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Posts Tagged ‘vocal health’

Not only a great amount of people are losing voices these days, but also a lot of them are experiencing severe pain in their throats.

Before, we had complaints, primarily from singers; but more and more, just regular people (speakers) are complaining on extreme discomfort in their vocal box in general. 

The singers are usually ruining their vocal anatomy simply for the lack of education and simple knowledge; and thus, lack of the proper vocal technique. They very often end up with laryngitis, i.e., with the hoarse and raspy voice; not to mention an extreme pain in their throats. The singers (also very often) end up with the growth on their vocal cord(s); such as polyps, nodules, cysts and etc.

The regular people who do not take proper care of their voice and (in majority of times) their health in general, usually end up with muscle tension dysphonia or spasmodic dysphonia. Nevertheless, they (of course) are also susceptible to the growth on their vocal cords, but more like papilloma and polyps. They are also very susceptible to lesions in their throats, as well as burnt vocal cords due to the occurrence of acid reflux.

Unfortunately, both speakers and singers are also not exempt from vocal cord(s) paralysis/paresis.


Naturally, there is physical pain (to whichever degree for whichever vocal injury); but also, there is an emotional pain, as both speakers and singers realize that something out of the ordinary is happening to them and their voices. And, especially at the beginning of this ordeal, they feel quite lost, not knowing what to do and where to get help.

Our philosophy at The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair is “All Voice – No pain”!


Once we uncover and discover (in a manner of speaking) the injured voice, we (via special speech exercises, coupled with specially designed body motions) try, at all costs, to release the “trapped” voice from its vocal anatomy “prison”, (so to speak). Especially in the case of Muscle Tension Dysphonia (where neck muscles literally hold the voice in ‘contempt’), the voice, nevertheless, has to be “yanked” out of there, which is (no doubt) easier said then done.

The neck muscles are “truly in love” with the human voice and even when my client and I think that the voice is finally “flying” out of there, it is like a swamp, “calling” it and literally “pulling” it back in.


Sometimes, the recurrence of the above happens multiple times.

Once the voice is finally released from the lower throat and the neck muscles, the pain usually subsides and the sufferer feels a great release; and not only physically, but emotionally as well.

Now the human voice has to find a “new home”  – the facial muscles!

Those facial cavities will become a real saviour for anybody who had voice issues and everybody else who cares about their speaking/singing voice in general. Those (in a sense) sinus cavities will amplify the voice at least quadruple times over its volume; and naturally, will promote a proper articulation and enunciation. However, without the support of the abdominal muscles, the lift of the voice is not possible.

Therefore, the abdominal muscles have to be strengthened to be able to give a proper “launch” for the voice to “soar” to its aimed destination, provided that the sound lands within those facial muscles. At that point, the voice within the newly found facial muscles will be working in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles. The above (in turn) will minimize the use of the throat, larynx and the vocal cords.


To Conclude, there will be “All Gain and No Pain”, i.e., by osmosis, “All Voice and No Pain”, as (at that point) the vocal anatomy will be completely released from the pressure of the sound; and, in addition, nurtured with natural herbal and homeopathic remedies for its complete healing.

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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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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!

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“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.

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Vocal Science™ Technique advocates not only health-care for the voice, but also for the human being as a whole.

In order to structure, place and project the voice to its aimed destination, the alignment between the subconscious and conscious mind has to take place. In a nutshell, Vocal Science™ method is about the integration and synergy between mental, physical, physiological, emotional and vocal components.

When the subconscious and conscious mind are aligned, the person is more inclined to think and to act upon thinking. Unfortunately, (especially lately and due to enormous stress), people often act irrationally and without thinking first. Some, instead, are thinking forever and never act upon their thoughts.

Both statements suggest the complete imbalance of the above aforementioned components. That said, addressing the above aforementioned components could have a positive effect on the person while their voice is being fixed and/or trained. Those people who suffer from upper or lower respiratory infections and/or asthma could also benefit from proper voice training via the Vocal Science™ method.

The female population of the world could definitely benefit from intensive work with facial muscles, which (no doubts) provide the toning of such muscles and significantly reduce facial wrinkles.

While working with the abdominal muscles (for the support of the height and body of the sound), the stomach muscles become much stronger and the tummy is constantly “tucked-in”; which (by itself) makes the person look and feel trimmer, slimmer and more beautiful.

Once the person feels and experiences all of those benefits, he/she (by osmosis) would want to execute a healthy diet; stop bad habits (like smoking, drinking, drugs), and rather, instead, engage in physical fitness, lose or gain weight (whichever needed) and overall, become a more healthy and fit human being…

The conventional vocal coaching, however, suggests to stick the stomach out and fill it with air for, so to speak, “better breathing”; and thus, look and sound like a “pregnant ballerina”, nevertheless.

