Tips and advice for learning how to sing, perform and live the dream of being a professional entertainer and performing artist, along with common sense commentary and rants on the state of today's music industry. Written by international master vocal coach, Diana Yampolosky, creator of Vocal Science (TM).
of the above listed people are talented artists, but obviously, majority of
them had been lacking the proper vocal technique; and thus, they ended up
having vocal issues (and some of them more serious then others).
they have avoided the interruption of their professional lives, careers, joy
and monetary loss?
doubts they could - They just could have been more attentive to the technical
aspects of their craft and not just rely on their talents and love for music.
you imagine a figure skater trying to jump a triple or quad not knowing what it
consists of and, moreover, not having proper muscle training assuring that the
physical body could withhold the weight of the landing of such jump?
if you think of ballet dancers who work at the bar at least 4 to 8 hours a day,
would you imagine them doing ‘pirouettes’ and ‘pas se deuxs’ wearing
point-shoes and having no prerequisite with regards to what they are doing?
this case the serious injuries would, no doubts, occur.
nevertheless, have to be able to keep their whole body weight on those toes of
means that their balance has to be unshakable, their point-shoes techniques
have to be immaculate and their ballet elements (separately and in correlation),
have to be ‘on point’. (no pun intended)
where do the singers come with the idea that the technical aspect of using their
voices properly and efficiently does not necessarily need to be embraced?
it has been all about the show and showmanship.
example: there has been about $40,000,000 dollar stage, built for Bono’s
said, basically, everything had been in place to cover up the inadequacy of a true vocal performance.
sad is that? Very
our truly talented artists possessed a proper vocal technique, which would
protect and save their voice for life, we would not be hearing (unfortunately, quite often) on the news about the next upcoming vocal surgery of the next
After my partner (the second Royan) had passed away in 1986,
a year after, (in 1987), I changed the name of the school and it became well
known as The Royans Professional Vocal School. And at that time, the school
became primarily an adult vocal school and children became a minority. However,
we always have been working with teenagers and young adults, developing their
talents for the music industry at large. Nevertheless though, working primarily with
adults, provided me with a lot of experience and education concerning North
Being an educator by trade and a very inquisitive person by
nature, I have been tuning in to those adults who allowed me to get themselves
under my care; and not only vocally, but holistically over all. They allowed me
"in" (so to speak) and carried on with quite intimate details about
themselves, their families and their relationships.
Not all of them, by far, enrolled in my program out of happiness.
On the contrary, a lot of them possessed stuffed-up emotions
sitting deeply inside of them, and also a lot of hurt and very low spirits. I
always said that the voice is your “spirit”
and has to be discovered, uncovered and ‘made to be flown away from the
physical body’. So their vocal training had consisted of a lot of counseling on
life in general and their lives in particular.
Via special speech exercises and specially selected scripts
(peculiarly enough) quite related to their situation in general and even their
own situation in particular, they have been able to open up their chest (in which
the human beings usually hold a lot of unreleased emotions) and thus, to bring
their voices (i.e., their spirits) up and out onto the surface.
With the lift of their voice off of the vocal anatomy and
(so to speak) un-stucking it from within, they felt much more released, and
nevertheless, much freer from whatever was bothering them in the recent and
even distant past.
The freer the sound of the voice is, the freer the person will feel.
Once the voice is discovered and gets to be flown, the
person feels that he/she had acquired “wings” in a manner of speaking. So now,
we had killed two birds with one stone, so to speak.
The voice got developed in its fullest capacity; the “Genie
in the bottle” got freed up and flew to the Universe where the sky is the limit;
and thus, the person finally got free from all of the stuffed-up emotions and
inhibitions. The confidence now is soaring, as the great knowledge and
understanding took place.
So, you (my reader) should agree that, all and all, it is a
WINNING combination; and, no doubt, WINNING situation on every level.
Good luck to all of you with best of health, best of spirit
and, nevertheless, best of voice!
