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Found 254 results

  1. I have more and more inquiries from people who used to sing for the longest time in the past; and suddenly, (or at least so they thought), lost their singing range and some of them even lost their singing voice altogether. Now they are older and in their 40s (and counting), and they still cannot get a grip with the notion that their love and joy of singing might never be present again. 20 or 30 years later after the occurrence, they are still upset and even depressed about it. Of course, they have been through numerous doctors and speech therapists appointments; but in the majority of cases, it did not add up to any expected results. Needless to say, since they had lost their love and joy being able to sing, their lives were never the same. Their passion and desire for expressing themselves, (telling their stories through singing), had been deeply buried. What would it take to recover one’s singing voice? Is it even possible?If it were possible, how would it impact the long-term sufferer’s life?I, fortunately, could give the answers to all of the above: To answer the first question, luckily, in majority of cases, it is absolutely possible How does it happen that the singing voice, “all of a sudden, disappears”, (so to speak), you may ask? Some people are born with natural singing talent and once they discover it, they obviously begin to use it, and rightfully so. However, enjoying their newly found voice, they use it excessively and thus, not being aware of the proper voice application and vocal technique, they end up abusing it to the “point of no return”, at least in the conventional sense. For some reason, neither them nor their mentors realize that the singers’ vocal cords are not made from steel. In fact, they are very fragile and have to be treated with special care. Like any instrument, it requires a frequent tune-up and, of course, proper maintenance. Usually, the young and talented artists who get discovered via their talents and looks have no idea how to power their voice without any pain or strain on their vocal anatomy. So they pull and push their voices full force. And one day, sooner or later, the voice “pops”, as one of my voice repair clients described it. The musicians often use the expression, “No gig lasts forever”. Indeed! Nobody should take his or her voice, (or other anatomy for that mater), for granted. If you are entering any high tasking field, (singing performance included), please research, (and act accordingly), how not to kill your voice, but rather the opposite; how to preserve and nurture your internal, fragile instrument – Your Voice! As to recover it and restore it to its original state would take a great effort on the part of the singer and a very experienced voice specialist. To answer the second question, the voice recovery and restoration is a huge deal and when it is complete, some people begin to rethink the purpose of their lives. It is a little difficult to turn the clock back and now leave their present lives and come back to something what was very precious in the past. As we all know, there is no change without change, even if it is positive. However, in any case, the benefits of a newly found voice are countless: The confidence, the self-esteem and self-worth, the dignity and integrity, the pride of accomplishment... and just simply recovered joy and passion. What price tag could you put on that?!
  2. Attention all Speakers and Singers! If you have noticed that your speaking or singing voice is not performing as per usual and rather sounds lower and somewhat hoarse, PLEASE STOP!!! If you continue speaking in your usual manor and disregard the fact that your voice is feeling scratchy and your throat is feeling itchy, you might lose your voice completely and for some time ahead. Singers: please do not continue singing if you have noticed that it is much harder now to reach your high notes, which normally would not be a problem and if you have to push and pull your voice out of your inflamed, sore throat. At that time, you may also notice that your voice has deepened and has begun to sound scratchy and hoarse. If you don’t stop in time and look into your voice and vocal anatomy problem, that could be very much the end of your singing career. Coaching and repairing voices for over 40 years, I had a lot of cases where the performer did not stop on time to address the vocal problem he had and, as a result, got his vocal cord paralyzed, or just damaged beyond repair. One case comes to mind where I received a client from Atlanta Georgia who happened to be a Pastor, who was appointed to travel the world to preach and sing prayers. He got laryngitis, (my guess would be that it came from the wrong way of singing and some stress associated with it). So instead of stopping and looking into the problem, either medically or alternatively, he continued his engagements until he could not do it at all. And then there was the moment of truth. As a result of not taking proper care of the laryngitis and not using the right vocal technique (speaking and singing), his right vocal cord got paralyzed. Vocal paralysis is very hard to reverse and not always possible. However, I have had a very good success with it, especially if only one vocal cord was affected. Although, the complete cure of the vocal paralysis may not occur, using the actual Vocal Science™ technique, coupled with the (designed by me), special speech and singing exercises, will make the person much more articulate and clear, so the individual’s speaking voice will begin sounding almost as per normal. With respect of the singing voice, it’s not that easy and with the damage like this, it is definitely not always possible to restore it. As much as I could try to go around the effected vocal cord (via my method), if it doesn’t start moving at least remotely, the effort could easily become obsolete.