If you refer to my book (Vocal Science – Flight to the Universe), you would find a chapter, which describes such an ordeal.

It also falls into a key chapter which is called “How Not to Become a Singer and Work Harder at Doing it”. Now you can draw the conclusion from there…

In the past, I personally got across the new student who’s demeanor appeared to be skinny, but her “quite ballooned” stomach suggested that she might have been pregnant for at least 5 to 6 months. When I inquired about it, she was very surprised and revealed to me that she wasn’t even sexually active!

Go figure!

She also revealed to me that she had been taking conventional singing lessons for the last 10 years, and was suggested by her coach to “stick her stomach out while singing, at all given times”. So her abdominal muscles were warn out and became weak; and thus, she indeed resembled a woman who would be in her second trimester.

To conclude:

The Russian proverb is such:

“In a healthy body, there is a healthy spirit”.

Since I always advocate that the voice is your spirit and is also a reflection of the state of your being, (not to mention an identification of who you are), then (without a doubt) the healthy voice should be in perfect “Marriage” with a healthy and sound body.

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Believe it or not, asthma disorder could be very much connected to a voice disorder, due to improper breathing.

If the asthma sufferer is not aware of his/her breathing patterns, it could very easily effect their voice, as the throat, at the time, becomes very dry, and also the use of the medicated puffers will dry out one’s throat in no time.

One way to help the asthma sufferers with their asthma disorder and, if needed, their damaged voice, is (first of all) to teach them proper breathing, which will immensely help the sufferers with asthma symptoms during the attacks; and concurrently, due to the lift of voice off of the lower and upper respiratory system, the voice healing will be enhanced by the virtue fact that it had gotten removed from the infected area.

Now let’s talk about breathing exercises: 

I usually do not work with clients on just breathing; it always connected to the speaking/singing sounds, syllables and vowels.

The objective here is to employ three components of the breathing mechanism such as:

  • Lower abdomen – for the support of the height of the sound.
  • Upper diaphragm – for the support of the width (body of the sound)
  • Mouth breath – which has to be taken very quickly, passing by all of the respiratory anatomy and becoming placed underneath of the sound, traveling on a parallel track with it and propelling the sound forward.

Once the above is achieved, the respiratory cavities are freed; so is the vocal anatomy, which open up a space for the natural herbal and homeopathic remedies to be applied and act to its’ fullest capacity.

That too plays an essential role in the asthma patient’s recovery.

So, with that said, we could “kill two birds with one stone”. The asthma is treated and could be actually cured; and the voice, concurrently, will also improve and recover dramatically!

In this case.., could you ask for anything more?

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Thank God that not too often, but still, we are getting inquiries from regular speakers and some singers who were diagnosed with a voice disorder called Sulcus Vocalis.

These type of people usually possess a raspy and hoarse voice and can also sound like they stutter a little, as due to the enlarged gap between their vocal cords, their voice falls in between. The timing of vocal cords opening and closing does not correspond with the voice occurrence; and therefore, the above described symptoms do prevail. By that point, the “alignment” between the subconscious mind, conscious mind, physical body and the voice is challenged.

So the total aim (using specially developed speech exercises for that matter, coupled with the unique body movements) is to put the “alignment” between the above aforementioned components back to order; and thus, achieve total balance on a mental, physical, physiological, emotional and vocal level. Once the integration and synergy between the described components are achieved, the vocal cords will be commanded to come back to the proper width between them.

This revolutionary technique is also applicable to singers who, in any case, having any kind of vocal disorder, would have to start with bringing their speaking voice in proper order.

As a positive side-effect and due to all of those manipulations, the sufferer’s voice will be lifted to the much higher level of existence; and thus, the opening of the lower throat will become available for natural herbal and homeopathic treatment, which will also play a very instrumental role in the voice recovery and restoration. With this type of voice/vocal disorder, no doubt, the flora of the lower throat would be quite disturbed.

First of all, the bottom anatomy is hurt and wounded, because the person who acquired such a voice disorder as Sulcus Vocalis, no doubts (in the first place) was misusing and abusing his/her speaking and or singing voice by speaking or singing loudly and forcefully. Of course, there are some other factors that could prevail and induce the above described condition. Unfortunately for such patients, neither the ENT Specialists nor Speech Therapists could offer any solution to that kind of a voice problem.

We, however, are not only involved in solving vocal problems full-time, we are also employing full-time care, experience, knowledge and passion.

We proudly provide our clients with valuable voice and health solutions!!

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