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Posts Tagged ‘vocal lessons’

 

 

Once, I had a request from a serious voice problem sufferer who was residing in the UK. He was a throat cancer survivor; and with all of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy, he ended up having both vocal cords damaged. One of his vocal cords was paralyzed and the other one was simply non-functional. He approached me with all kinds of questions and when his question came around the price of my nonsurgical voice repair services and treatment sessions, he exclaimed: “Oh my God, it is too much!”

When I asked him what he would do with the same amount of money if he would not end up paying for my services? He said: “I would go on vacation…” Then I asked him if he would enjoy that vacation, being afraid to open his mouth and constantly be conscious on how he would be received and perceived by other people? On that note, I’ve heard the tears in his voice. He had obviously gotten my drift… so to speak. After this emotional moment, our deal had been finalized; and shortly after, I flew to London to attend to him and a couple of other people.

You, my reader, may ask: Did you fix his voice? My answer would be yes, but to a degree. Could I un-paralyze his vocal cord or make the other one functional? The answer is no. But, applying the Vocal Science ™ Method, I was able to create some base underneath of his very soprano-sounding voice; so he started to sound quite a bit more manly. His diction (enunciation and pronunciation) became much clearer and he started to sound, by far, more coherent. Needless to say, his confidence (after lots of tears and spent emotions) became more apparent; and thus his long-ago gone zest for life was actually coming back, and (at least to a degree) his life was reclaimed!

Had he become perfectly healthy and fully regained his voice? The answer is – not quite. But he gained a lot of knowledge, awareness and understanding with respect of what was happening to him in general and his vocal anatomy in particular. He now was able to bring the best of his voice upon his wish and command which, (we both agreed) by itself, is priceless. Having a clear map in his head with respect to how the physical sound travels, he was able to get hold of the best of his voice (pretty much) at any given moment. In other words, we both did the best we could!

Leaving back for Canada, I left this (previously) very emotionally, physically and vocally disturbed man with an intellectual understanding and kinesthetic feeling of how to power the sound of his voice to its best capacity; and, most importantly, how to save and protect to what he had been left with. As far as him and I were concerned, both of our missions had been accomplished!

I clearly was able to show him that there is LIFE that is worth living, especially after the completion of our voice, body and soul repair journey!

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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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In this blog, in the wake of the New Year, we would like to shed more light on our very exclusive services for speakers, singers and those who are in need of non-surgical voice repair.

On February the 15th, we will be celebrating 33 years of our existence via The Royans Professional Vocal School and The Royans Institute forNon-Surgical Voice Repair.

Over these years, we have been improving not only our professional skills, but also our business acumen and conduct. Not only do we provide our clients with very professional and very unique (in its nature) instruction, we also provide, when needed, natural herbal and homeopathic treatment along with it. By now, it is a very well known fact that we are in a league of our own.

We are receiving clients from all over the Universe and, by the end of 2016, the estimated amount of clients (speakers, singers, voice repair patients combined) has, no doubt, exceeded 20,000!  We have been receiving people from all walks of life; all races, all creeds and all professions. Not only have we provided what they were looking for (professional, or not, speaking and singing); and in addition, we have treated and even cured all kinds of voice/vocal disorders, where doctors had just ”washed their hands” or, at best, had offered an invasive vocal surgery.

Now, when Ms. Yampolsky became a freelance practitioner, she is also traveling around the world and servicing those in need. She advocates a very exclusive technique, which is called the Vocal Science™.

Especially when people travel to her, she goes out of her way to make sure that her client(s) are comfortably accommodated, fed (primarily by her) and for those who drive on the left side of the road or would not feel comfortable enough to drive in an unknown city, she picks them up personally for arrival to the session and departure from the session.

If time permits, she does go out of her way to show her client(s) some Toronto attractions or (what’s more important) she personally drives them (if needed) to meet her handpicked associates who, on occasion, might add even more value to Diana’s services. Some voice repair cases are more difficult then others; and sometimes it is good (in addition) to get somebody else’s expertise.

Our New Year’s Resolution is such that we will be committed to improve (as much as we possibly can), our patients’ vocal health and health in general.