  3. Artists: Save your voice.Producers: Have an easier role with the well-trained artist who will not lose their voice during the production.Managers: Save time, money and aggravation by your artists not cancelling their performances, tours and other appearances.Let’s look at the recent related events: Singer, Mariah Carey, who has recently been on tour in Japan, was embarrassing herself while literally losing her voice on stage singing off key and not reaching any of the high notes. Obviously, she needs some sort of voice repair before it will become irreparable. Also, people who loved and cherished her before are now deeply disappointed and even some of them are quite annoyed, as she definitely has not lived up to their expectations. So this is the question. Why, neither her or more so, her manager, do nothing about it? Are they waiting for the time where a vocal operation will be inevitable? Why bring it to that drastic point? Who knows? I do not have an answer. Let’s look at the situation of Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. He was recently diagnosed with an operable cyst on his vocal box. I, personally being a voice specialist, knew for quite some time that there is something wrong with his voice, let alone his singing overall, which is definitely not up-to-par, (at least from where I sit). I knew that sooner rather than later, that he will not be able to push his voice around much longer. As all musicians know, “no gig lasts forever”. Obviously, the refund for the purchased concert tickets has been already offered. My question is still the same…WHY have him and his manager had to bring it to this extent? Obviously, in this instance, everybody took a loss: The singer, the manager (management), concert promoters and the audience. However, from the point of view of the audience, rather then to listen to the not-very-adequate singing, (to put it mildly), the audience should look forward to the new and recovered voice of Chad Kroeger, and hopefully attend some of his concerts in the not-very-distant future. And lastly, Roger Daltrey: The lead singer of The Who. He was ordered a vocal rest for his vocal cords, and thus rescheduled his Toronto tour and pushed it to December (to the great disappointment of my son-in-law, who happened to be a huge fan of the artist and the band). The only problem I have with the doctors order to go on a vocal rest, in my opinion, will only help momentarily, but will never solve the actual vocal problem caused by wear and tear of the vocal cords and by not-quite-proper application of the voice which, in turn, drowned that voice in a much lower position which naturally prompts the artists to pull and push their voice out on the surface, while concurrently promoting the strain of the vocal cords. So the problem has to be rectified by going to the source, addressing the cause and then by taking the appropriate measures to recover and heal that voice so it could last for, lets say, the next 50 years. So the moral of it all is: Artists: when you notice the change in your voice in the quality and range, don’t continue singing and performing, pretending that nothing has changed. It will only bring you to a deeper vocal trouble, which will be that much harder to repair and restore back to normal. Producers: When you notice that your artist is not performing as per standards, please stop the role and address it to the artist. Please make him aware that he has to look into his voice and make sure that it is healthy enough to continue the recording production.Managers: If you want to have your artist perform and tour and not cancel his engagements, please start managing the artist’s very instrument (the voice), and if you spot a problem, please address it right away, as in the long run, the artist and you will lose more in the future then you would gain momentarily.
  4. By any chance does anyone have any before and after vocal comparisons? Either their own or someone else's? I'm just curious as to what the difference in quality would be, and anything is greatly appreciated. I'd also like to apologize for not having an avatar the past few times I've posted here.
  5. In the light of the recent thread about people being born with singing ability and another thread regarding Vocal Coaching getting low PR. Myles is talking here about how he learned to sing (well not really how he learned but some info on his singing journey). Take a listen!
  6. We all know that warming up is very important to our singing careers, but how can we do this when people don't understand or apreciate warming up? If I am at home alone or with family i can warm up and make funny noises because they understand the importance of it. However, if i have friends over most of them dont sing so they wont let me warm up they think i should just sing and that warming up is only for opera singers. My one friend who does sing also feels the same way and refuses to warm up. Whenever we are together and we feel like writting and playing music together he will always refuse to warm up. he says rock singers dont warm up. this frustrates me because it makes it very hard for me to sing in public or at camps because the people around me look down on warming up and singing becomes very difficult for me if I don't. what are some ways you can warm up in around people that look down on warmups?
  7. For every singer, the question should be; do I possess the distinct tone and the uniqueness of the sound overall?It is easier said than done. Majority of people could carry a tune, but not too many could sing, I mean, really sing. First of all, the person who likes to call him/herself a singer should possess a proper vocal technique, which will allow the singer a freedom to vocalize to their hearts content. They should be able to do it with absolute ease and pleasure, and not to have hardship while trying to deliver their message to their audience. If they don’t know how to work smart, so to speak, and not hard, they also could ruin their voice in the process. And if that happens, their artistic tendencies would not count for anything. Just like in figure skating, the artistic merit is very important, as well as looks, costumes and presence on the ice. But if the skater lands 3 out of 4 jump combinations flat on the ice, the former will not count, and vice versa. So obviously, both technical and artistic merits should be very strong. Similarly in singing, the person might have a strong and powerful voice. That person could even have some knowledge of vocal technique, but his tone is not pleasant, and his passion is not there, so he sounds, quite often, very harsh, loud and robotic. There is nothing unique about that singer and he does not possess any identification of his persona. So his ‘biometric data’ is pretty shut down and obviously not thriving. If that singer performs at the bar, he will find that within the first few minutes, he has “lost” his audience. People are not listening, talking loud, eating and drinking and not paying attention to what’s happening on stage. On the contrary, when there is an artist singing in a bar or in a concert hall, projecting the right power and dynamics, knowledge, intelligence and proper vocal technique, the audience are captured by the singer and stop talking and stop eating….and stop drinking. Interestingly enough, many years ago, I was invited to do a presentation/workshop about the Vocal Science ™ technique in one of downtown Toronto’s venues. The pretty respectable bar was holding some kind of a music related event and I was invited to tell and show to the up and coming artists what the Vocal Science method is all about and how to apply it to the actual singing. The first 15-20 minutes, I thought, were very successful, as the audience was silent and completely taken by me. Then somebody tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to finish my presentation in a short order. I was extremely surprised, as the audience obviously loved it and wanted more. But then, I realized that I was producing an ‘opposite effect’ for the venue: I “took away” their customers, as almost everybody stopped talking, stopped eating, and mainly… stopped drinking. LOL.Obviously, I realized later, and after the fact, that the whole Idea for that bar was to invite as many drinking musicians as the capacity would allow. Go figure! In any other occasion, it would be considered as a desirable outcome, and so it should be! So if your biometrics are intact, your vocal technique is impeccable and your passion and desire is present, you will be remembered as, in this instance, your tone will be unique and your sound will be distinct. Achieving all of the above, consider your entire being (voice included, nevertheless) fully optimized!
