Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Physical And Emotional Consequences Of The Speaking And Singing Voice Disorders.

Dealing with. various voice disorders are my specialty.

Over many years, I have attended to hundreds, if not thousands of people with different voice injuries of their speaking and/or singing voices. In general, they were all, one way or another, physically and, nevertheless, emotionally hurt practically all of them were simply distraught to say the least.

What was different about them was their reactionary response to their voice disorder and its consequences. What was in common that all of them had lost their confidence, especially the singers. And even after the restoration of their voices, their physical demeanour has been expressing the tightness and fear, minimum to say. And even after the voice sounded as good, or even better than before, the performance aspect has been significantly lost, as they could not bring themselves out of their shell and loosen up to produce a required performance quality of the equation. 

We Russians have the saying: “The good dancers do not show their sweat”.

Those dancers work really hard at the bar, but when they end up at the center stage, they’re not supposed to “bring the bar” with them. They are supposed to acquire the feel at the bar for their future performances and then translate it into the intricate steps and thus, bring the latter to the dance stage. However, if those dancers experienced any kind of injury, their performance would also feel more technical and more stiff, especially at the beginning stages of their recovery.

Granted, it is a natural reaction of the physical body induced by the highly emotional stress which occurred during, and evidently even after the injury was concurred. Similarly, the same happens to the vocal performer. After the injury, they constantly doubt themselves and that directly reflects on their vocal performance. Interestingly enough, that people, who have just speech disorders, react completely differently. The minute they acquire their voice back, they can not stop talking.
In my practice, I had people who were afraid to talk for months, but then, at the end of my course and treatment, I could not put them back to structure, as they were talking out loud about everything and anything; and to stop them talking was virtually impossible. Go figure!

Any voice disorder for anybody concerned is definitely not a “picnic”. 

It is a serious matter, as it could inhibit ones’ life quite significantly. In some cases, it may be considered as a complete disability. Some people lost their professions, as due to their trade, they had been required to speak on the phone, or publically. Obviously, with the voice disorder, they could not continue their regular duties. The singers had been on the verge of losing their singing carers, recording contracts, tours, etc. We have examples of many known artists whose singing careers, unfortunately, had to be stopped temporarily or even permanently.

How sad is that?

Thank God that, in many cases, these people, (speakers or singers), can be helped and helped non-invasively and non-surgically. Every time, when I help the person with the voice problem to get their life back and, or to get back on stage, I feel extremely gratified and thankful to God for my gift of knowledge.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Non-Surgical Voice Repair… “Backed up” Voice Anyone? If So, You Obviously Need Need A "Plumber" To Fix It.

My business, “The Royans Professional Vocal School and The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair” use to be located in a quite prestigious area in the northeast part of Toronto, Canada. However, in the building where my studio was located, the washrooms were not kept up to standards, and the toilets, quite often, were backed up.

To serve our clients better and provide them with safe and clean facilities, we had to contact the management of the building more often than we would have liked to.

They fixed it…, and then, the saga began all over again...

For the last 4 decades, I have been mostly specialising in Non-Surgical Voice Repair for speakers and singers. Quite a few of them had been coming into that very studio with shut-down voices and quite often, with, so to speak, shut-down bodies. 

The memory brings one of my voice repair client's case:

The person came from the US with a very low-drawn, hardly understandable, speaking voice, and right at the beginning of the session, (when I asked her what she ate before she saw me), she announced to me that right before coming to my studio for her session, she ate white bread, cheese, ham and mayonnaise…

She indeed sounded like all of the above blended together. It was clear to me that the problem was not per say only vocal, but definitely emotional, and it was, no doubt, significantly related to her everyday diet as well. The well-known saying, “you are what you eat”, was indeed present in her case. 

The body definitely contained a high volume of mucous and yeast. The voice got literally "stuck" in that heavy and thick muss and was unable to get projected out to the surface. So the first protocol was to do the full cleanse of the body and even most importantly, clean up the flora inside of her vocal box.

The second protocol was to identify the source of the high emotional and stressful 'make-up' of her entire body. The thyroid, in fact, upon the definition of the holistic teaching, represents suppressed emotions and hurts (colloquially speaking). That issue had to be addressed as well.

And finally, the voice work begun and resulted in a much clearer, much more understandable, much better pronounced and higher volume voice. Thus, the mission was accomplished!!!

The holistic approach to the person as a whole cured the cause of the voice disorder, while scientifically and, nevertheless, naturally, addressing the symptoms. In this instance (and figuratively speaking), her "toilet" was officially "plunged"; and now, due to that fact (and THANK GOD) the person's voice was brought up to its usable state! 

Unfortunately, in real sense, our management of our building had not been addressing the cause of the plugged-up toilets; and thus, we did not have an assurance that it would not become unusable again tomorrow... or the next day.

On the contrary, since we addressed not just the symptoms, but also identified the cause of the persons’ voice issues, we are certain that if the now former client/student of ours will continue her protocol with respect to the diet, also to more-contained emotions and proper use (as she was taught intensely) of her newly found and recovered voice, she will not necessarily have to come back to us again for a heavy duty work, but maybe only for the light maintenance, or only, perhaps, just for a social visit...

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producerand Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist at The Royans Professional Vocal School in Toronto, Canada. She is also the creator of the Vocal Science (TM) method and Talent Scout & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.
 If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone at 416-857-8741

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vocal Science: For Greater Learning… “Should You Be Coming To Someone Else’s Church With Your Own Prayer”?