Our commitment (as it also had been) is to produce more singing stars, as well as to help the existing celebrity performers to acquire a Vocal Science™ technique, so that they would not have to face a vocal operation, and then (in many known cases) face the consequences of (suggested to them) Vocal Surgeries.

With respect of our “Total Communicator Program” for professional (and non-professional) speaking, we too are committed to improve upon it and will be delighted to here more and more of our clients’ healthy voices over TV, Radio and other media sources.

On this note, we would like to wish our very best to our existing clients/students, as well as to those who we haven’t met yet, but would be delighted to also provide them with all we’ve got in our arsenal…

Happy New Year to all and many, many more successful years to come, vocally and otherwise!

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The Management & Communications Team
The Royans Professional Vocal School &
The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair
www.vocalscience.com
www.repairyourvoice.com

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Lately, more and more, we are getting phone calls and e-mails from people who have been suffering from various voice disorders, and moreover, suffering for many years!

 

Needless to say, that with time, (10, 20 or even 30 years later) for some reason, their voices did not get cured or even properly treated for that matter; and nevertheless, their voices did not sound any better then at the beginning of their voice/vocal ordeal; rather, in majority of cases, much worse.

In fact, many of them claimed that the quality of their voices became more compromised from the time when their voice issues had originally began.

So the question then is… Why these people, suffering for numerous years, never put a handle on their voice disorder?

I think the answer is that there is not much help available with respect to nonsurgical voice repair, which actually (in most cases) will produce tangible results.

The other reason is that people are absolutely unaware of what’s happening to them and why; not withholding the fact that they are actually even more so unaware how to deal with their voice problems at all!

For example: All of them (regular speaking people and singers, nevertheless) think that there is a problem with their voice when, in reality, the problem is with the application of their voice.

Especially at the beginning of their voice issues, they go to numerous appointments with ENT specialists and speech therapists.

The ENT specialist, at best, could diagnose their disorder, but very rarely, they would offer any constructive course of action with respect of restoration of one’s voice and bringing it back to its normal state.

Of course, if there is an obvious growth on, let’s say the vocal cords, they would be more then happy to operate to remove the growth.

In a vast majority of the latter, those nasty nodules and polyps could be dissolved via special speech and/or singing exercises, which will possess the proper application and proper structure of the sound and which (in turn) will take the voice away from the effected area; and thus, release that effected area from the pressure of the sound and allow the vocal anatomy to heal (giving it a rest) while concurrently receiving the application of the natural herbs and homeopathic remedies for the complete healing of the throat flora.

As we all know, any surgery could produce unforeseen complications such as: scar tissue, sulcus vocalis (enlarged gap between the vocal cords) and even vocal paresis.

Sounds scary… doesn’t it?

But it could be even scarier when the time is lost for surgical interference to take place.

So, as I said in my numerous blogs and publications previously; DO NOT GIVE UP SEARCHING, especially for non-surgical solutions for your vocal problems.

Although, if it is not possible and the vocal surgery is required, please find a qualified surgeon who has a good reputation and a good record dealing with vocal disorders like yours.

However, don’t get fooled if the operation is successful and your voice sounds that much better after it was performed.

Please remember that your, so to speak “instrument” had been fixed, but you, as the “player”, did not learn anything new with respect of the different application of your voice, so that your vocal problem would not reoccur ever again.

With that said, you still need to look for a qualified voice specialist who would teach you how to use your voice correctly, i.e., without any pain or strain on your vocal anatomy and how with the minimum effort, to be able to produce maximum desirable results.

Please also remember that the voice cannot be fixed on its own.

And the more time passes with respect to your voice remaining to be untreated, the more possibilities there will be for your voice never to be recovered, which (no doubts) could, God forbid, lead to a permanent voice loss!

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It just happened to me….

I got hit by a Dear! I have to say that it was a very strange experience, to say the list! I have not seen it coming… What I saw, was a deer’s face in my windshield!