  8. Hi, I am working with a pretty talented young man that can sing reasonably well, I mean, he can sing his own songs well. We were in the studio over the weekend working on a song he did not write and it was one of the worst sessions I have ever had. His tempo was off, pitch was off, he was a totally different person than I worked with before. After several agonizing hours I decided to take a break. We was embarrassed and I was frustrated. I left the track playing in the back ground and he started singing one of his songs. It was perfect. Thinking he found his mojo I immediately jump back on the boards and told him to sing the verse to the other song ............ terrible! I know he wasn't faking it because there was too much money at stake. But he just couldn't get it. I have never seen anything like this before. I even had him try singing one sentence at a time hoping I could piece something together, and still nothing. Has anyone ever experienced this? If so, How did you correct it? At the end of the session I had him sing the song he wrote and it was incredible. The songs weren't that much different from each other. When he left I was stumped! Any suggestions?
  9. I got really tired back neck muscles on a high head-whistle session i did, like i went to the gym only to workout these specific part of my neck. I needed 2-3 days to get back to "normal", it happens first time like that, also it might be a cold but in any case i am worried about their role in singing. I tried to notice when they come into play on my singing, that is after a#4 on mix and c5 on head i start to feel they engage. When i try to focus on the whistle register they are much more active with more power especially when i go higher near c6. Is it something i should worry about? Is it just that they need to be strengthened?
  10. Lately, we are hearing more and more about people’s vocal tragediesSome of them have been suffering for years with the loss of their regular voice, speaking and/or singing. Majority of them went to all kinds of doctors and specialists and have been diagnosed with all kinds of health problems related or, most of the times, not related to their vocal performance. The loss of their original speaking and/or singing voice had been blamed on all kinds of the person’s internal health. Yes, granted some of the internal health problems may be related to the quality of the voice. For example: If the person practicing an unhealthy diet i.e. consumes a lot of dairy products, that person most likely will possess a lot of mucus everywhere in the body, vocal anatomy included. If the person eats a lot of acidic products like tomatoes, oranges, red meats and others, no doubts this person will suffer from acid reflux. That said, if they do have a problem with their range and projection of their voice, naturally, their voice is drawn to the lower position, thus it is prone to meet the gastric acid which, in turn, will begin to burn the vocal cords. That said, the inner health and outer fitness would definitely help with whichever vocal problems and/or issues the person may experience. The cleaner and more fit the physical body is, the stronger and more vibrant the persons’ mind will be also. The Vocal Science ™ method requires the lift of the voice to the set of the facial muscles/cavities to release the pressure of the sound from the vocal box and vocal cords, per say. If you visualize a ballerina trying to jump taking off of a thick carpet, you can imagine that not only she, most likely, will injure her ankle or knee, but also would never acquire a needed height to accomplish the pas de deux. That said, if the vocal cords are covered with mucus and the bottom of the throat is full of gastric acid, to lift the sound off of “that ground” could become quite difficult. For that, I am using natural herbs and remedies to clean up the surface of the vocal box to be able to achieve the lift of the voice with the support by the abdominal muscles. So the flora of the throat becomes clean and begins its healing. The doctors usually “bombard” their clients with a whole bunch of scary sounding definitions and diagnosis. The clients usually tell me that they have no idea how to read, let alone understand their medical transcriptions/reports. It is usually extremely over-exaggerated and, for the longest time, I could not understand why. One of my new clients reports suggesting that he has had preoperative and postoperative care. In reality, the person never had undergone any vocal surgery whatsoever. In the not so very distant past, I had a person who worked as a medical assistant and she advised me that every move the doctor makes has a special code. For example: If the doctor checks your blood pressure, he charges the insurance, (here in Canada), $200.00. I am, sure the ENT specialists are charging for all of their checkups, scopes, and etc.. So my assumption is that the more the doctor writes, the more he is able to charge either the insurance or the person individually. This is just my general subjective opinion. Take it for what it is. Sometimes, in fact, “they are right on the money” and they produce the right diagnosis, but they still do not offer, or even suggest, any meaningful help to the sufferer. In majority of cases, the problem is mechanical, but very often coupled with the physical and emotional state of the individual. So my duty is to dissect the problem into pieces and work on each piece individually and collectively. That’s what I call forensic analysis and expertise, and yes, it is very applicable to any voice issues.
