (when the voice gets stuck in the neck muscles).

For those who have problems with their speaking voice, could also easily acquire not only muscle tension dysphonia, but also what’s called Spasmodic Dysphonia, (where the voice spasms uncontrollably). Luckily, the latter is less characteristic for the singers.

Also, to compare the old good times with nowadays, I have to say that even people with quite extensive voice problems, are not as eager to fix their voice/vocal disorder as before. Believe it or now, they become accustomed to their voice/vocal problem and learn to LOVE IT…?

How so, you may ask?

They get used to the sound of their ill voice and find comfort within it! Moreover, they are afraid to lose the attention from others, which they get used to and, almost, begin to feel “privileged”. They keep saying to themselves and others that they would do anything to fix their voice issue and they do believe that they would.

And in previous years, they actually did!

Now, they seem to love not being able to work and get their disability cheques! It sounds quite unbelievable. But believe it…   This is the fact, as strange as it sounds! Yes, in times, some people cannot afford professional services to attend to their voice. We are being more then liberal and generous to these type of clients and have been offering them very significant discounts.

You would think that they would take the first flight and beg us to fit them in at the first available opening! Not such a case at all! I personally believe that everything depends on the level of interest. If somebody really wants and needs something, they will find a way to obtain it.

Unfortunately, by our experience, it occurs less and less. Our potential clients are sitting afraid to let go of their voice problem, to apply the time and effort to treat it and being afraid to part with their money.

One of my former clients, who was a throat cancer survivor and obviously had a very big problem with his speech and hardly was understood, was reluctant to pay my fees for 20 hours of instruction and treatment.

When I asked him how he, otherwise, would like to spend his money, he said that he would spend it to go on a vacation.

Then I asked him if he would enjoy that vacation, speaking the way he was? To his credit, he got my drift and, momentarily, paid for his course and natural treatment.

To conclude: We would like to wish you the best of voice and, naturally, the best of health. We wish you to use your sense and make a New Years’ Resolution; to feel and become your absolute healthy self, voice-wise and otherwise.

Love Your Voice – Love Yourself!!!

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.     Voice and Vocal Disorders Treatment

·     Post Voice/Vocal Restoration and Coaching

·     Mild Voice/Vocal Diseases Cure

We treat and cure most vocaldiseases and disorders. Most disorders are treatable and some of them are even curable. With our Vocal Science Trademarked technique and employment of the, specifically selected, natural herbal and homeopathic remedies, we are able to achieve results like no other!

How it is done:

The Vocal Science technique has been developed by the world renowned vocal coach, consultant and non-surgical voice repair specialist, Diana Yampolsky.

By utilizing the components of the Vocal Science method, Diana became capable to save the damaged vocal anatomy and restore the speaking and/or singing voice back to normal and beyond.

Using, (developed by Diana), speech and singing exercises, coupled with the certain body movements, she became capable of achieving the voice lift off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords.

The voice, now got restructured to the different set of muscles, (facial cavities) and thus, get amplified 4 to 5 times its original volume. So for those who are suffering with low voiceprojection due to vocal injury, it is a savior. But the condition of it is that those facial cavities must work in full conjunction and coordination with the lower and upper abdominal muscles.

The latter is very important, as the lower abdominal muscles are responsible for the height of the sound which after the lift of the voice should be traveling 360 degrees above the person’s actual height.  The upper diaphragm muscles, (rib cage), responsible for the width, (body of the sound). As the sound travels in a circular direction (as any physical material body does) relatively, respectively and prospectively to the height and the width of the body, the circumference of the circle must be totally fulfilled.

Otherwise, the sound will be “tiny and skinny” and thus, no “fullness” of the voice will come out on the surface and thus, the projection of the full, healthy voice will be diminished.

How we treat and cure voice and vocal disorders:

We advocate specially selected, natural herbs and remedies, which are designed to strengthen the vocal box and vocal cords in particular.

They also aid to the cleanliness of the overall vocal anatomy. They help to get rid of all of the impurities like gastric acid and mucus. They also help to lubricate the vocal cords and larynx and keep the “vocal machine strong, oiled and lubed”, so to speak.

Once the voice is lifted, structured, placed and projected, those natural herbs and remedies become double effective, as now, the voice is not mixed in with the vocal anatomy and allows the space (within the vocal anatomy) for the healing and cure.

For the certain and some specific voice/vocal disorders, we also use homeopathic remedies, especially for the vocal diseases which are of viral nature; such as polyps and specific types of papilloma.

Please note: Some vocal disorders can be vastly improved with the Vocal Science™ technique and natural herbal and homeopathic treatment, but may not necessarily be cured.

The latter include severe forms of spasmodicdysphonia, some forms of complete vocal paralysis and some severe forms of throat cancer, especially if the patient has undergone numerous radiation treatments.

After the non-surgical voice repair and voice/vocal treatment is complete, the voice/vocal coaching begins. The voice repair client then becomes a voice/vocal student and learns how to speak/sing professionally not only complying with the standards of professional speaking /singing, but also assuring the safety and unlimited length of their found-again voice.

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Should you just work on your physical body, or should you just work on your voice?

The answer is: NONE of the above mentioned choices are right!

As per usual, I am receiving multiple e-mails from all over the world.

90% of those e-mails consist of quite long letters with all kinds of stories, primarily about the voice problems these individuals have been experiencing. The majority of them possess the notion that if something is wrong with their voice i.e. it sounds hoarse, their throat hurts and feels scratchy, they have excessive mucus in their throats and some have already been diagnosed with acid reflux, muscle tension dysphonia, and whatnot; it must be happening only on a physical level.

They do not realize that the majority of vocal issues become present because of the misuse of the vocal mechanics (speaking or singing). However, you cannot dismiss either of the above. If the physical body is already out of whack, so to speak, the wrong mechanics of the voice will reinforce all of the physical imperfections.

If the person is not exactly mentally and physically fit, it will surface that much stronger when the person’s voice will get drowned to the lower position; and thus will attract the mucus and gastric acid to the vocal box and the vocal cords in particular.

As sad as it sounds, when the speaker or singer is experiencing the symptoms of a raspy and hoarse voice, they run to the doctor just to be labeled with either acid reflux or muscle tension dysphonia, especially if no growth like nodules or polyps are present.

They are offered something like Gaviscon which you could buy over the counter and which could assist with the minor stomach trouble, but definitely has not much to do with fixing the voice, or even getting acid reflux off of the vocal box.

Once (mechanically speaking) the voice is flat and sits low in the position, no Gaviscon, or any other remedy, will get it out of there, unless the voice is physically recovered, lifted and restructured to the different set of muscles.

Once the voice finds its new “home” at the upper facial cavities, the surface of the vocal box will be released from the pressure of the sound; and thus will become available to except natural herbal and homeopathic remedies, which actually will aid a great deal to the damaged vocal anatomy.

What does it tell us?

It tells us that the remedies alone, (even the natural ones), will not be able to solve the vocal disorder on its own. It also tells us that to work on the vocal mechanics would be much easier if the vocal box would be lubricated, the vocal cords would be strengthened and all of the impurities, (like mucus and acid), will be eliminated.

So, one more time again, we are back to the holistic approach to vocal mechanics and overall to the human being.

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