Teaching for nearly 42
years, I have dealt with children, teenagers and, nevertheless, with adults of
all ages and walks of life.
Children and teens
definitely require more effort and more care. Some of them are very emotionally
fragile and sensitive, especially when they are approaching puberty at the age
of 12 to 14. A lot of them become practically silent and very closed-in inside.
Naturally, they don’t speak much; their speaking voice becomes low and dull.
They are basically living in
Recently, I was travelling
to Dallas, Texas to work on a person with a paralyzed vocal cord. She happened
to have one of her granddaughters, who was about to turn 9 years old. My
client’s daughter, at the dinner table, did confess to me that her older
daughter was hardly speaking to her; and moreover, was put in a special class
for children with dyslexia. When I met this beautiful girl, who hardly looked
beautiful, as she was so down and obviously (in my opinion) was quite
I asked her to read the same
script that her grandmother did during our sessions with her; and she read it
perfectly and definitely without any signs of dyslexia.
Of course, my approach to a
child was vastly different then my approach would be to any adult. I am using
certain body movements, which help the client to lift the voice off of their
physical body and re-channel it into the different set of muscles (their facial
muscles and their abdominal muscles for the greater support of the lifted
voice). With the little girl, I turned it into a ballerina game!
She loved to be tall, slim
and beautiful ballerina, while concurrently; I was lifting her speaking voice. And
then, to everybody’s astonishment, the little girl had begun to sing!
Then we have learned that
she had always wanted to sing!
But she never knew how to
and her speaking voice (and nevertheless, her spirit) was positioned extremely
low and her speaking voice was coming out with an extremely low tone. At her
eight years of age, she was considered to be a complete outcast with a diagnosis
of dyslexia, which never had been present in the first place.
Within an hour, this child
turned into an absolute beautiful angel with no inhibitions whatsoever!
with my original voice repair client (her grandmother), I was told that the
child joined a school choir, being much more talkative and much more happy. The
transformation (personality, spirit and voice repair) was inevitable and, in
this case, miraculously got complete within only an hour and a bit.
Way to go, little angel!
Stay tuned for other case
studies concerning children, teenagers and lastly, adults.
over 32 years running my own professional voice/vocal business, I have been
working with (estimated) over 20,000 clients on their speaking and singing
the mechanics (which are applicable for the speaking and singing voice) are
exactly the same.
my speech (The Total Communicator Course) and singing course begin with exactly
the same speech exercises. Those exercises have a very important purpose, as
they are designed to relieve the pressure of the sound from the vocal anatomy
as a whole.
wholesome mechanism takes place to allow the voice to work in the fullest
capacity possible with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy. The voice,
restructured to the facial muscles, begins to work in full conjunction and coordination
with the abdominal muscles, which play the role of the support for the lifted
sound. And the upper diaphragm muscles (rib cage) assure the width and the body
of the sound.
all of the components of that wholesome mechanism begin work simultaneously,
the voice then becomes supported, structured, placed and projected to its aimed
destination. The speaking voice begins to sound clearly enunciated and
latter is good preparation for embarking upon the singing voice development.
Utilizing the same mechanics as for the speaking voice, now it is the time to
address the musical side of it.
this case, the singer-to-be represents the “Instrument” and the “player” at once.
The physical body and its emotional makeup would represent the “instrument”. The
proper application of the speaking and singing voice will represent the
“player”. If the “instrument” is in good physical and emotional balance, the
voice (which will be bouncing off of it) will sound that much better. The
future singer should know the parameters of his/her “instrument” to be able to
apply the sound above the physical anatomy (an out-of-body experience, so to
needless to say, before attempting to sing any song, the music analysis of the
chosen song should be applied. Any song consists of certain combinations of
sounds, duration and pitch, (i.e., intervals). During the singing exercises,
all possible combinations of sounds, duration and pitch, should be addressed.
the situations where those combinations may exist will also have to be
that said, once you are aware of all of the combinations and all of the
situations (where those combinations may and will exist), you will become the
owner of your voice. (Speaking and Singing).