  11. WHAT THE HELL IS A "SNILE"? I have formulated a new idea this morning that is great... I share with thee... This is a technique that is used to help train singing through narrowed vowels and improving the articulation of your lyrics when singing high. This technique is also great for resonating to forward positions and amplifying the "cup" of the hard palette. A snile is a cross between a sneer and a smile. It is used in singing to help narrow singing vowels to maintain intrinsic musculature support and stability with amplification, when singing pop / rock music above the passaggio. Mastery of The SNILE will greatly train your kinesthetic feel for narrowing vowels, resonating forward into an "edgier" position, and amplifying while keeping acoustic mass low and balanced. "THE SNILE" is characterized by: A lifting of the upper lip to expose the forward teeth of the embouchure.A "narrowing" of the embouchure, to prevent "splatting".A very strong, amplified, forward resonant position in the "cup" of the hard palette and "edgey pings" off the forward teeth.Must have dampened larynx or anchoring of the larynx. Notice How Geddy Lee of the prog. band, RUSH tracks "Limelight" through the "SNILE"! Who said that "FREE" Secret Tips Didn't Exist?! TRY "THE SNILE" NOW!! ... and post your results here! Video demonstration on "THE SNILE" coming soon... "THE SNILE" is just one idea and technique. It is not a "global" solution for all things singing... it you want to get a feel for forward resonance and narrowing, it is good for that. It can also help you to sing very accurately with great intonation and articulation.
  12. Indeed, should you give up, or rather do something, which will (at least) improve the quality of your life?What are those untreatable, nasty voice disorders?It definitely is vocal paralysis (paresis) or both vocal cords, the severe forms of spasmodic dysphonia, the severe forms of muscle tension dysphonia, scar tissue on the vocal cords, damaged vocal box and it’s anatomy due to/or during the surgical procedure and many more others . Once, not too long ago, in my office/studio walked in a middle-aged, pretty handsome Asian man with his wife. It was very sad to try to speak with the man, as there was nothing else coming out of his mouth but mooing. I could not understand one word he was trying to say. Then his wife took over the “conversation”. She told us a story that her husband had a cancer of thyroid. Then the doctors first were trying to get rid of the cancer, they conducted a surgical procedure, which had paralyzed one of his vocal cords (vocal paresis). Then he was suggested to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which, naturally, worsened his voice condition. He became even more raspy and hoarse and then became hardly understood.Then doctors decided to proceed with the second operation to remove the remaining cancer from his thyroid. After he came out of the second surgery, his second vocal cord was also completely paralyzed. How horrible it might be for the man in his mid-40’s to have communication difficulties, to the point that he could not form any sensible words! He came with the hope that I will offer him a magic pill and a magic cure…? On one hand, of course, you cannot blame him that he was looking for a miracle. On the other hand, how realistic is that? I have explained to him that his condition cannot be cured, either by me or anybody else for that matter. But what I could have done for him is improve the quality of his speaking; to improve clarity, annunciation and pronunciation, if not for all words, but for the majority of the words. How would I do this, you may ask? With the great difficulty, a lot of patience, huge intensity on both of our parts, employing the tedious Vocal Science ™ method and all of my 40 years experience, dealing with the health related (and other kinds) of voice/vocal disorders. I would teach him how to speak, employing facial muscles, the use of which would make his voice at least 4 times more resonant and amplified. Also, employing along with facial muscles, the abdominal muscles, would allow him to have a greater support of the sound, the proper lift of the sound off of the vocal box and thus he would become more understood, which means his confidence would be improved by far and the quality of life would be more enhanced and escalated. Unfortunately, my prospective client could not understand how he could use the different muscles (facial muscles working in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles) and not the vocal cords. Too bad for him because, as far as I am concerned, this tedious and intense, syllable-on-syllable, word-on-word Vocal Science™ technique is the only hope he had. Evidently, not all vocal severe damages are curable, but almost all of them are treatable to some degree. It requires the understanding, willingness and 'lovingness', an open heart & soul and true belief in the improvement of one’s condition. Without the above, there is no point for any of the parties involved, to embark on such, not very easy at all, endeavor. If you find this content informative and helpful, please refer to our websites for more detailed information, or give Diana Yampolsky a call for a free consultation on any of the vocal problems you, or your loved one(s) might have. 416-857-8741 www.vocalscience.com www.repairyourvoice.com
  13. Song selection is sometimes the most important factor in an audition preparation. What type of song you pick depends entirely on what you audition for. Here is what to consider. Musical: Take time to get to know the show. Choose who you want to be and pick a difficult song from another show by a similar character. For instance, if you want to be Marian in Music Man, find a piece similar to her hardest solo, “My White Knight.” Several aspects of the song are difficult, but focus on singing something in the same vocal range and style. Opera: Whether you audition for the chorus or as a soloist makes a big difference in the world of opera. You may sing one selection to sing in the chorus, and at least two to sing solo. Pick an aria in German, Italian, English, or French. Do not audition with an art song. Typically as a soloist, you pick one aria to perform and prepare and list several others for the casting director to pick from. List at least one serious and one funny selection, represent several languages, pick arias from several periods (Mozart, Rossini, Massenet), and be prepared to sing whatever they ask you to. Jazz Gig: With jazz gigs, most managers expect you to either play the piano yourself or provide your own live accompaniment. Be proactive and ask at restaurants or department stores whether you may audition. They may want background music or a main attraction. Try to find out before the audition, so you can select music accordingly. Prepare at least 30-45 minutes of repertoire for a performance. If you are hired for a longer period of time, just take a break, and then run your set again
  14. One video can adequately explain what this topic is about: How do you train to maintain such high tessitura? And how much about it is simply down to genetics and vocal fach? I am not even sure if the really top end can be extended (I can only reach about BB5 in falsetto normally, but certainly not as tessitura), so perhaps someone here can enlighten me. I have noticed that a lot of singers of the genre seem to lose the high notes as they grow older. Does anyone here know what that is about? Maybe they could never maintain the high tessitura to begin with, or perhaps their voice deepened... Or maybe they just got lazy... Which do you think it is?