My answer would be: “No, you should not.”

With that said, if you want to learn something valuable from your coach/mentor, or your voice specialist for that matter, YOU are the one who has to be submissive to such learning and NEVER DOMINANT!

For example.. during my session, one of my students/clients had been constantly trying to take over, so to speak. In general, I have always reminded them that one of us has to be submissive… and it ain’t going to be me!

What do I mean by that?

What I mean is that when I try to convey my message, and for many years (along with it), the tested, tried and proved curriculum, the student/client tries to impose his/her own way of running MY session; and therefore, no doubt,  interferes with the process of his/her own learning progress.

I have been consulting, teaching and repairing voices for over four decades, but some of my clients, instead of listening and embracing my expertise and extensive experience, trying to prove their own point; and then, not to mention that one of them had the audacity to tell ME that he feels that I am not RESPECTING HIM…?

Go figure!

All of my sessions are always extremely interactive, but my word should have more weight then my attendee.  

Nowadays, people do not know how to differentiate the roles between the teacher and themselves (the pupil). They do not pay the required respect and do not keep the required distance; and thus, all of that dramatically infringes on the desirable outcome of such process.

Call me “Old School”, but in my times, the teacher was considered to be a Guru and a Goddess. With such respect and admiration from the student’s side, the greatest mentoring (and thus high level of education) had been reaching the highest point in one’s development. At that time, we had better doctors, better engineers, and yes… better artists!

Here in Canada, spending almost four decades dealing with all kinds of people, I met quite a few so-called musicians and composers who had no idea where the middle C on a keyboard was located.

I met so-called lyricists who made five mistakes in the word “mama” LOL! 

I’ve also met University students who were speaking and writing with double-negatives like, for example:

I don’t know no more and you probably know more better”.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad! Yet…it is sad indeed!

What is also so scary is that these above-mentioned people are literally running our lives. They are driving our cars (UBER and Taxi drivers who cannot speak English at an understandable level) They are flying our planes (not always knowing how to read the instruments - The best example of that was the crash of J.F.K. Jr’s plane!)

They are teaching our children, while concurrently being unable to take instructions from anybody else…not to mention also, evidently, being unable to “walk and chew the gum at the same time”! I once, incidentally, had in my studio my friend’s daughter’s elementary school teacher. For over a two hour period of time, I was unable to pull out anything remotely sensible towards the voice repair matter concerning that person. How do these people teach when they themselves are not being able to learn? Beats me… It has been my riddle for many years of my teaching and mentoring career.

The good teacher, by the law of averages, should also be able to be a good learner; and also, he/she should be able to keep their ego aside, and thus allow the mentor, in the required field, to deliver the needed message successfully, and nevertheless, with flying colours, their way. 

It never ceases to amaze me when the person in need (especially of non-surgical voice repair) comes with the attitude of skepticism and cynicism. Instead of being trusting and grateful that somebody is actually trying to employ their best efforts to help them, they are looking for something in the process to turn the wrong way while projecting (towards the very serious matter such as their voice health), a negative attitude.

So the moral of the above is:

If you want to be taught something valuable to you, let the teacher in…and NEVER interfere with the process! TRUST, BELIEVE and EMBRACE… And then... enjoy the wonders coming your way!

On this note, I wish you the best of health and the best of voice which you are, indeed, in need of!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Intellectual Mind and The Physical Body... What Role Do They Both Play in One's Vocal Development?

- Revised and modernized version from July 23rd, 2011

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

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

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

The Vocal Science(TM) method, which I have been advocating for quite a few years, requires an integration and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and vocal state. Unless all of those components are working in compliance with each other, the mechanism required for the voice to work in its fullest capacity possible cannot be "launched".

The physical component of such mechanism, nowadays unfortunately, is not even on the radar.

How could that be so, you, my reader, might be wondering?

The fact of the matter is that the people are not physical anymore. They spend too much time at their innovative electronic gadgets and not enough time embarking on any physical activities. Purely and simply, they cannot "walk and chew the gum at the same time" and thus, I should say, they cannot "carry a tune in a bucket" for that matter. The balance and coordination are just not present. Therefore, the physicality of the sound cannot be enforced or can be, but with great difficulty. In other words and evidently, the people's physical state is at least five levels below their intellectual capacities... Go figure!

It is sad, but it is the reality today. Every day it is harder and harder to make people physically apply the vocal techniques they're taught. Their, so to speak, "incapacitated" and "un-tuned" physical bodies are simply not allowing them to prosper.

Where are we all going with the advanced technology? I don't profess to know. But my wild guess is that we're not at all going to the new heights; either with our health or overall prosperity... and most definitely, not vocally!

We can only hope that the majority of the population will "wake up and smell the coffee" (and not the virtual one. LOL).

We also hope that people will finally have an understanding that not everything is "be-all and end-all" what they read online. And most importantly, they will realize that something like their health (nevertheless their vocal health) CANNOT be attended to remotely!

On that note... Our claim is as such:

We are here not only to teach and consult, as well as to fix and repair voices, we are here to help you to reclaim your voice, health and your life overall!

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producer, and Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist at The Royans Professional Vocal School in Toronto, Canada. She is also the creator of the Vocal Science (TM) method and Talent Scout & Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.
If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone at 416-857-8741
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