It came out of the blue, so to speak. It was just after 10 pm and I was driving at a speed of only 56 km! Thank God that I got a speeding ticket 2 days earlier, lol, Otherwise I possibly would be going much faster and thus, the impact of my collision with the deer could have been much more serious. So my car (which I managed to drive home somehow) ended up being damaged for over $11.000!  To my surprise, the body shop, where the car was towed, said that they will take care of everything, mechanics included. Now, 2 weeks later, they called me and told me that they were unable to fix the engine! Go figure! So they had to ship my car to a Volkswagen dealership after all! Now, at least it makes sense! The body shop is the shop meant to fix the body of the car and the dealership is responsible for the mechanical part of it.

I am saying that, one more time again, to compare this ordeal to the ordeal of those who have been suffering from various voice/vocal disorders.

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Just earlier today, I was talking on the phone with the person residing in the Middle East and who, for some time, had been suffering from excessive silent acid reflux which, by extension, effected his speaking and singing voice. Nevertheless, he sounded quite low and quite raspy while speaking.

In his original e-mail to us, he was asking if we are doing it remotely, i.e., via Skype, Facetime or what have you…? I outright wrote to him that his problem, as any other vocal problem, is quite serious, and it qualifies as internal medicine and cannot be addressed (and furthermore treated or cured) remotely.

I also told him that if anybody will offer him that, they will be after his money and not after his interest.

Now let’s visualize my car being fixed remotely…

Is that possible? Take a wild guess……

Now, jokes aside…

Likewise, the damaged voice is a very serious matter, as it has to be restored and brought to its original state, which is easier said than done!

Apparently, my potential client has been researching all kinds of speech therapists and ENT doctors who were recommending him various medications to “treat” and even “cure” silent acid reflux.

Like my former client (band singer) from Venezuela, he too had difficulty to breathe, especially at night time and in order to sleep (at least remotely), he had to use two or three pillows to create almost a sitting position rather than actually lying down in bed.

Needless to say, both guys were doing everything and anything to make their lives easier and suffer less. (At least they thought so…)

Did that help, you may ask?

Again, it did…somewhat …hardly.

The guy from Venezuela finally (after 5 years of planning) reached Toronto and took 20 hours of instruction and treatment. And to complete his voice recovery (and for the maintenance), he attended a 10 hour group Healthy Voice/Vocal Workshop.

On the third day, he (surprisingly) was late for his morning session.

When he finally showed up, he exclaimed – “Sorry Diana, but for the first time in many years, I slept like a log and did not even hear my baby crying”. For the record, he did travel to us with his whole family, including a newborn baby.

By that time (via my special speech and singing exercises), his voice was already lifted off of his vocal box and off of his vocal cords, thus releasing the vocal box and the chest from the pressure of the sound.

The voice was restructured to the set of his facial muscles and thus, was positioned quite far away from the gastric acid, which before was burning his vocal cords and interfering with his breathing.

Needless to say, his problem was solved and, as a side effect, he learned how to speak and sing.

He learned and utilized the method of how to speak and sing smart and not hard, while concurrently, he also learned how to apply minimum efforts to achieve maximum results! Needless to say, he was able to power his voice ‘upon design’ and knew predominantly what will come out of his mouth without taking wild guesses and keeping his fingers crossed and dying of fear.

There is, of course a possibility with acid reflux (as well as with some other internal health disorders), that it has to be addressed either way, and not necessarily, but rather simultaneously, with persisting voice issues.

But at least, in the interim (with the proper voice mechanics instruction and treatment), the person’s voice has been saved. It has also been assured that the voice damage will never occur ever again, (should the person retain the specific instructions embedded into him during the voice restoration sessions).

The moral of the above is:

Do not look for gimmicks, such as the “remote approach” or unneeded prescribed medical drugs! Fix the mechanics of voice first and everything else after that.

Now, again speaking of my car:

The body shop, evidently, fixed the frame of the car, not realizing that the mechanical parts could appear to be beyond repair! As of today, the Volkswagen dealership cannot figure out what is wrong with the engine and other mechanical parts under the hood. The body shop made the car look real good, shiny and clean; but if, mechanically, it’s still not sound, then all their work will be completely obsolete!

For some reason people who suffer from voice disorders (speakers or singers) think that there is something wrong with their voice…? They do not realize that the main problem lies due to the insufficient application of the voice, which could potentially cause all kinds of voice damage.

blog-broken-stove

So please “try not to work on the fridge when the stove is broken” so to speak…

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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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