  15. So, I've been browsing youtube and found this amazing singer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ns4S57wXxI He was actually a policeman from the Philippines. However, I find his vocals really special and trained. Can this set of singing skills be achieved through years of singing? Or it needs some kind of training? He is likely a tenor to me. He had this sweet, soft sound mixed with a very nice vibrato. Going back to the question, is there a term for what he did at the last line? The high, belted? note. Specifically, the "how 'MUCH' I love you" part. The very last part, the ending. I think it was a kind of a shift from chesty mix, to a head tone. Is that really it? And what do you use to call it? How is it achieved? Or is it just a "diminuendo"? Confused right now, tbh. Haha Thanks for the replies!
  16. Hi, TMV-ers! I thought it would be useful today to write a bit about how I approach and talk about vocal technique, in the hope that by putting these ideas out there, you can pick and choose some of them that make sense to you, and that you will hopefully find useful. As a starting point for this, I am inspired to recall an idea I read in Cornelius Reid's book, 'Voice - Psyche and Soma'. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it is that the mind and the body are acting together to produce the singing voice. I think this means for vocal technique that singing is simultaneously psychological and physical. A survey of books written on singing over the last 200 years shows that every teacher has a different approach to working with singers, a different mix of the psychological and physical. Some favor emphasis of the physical aspects, and talk about doing things with body parts, muscle groups, tendons, nasal cavities, lower jaw, the tongue, etc. Others emphasize the sensations of the singer, i.e., 'sing so that you feel such and such a sensation in such and such location in your body'. Still others rely on metaphors and imagery, i.e., 'sing out the top of your head', or 'imagine that you are projecting the tone toward a target on the wall', or 'think of a happy memory'. I don't do any of these alone. Perhaps better stated, I do them all, cherry-picking ideas and approaches from these authors that have these characteristics: 1) are based on anatomical fact, acoustical principles, and physiologically healthy bodily action. 2) are easily expressed and understood using in common language 3) can be practiced beneficially by the student without the teacher's constant supervision 4) help the singer build their ability to sing what they desire to sing - whatever genre or style that is. When it comes to teaching, I am also an optimist. :-) I believe that most people, with very few exceptions, can learn to sing for their own & others' enjoyment if they approach it with patience. In my next posts, I will be writing about the basics of how the voice works - 'what happens where' in the mind and body to produce healthy vocal tone. Along the way, I will address some common misconceptions I've encountered, and clarify some terms that are often used by singers and teachers, but not well understood. I have no illusions that the way I approach this is the only way, or even the best way. I am very interested to hear other ways of doing it as well, as that is how I learn myself. If you have a particular area you'd like to discuss, send me an e-mail or comment to my blog, and I will pull that text forward in a response. Best Regards, Steve View full articles
  17. So what does a student need? They need to be able to do all of the physical tasks that constitute the singing activity required by their goals. This requires training, even if no trainer is available. In addition, their goals will require them to develop the musicianship and experience to handle styles, inflection, and ornamentation appropriate for the music they want to do. This requires learning, even if no teacher is available. In school and at home, we were told many times to "Think about what you are doing!" That approach is almost completely counter-productive for musicians and high wire walkers. Imagine the effect of yelling "Think about what you're doing!" to a person walking a wire across the Grand Canyon. The free-flow execution of skills is managed by a part of the brain that is totally different from the part of the brain where knowledge and understanding are applied to currently executing skills. Once a performer starts thinking about what they are doing, the analytical part of the brain begins to interfere with the free-flow part of the brain. If you as a teacher explain everything, you are implying that singing skills can be managed by the intellect, which is actually impossible beyond a beginner level. I'm not saying that teaching about the subject of singing technique has no value. A voice teacher needs to really know and understand the subject. However, I am suggesting that you carefully consider how much and when to teach a student "about" singing technique. My friend, Robert Lunte, says that singers need to train as "vocal athletes," and I totally agree. The great athletes don't become great by approaching their skills analytically. Their trainers focus on the physical and mental demands of specific skills, and they train the muscles to do the job. The great trainers also train the athlete's mind to concentrate in ways that don't interfere with the fluency of their physical skills. Princeton says that "training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies." I like that definition, but I would boil it down a bit and say that personal voice training is leading someone through exercises and experiences that develop the skills to achieve specific goals and acquire the knowledge required to execute those skills in the required styles. For more information about The Performing Mind, go to http://www.pfco.com. Michael Kysar The Performing Mind http://www.pfco.com
  18. So what does a student need? They need to be able to do all of the physical tasks that constitute the singing activity required by their goals. This requires training, even if no trainer is available. In addition, their goals will require them to develop the musicianship and experience to handle styles, inflection, and ornamentation appropriate for the music they want to do. This requires learning, even if no teacher is available. In school and at home, we were told many times to "Think about what you are doing!" That approach is almost completely counter-productive for musicians and high wire walkers. Imagine the effect of yelling "Think about what you're doing!" to a person walking a wire across the Grand Canyon. The free-flow execution of skills is managed by a part of the brain that is totally different from the part of the brain where knowledge and understanding are applied to currently executing skills. Once a performer starts thinking about what they are doing, the analytical part of the brain begins to interfere with the free-flow part of the brain. If you as a teacher explain everything, you are implying that singing skills can be managed by the intellect, which is actually impossible beyond a beginner level. I'm not saying that teaching about the subject of singing technique has no value. A voice teacher needs to really know and understand the subject. However, I am suggesting that you carefully consider how much and when to teach a student "about" singing technique. My friend, Robert Lunte, says that singers need to train as "vocal athletes," and I totally agree. The great athletes don't become great by approaching their skills analytically. Their trainers focus on the physical and mental demands of specific skills, and they train the muscles to do the job. The great trainers also train the athlete's mind to concentrate in ways that don't interfere with the fluency of their physical skills. Princeton says that "training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies." I like that definition, but I would boil it down a bit and say that personal voice training is leading someone through exercises and experiences that develop the skills to achieve specific goals and acquire the knowledge required to execute those skills in the required styles. For more information about The Performing Mind, go to http://www.pfco.com. Michael Kysar The Performing Mind http://www.pfco.com View full articles
  19. It's been my own experience as well as the experience of my clients that "thinking" while singing cannot be a part of this process. If you are thinking about technique while you sing, you will lose the emotional content of which you wish to express as well as the artistry. I had to learn for myself ,and then teach my students, that vocal exercising was just that: exercising the instrument. I use vocal exercising to warm up the voice, see where a voice is at, fix any difficulties a singer might be having, rehabilitate (a specialty of mine) from damage or injury, and train for proper support and breathing. If you think about the things I've just mentioned about the use of vocal exercising, could you ever really do all of that while performing your songs? Would it truly be possible to carry your message with all that mind tripping going on? The only message ever conveyed from all that is "Pretty voice, but oh so academic in sound." What a horrible feeling. You shouldn't have to worry about your voice when you sing and perform. Everything should be such second nature to you that you are free to express yourself. The ONLY time to think about your voice is when practicing your exercises to get rid of bad habits that have either damaged your voice or are keeping you from having the voice you want. It's also my experience that although it's important to gain a good intellectual understanding of what needs to happen, intellect alone will not change anything. It is with the repetitive PHYSICAL experience that you gain true knowledge ( the dictionary definition of knowledge is 'understanding gained AFTER you have experienced it'). The repeated action of vocal exercising that takes place when getting rid of bad habits is what the experience of exercising is about. Also, using any exercise of choice to warm-up the voice will help you discover any weak points you might have on any given day. Once uncovered, you can choose an exercise that might help to open up that.particular section. That's when you really know you've gained true control. Thinking should actually take place BEFORE practicing a vocal exercise run. Learning what you are doing wrong before you can learn how to do it right is the first part of the process. It is with the correct intellectual information that you contemplate, not concentrate, what you've been told must happen to undo any bad habit. When you begin a run, you SHOULD NOT be thinking about it. Rather, you remind yourself just BEFORE you do it and then just GO! NO thinking! Tape, listen for steady streams of sound, and feeling when it's uncontrollable. If you can't figure out what you did that made you feel uncomfortable, listen back to the tape and make fun of the sound by imitating it. This is a proven way to figure it out . View full articles
  20. It's been my own experience as well as the experience of my clients that "thinking" while singing cannot be a part of this process. If you are thinking about technique while you sing, you will lose the emotional content of which you wish to express as well as the artistry. I had to learn for myself ,and then teach my students, that vocal exercising was just that: exercising the instrument. I use vocal exercising to warm up the voice, see where a voice is at, fix any difficulties a singer might be having, rehabilitate (a specialty of mine) from damage or injury, and train for proper support and breathing. If you think about the things I've just mentioned about the use of vocal exercising, could you ever really do all of that while performing your songs? Would it truly be possible to carry your message with all that mind tripping going on? The only message ever conveyed from all that is "Pretty voice, but oh so academic in sound." What a horrible feeling. You shouldn't have to worry about your voice when you sing and perform. Everything should be such second nature to you that you are free to express yourself. The ONLY time to think about your voice is when practicing your exercises to get rid of bad habits that have either damaged your voice or are keeping you from having the voice you want. It's also my experience that although it's important to gain a good intellectual understanding of what needs to happen, intellect alone will not change anything. It is with the repetitive PHYSICAL experience that you gain true knowledge ( the dictionary definition of knowledge is 'understanding gained AFTER you have experienced it'). The repeated action of vocal exercising that takes place when getting rid of bad habits is what the experience of exercising is about. Also, using any exercise of choice to warm-up the voice will help you discover any weak points you might have on any given day. Once uncovered, you can choose an exercise that might help to open up that.particular section. That's when you really know you've gained true control. Thinking should actually take place BEFORE practicing a vocal exercise run. Learning what you are doing wrong before you can learn how to do it right is the first part of the process. It is with the correct intellectual information that you contemplate, not concentrate, what you've been told must happen to undo any bad habit. When you begin a run, you SHOULD NOT be thinking about it. Rather, you remind yourself just BEFORE you do it and then just GO! NO thinking! Tape, listen for steady streams of sound, and feeling when it's uncontrollable. If you can't figure out what you did that made you feel uncomfortable, listen back to the tape and make fun of the sound by imitating it. This is a proven way to figure it out .
  21. Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers could gain a great deal from learning one of the most elaborate and sophisticated singing techniques that was invented more than 200 years ago by the Scuola Italiana del Belcanto (translated freely into: The Italian school of beautiful singing). This ancient school of thought has produced some of the most fundamental Opera music and singing techniques that are on a daily basis use by most Opera houses in the world. But , you don't have to be an Opera singer to take advantage of the great benefits the Appoggio technique has to offer a professional vocal user You can learn to master it with an extremely good voice coach or as a part of professional voice therapy design with a voice specialist like me. Appoggio is coming from the Italian word Appogiare which means to lean on What do we lean on when we sing? On air ! Our breath support which is crucial to voice and speech production. Breath support means exactly that, the support our breath is getting before and while we produce sounds of speech or singing using the air that is coming up from our lungs moving our closed vocal cords approximately 100 times per second (Hz) for men, 200 times per second (Hz) for women and up till 400 times per second (Hz) for a child. Many singers and actors (especially beginners or natural ones- that do not attend comprehensive voice coaching as part of their training) are referred to my voice clinic by ENT surgeons after suffering from vocal nodules, vocal cords hypertrophy, detuning and other vocal abuse symptoms mainly because they do not use the correct breath support while stretching their voices to the limit. Simply put, the air support or the breath support for professional voice users like Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers should be based on the abdominal muscles. In most cases, state of the art technique for a singer will be MBS = Midsection (abdomen) Breath Support and for an actor the AGIN technique (abdominal breath support while the body is in motion, like on stage). Most clinical professional vocal abuse cases will require an exact Stroboscopy / Laryngoscopy done with the ENT specialist and the professional voice evaluation by the speech pathologist that specialize in professional voice therapy, and then the patient will be given vocal cords physiotherapy and a full 12-weeks technique for improving his breath support and tone control. While this procedure is extremely good for beginners or natural singers and actors, cantors, preachers, rock singers and rappers. It must be understood that these patients use their voice for their living their voice is their profession! Most of them simply cannot wait 12 weeks of correction like that because they will lose their jobs / places in their scheduled performances And what about the veteran singer or actor who had done a great deal of vocal training already with his voice coach and knows all about how to breath correctly? That is why this Appoggio technique will be most beneficial in these cases! Simply put, when you use Appoggio you first take in lots of air using upper chest muscles then you push in your belly muscles the diaphragm will move up pressing on the air in your lungs (that is abdominal breath support !) then you will start voice production while the pressed air is coming from below the vocal cords supporting them while vibrating, then you will use your upper chest muscles dropping them slowly controlling high pitch sounds or extra long periods of vocal singing with extra air support from the chest. So, basically, Appoggio is leaning on two breath support techniques put together the abdominal and the upper chest. A veteran singer or actor could learn that pretty quick while the beginner will be able to learn it combined with the full scale technique on the 3rd treatment providing him enough air support to hold onto his scheduled performances and thus proceeding with his 12-week voice therapy. It is good practice for the voice speech pathologist to teach the patient how to project his voice thus improving volume without putting more effort on the vocal mechanism. View full articles
  22. Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers could gain a great deal from learning one of the most elaborate and sophisticated singing techniques that was invented more than 200 years ago by the Scuola Italiana del Belcanto (translated freely into: The Italian school of beautiful singing). This ancient school of thought has produced some of the most fundamental Opera music and singing techniques that are on a daily basis use by most Opera houses in the world. But , you don't have to be an Opera singer to take advantage of the great benefits the Appoggio technique has to offer a professional vocal user You can learn to master it with an extremely good voice coach or as a part of professional voice therapy design with a voice specialist like me. Appoggio is coming from the Italian word Appogiare which means to lean on What do we lean on when we sing? On air ! Our breath support which is crucial to voice and speech production. Breath support means exactly that, the support our breath is getting before and while we produce sounds of speech or singing using the air that is coming up from our lungs moving our closed vocal cords approximately 100 times per second (Hz) for men, 200 times per second (Hz) for women and up till 400 times per second (Hz) for a child. Many singers and actors (especially beginners or natural ones- that do not attend comprehensive voice coaching as part of their training) are referred to my voice clinic by ENT surgeons after suffering from vocal nodules, vocal cords hypertrophy, detuning and other vocal abuse symptoms mainly because they do not use the correct breath support while stretching their voices to the limit. Simply put, the air support or the breath support for professional voice users like Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers should be based on the abdominal muscles. In most cases, state of the art technique for a singer will be MBS = Midsection (abdomen) Breath Support and for an actor the AGIN technique (abdominal breath support while the body is in motion, like on stage). Most clinical professional vocal abuse cases will require an exact Stroboscopy / Laryngoscopy done with the ENT specialist and the professional voice evaluation by the speech pathologist that specialize in professional voice therapy, and then the patient will be given vocal cords physiotherapy and a full 12-weeks technique for improving his breath support and tone control. While this procedure is extremely good for beginners or natural singers and actors, cantors, preachers, rock singers and rappers. It must be understood that these patients use their voice for their living their voice is their profession! Most of them simply cannot wait 12 weeks of correction like that because they will lose their jobs / places in their scheduled performances And what about the veteran singer or actor who had done a great deal of vocal training already with his voice coach and knows all about how to breath correctly? That is why this Appoggio technique will be most beneficial in these cases! Simply put, when you use Appoggio you first take in lots of air using upper chest muscles then you push in your belly muscles the diaphragm will move up pressing on the air in your lungs (that is abdominal breath support !) then you will start voice production while the pressed air is coming from below the vocal cords supporting them while vibrating, then you will use your upper chest muscles dropping them slowly controlling high pitch sounds or extra long periods of vocal singing with extra air support from the chest. So, basically, Appoggio is leaning on two breath support techniques put together the abdominal and the upper chest. A veteran singer or actor could learn that pretty quick while the beginner will be able to learn it combined with the full scale technique on the 3rd treatment providing him enough air support to hold onto his scheduled performances and thus proceeding with his 12-week voice therapy. It is good practice for the voice speech pathologist to teach the patient how to project his voice thus improving volume without putting more effort on the vocal mechanism.
  23. The Appoggio singing technique - a great tool for a professional voice. Appoggio is leaning on two breath support techniques put together the abdominal and the upper chest. A veteran singer or actor could learn that pretty quick while the beginner will be able to learn it combined with the full-scale technique on the 3rd treatment. Read: http://www.helium.com/items/1208822-the-appoggio-singing-technique What's your input on that??? View full articles
  24. The Appoggio singing technique - a great tool for a professional voice. Appoggio is leaning on two breath support techniques put together the abdominal and the upper chest. A veteran singer or actor could learn that pretty quick while the beginner will be able to learn it combined with the full-scale technique on the 3rd treatment. Read: http://www.helium.com/items/1208822-the-appoggio-singing-technique What's your input on that???
  25. For the starting out vocalist, or even for the professional at anything, I don't think there is one bestanyone. Vocalists, Performers, Teachers/Coaches, and most anyone I know has had their dreams. In our youth the dreams are, for the most part, grandiose. For a very small few, they aren't. For whatever reasons, those people hit it big. I like to think it's destiny, but who knows? Ego deflation has taken its time on me. I don't know about anyone else, but I am one of those people who had to be brought down to what I call "right size." Yes, okay, it wasn't pretty, but I came to accept something that made me very happy. I am THE BEST teacher for those who find their way to me. It's that simple. For those singers who come to learn from me in my 'lab,' I invest everything I have to give. For myself, I've learned I really can't afford to take students on just for money. I want to be teaching those who are sincerely hungry to learn. In my practice, I've noticed many 'a confused' student. They come not having been able to understand so many things after so many lessons with other instructors.Often its' because of misperception with semantics when, in reality, we are all trying to teach right way. With my own clientele, I've found it important to not only learn how to explain things using the right words, but to also learn how to communicate on different levels. My dictionaries have been quite useful with this. The "just do it" method never worked for me, so why would I think it would work for my students? In my mind, it's like when I was a kid and asked my parents, "Why?" and they came back at me with "because I said so." Some students don't even understand why they even have to bother practicing vocalises just because they've never understood the reasoning behind it. "Learn by do" is one of my mottos, but we also have to have some intellectual understanding of how things work or the puzzle pieces won't come together when physically experienced. It all has to make sense. The AH HA moments come when someone has repeatedly physically experienced right way. I teach a lot of foreigners. There are a lot of words they don't understand. This is where my acting (used to be an actress -- long story) and my willingness to look ridiculous comes in handy. Often I have to imitate the unnatural ways in which a singer is trying to go after something, exxagerate it so much that they get the point. It never fails that we both end up laughing hysterically in these moments. And to me, laughter is so healing, so important. It's also surprising ( at least to me) that those who are famous, have the money to spend, and don't sing well 'live' aren't doing the research to find the teachers who are equipped to fix such problems. I'd be embarrassed to have someone running around telling people, "I took lessons with Dena Murray" if I hadn't corrected such things. Additionally, it's such a let-down for fans to hear that their favorites need so much technology just to be able sound as good as they do on their CDs. It leaves those who are really trying to learn something feeling badly about themselves (their investment), and wondering about their own journeys. I don't like to judge whey anyone has chosen to take voice lessons. There may be reasons that none of us may know until it's time to part ways --and personally, I don't want to be the type who tries to hang on to someone just because I might need money. At that point, there would not only be an undercurrent of resistance, but trying to learn anything would prove unproductive. Besides, it doesn't make room for someone else who might need my service. As instructors, most all are trying to teach the same things and not hurt anyone's voice. In that way, we are all one. I also believe it to be very true that each and every one of has something very unique to bring to the table and that this is what separates us. I have not only learned multitudes from other teachers, methods, and books, I have also learned from my students. I'm not just a professional instructor of voice, I am also still a professional student. I love the challenge of learning new things; challenging my own self. All of that said, it is a privilege to be on this site, an honor to be able to work with such a supportive, professional, gifted, and accomplished group of people. And, if any of you singers find yourself with a teacher who doesn't necessarily 'click 'for you, remember that sometimes it takes having a 'wrong fit' to realize when you've found the right one. I thank all of you for your gifts and the willingness to share them. View full articles