Monday, September 15, 2014

Your Voice will be sounding so good… You will shine! Natural, herbal and homeopathic remedies will play a significant role for your voice/vocal recovery.

Lately, more and more people have been inquiring about their voice/vocal problems.

It could be connected with enormous stress imposed on them due to the recession times, fear of losing their jobs, lack of financial stability and/or simply not taking care of their voices and themselves in general, or not knowing a simple voice/vocal technique which would empower their voice to the max, but would not promote the damage.

Be it people who have speech difficulties or singers with vocal problems, they all have something in common. Both categories of people are looking for some “magic pill” which upon consumption will supposedly solve all of their voice problems. 

We all wish it would be so. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. To repair the voice, be it speaking or singing, will take a lot more than just a “magic pill”, so to speak.
However, some of the herbal remedies are so good and work so well on strengthening the vocal box and the vocal cords themselves, lubricating the flora of the throat, getting rid of the impurities; such as mucus for example, and so on.

Those herbal remedies will nurture the “voice instrument” and indeed will make it “shine”, (of course, it is understood that it could not apply for all voice damage cases).
Will that be enough though?

In some cases, it could be, but in the majority of the voice disorders, it will not be enough. The victim of the voice damage would also need to undergo a special instruction to learn how to use the voice (speaking and singing) in such a way that it would work in the maximum capacity, but with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy.

Without it, natural remedies or not, the voice problem will be recurring, as the actual cause, in this instance, would not be addressed. The herbal and homeopathic remedies for that matter will work best when they are coupled with the proper voice/vocal instruction. The Vocal Science Method suggests to restructure the voice in the set of the facial muscles and thus to give a rest to the vocal box, releasing it from the pressure of the sound.

Then, in a manner of speaking, the vocal rest will be granted and the space in the vocal box will be provided to accommodate the natural treatment. This way, the “instrument” and the “player” will be totally taken care of and thus a complete voice/vocal recovery will be achieved.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mayor Rob Ford. On Behalf of The Royans Professional Vocal School, We Wish You a Speedy Recovery.

When yesterday I came home after a hard working day, I, as usual, tuned into CP24 - our most popular Toronto breaking news station.  For many years now, I established a habit to wake up with CP24 news and go to bed with the news update for the past day. I really like to know first what has been happening in my city and then embark on the international news. My husband, however, a native Torontonian, likes to know what’s happening in the world first and then maybe what’s happening in his city.

Go figure!

I guess, to each their own.

Anyway, out of all the Mayors for the last 35 years that I have been living in this city, I precisely liked two of them, Mel Lastman and Rob Ford.  Both have been very useful for the city and also have had very entertaining personalities. Rob Ford in particular, has been “entertaining” Toronto, and nevertheless, the whole world at large for the last several years.

I often felt really sorry for him, as the media really put him through the ringer. His and his families’ lives, for that matter, are still being watched constantly. He and his family virtually have no break from the public’s eyes. So the stress that the Ford family is going through is unimaginable. As we all know, all of our illnesses are emotionally induced before they manifest in the physical body. No doubts, whichever kind of tumor Rob Ford has, it has been contributed by the right and/or wrong accusations and constant attacks towards him via regular public and, nevertheless, the media. From where I sit - in the Arts business, I was really commending Rob Ford for trying to bring Arts back to our city. 

He even went to Austin Texas to “solidify the terms and scope of the Austin – Toronto Music City Allience”, wanting to learn how to draw the modern music scene to Toronto. 

His degree of devotion to this city, in my opinion, far exceeds the devotion level of our past Mayors, as it clearly shows within the Toronto streets and within the communities that we live in.

To further iterate, he clearly sees the value of the city as a whole and tries to improve its’ communities, its world standing and yes, even its culture and fun, as shown in the news when he created a “dance scene” within the council chambers. Most of our clients that come in for regular speech/vocallessons, or are in need of Voice Repair, have positive remarks towards Rob Ford if topics related to him come to light within our conversations. Of course, not all was positive in Ford’s world, as the media and news outlets attained information about Rob and his occasional substance habits. Nevertheless, being able to, “fight his demons, so to speak“, and at the same time attain international stardom, his ability  to maintain his position as Toronto Mayor is simply commendable. 

To conclude; thank you Rob Ford for making our fair city livelier and we wish that you will continue your good work onwards for many years to come.

Best wishes and best of health always from The Royans team.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Love My Voice… You have been diagnosed with a voice disorder. Should you consider vocal surgery?

When somebody suddenly experiences difficulties with their speaking or singing voice, they usually get really concerned, but are still hoping that the problem will go away by itself. Weeks, and sometimes months, will pass and the voice problem not only hasn’t gone away, but has actually become worse.

This person ends up trying to push their voice harder and harder to make it work the way it used to, not realizing that it is doing more harm than it’s worth.

Eventually, after they seem to have tried everything, they end up getting a referral to an ENT specialist, hoping that the specialist will shed light on their problem and offer them a quick and “magical” fix. 

And yes, after the diagnosis, especially with polyps, nodes, nodules, or cysts, the ENT specialist usually offers a quick laser or scalpel operation to remove the growth on their vocal cords or their throats.

That operation seemed to also be offered to Joan Rivers, who evidently had some problems with her vocal cords, as she was sounding more raspy and hoarse in recent years. She was obviously concerned with her speaking voice, as her livelihood was depending on it, and rightfully so.

One might ask, should she have considered a non-surgical way of fixing her voice problem first, especially given her age and the numerous other surgeries she had been through? 

The answer is most probably yes, but that would require the time, energy, and money; although in her case, the latter probably would not matter.

Like many people today, she was living her life at a fast pace and probably did not want to allocate the time to thoroughly investigate what could have been done with regards to fixing her voice in a less invasive manner. 

Surgery of any sort carries a risk and could cost you your life. Here in Canada, I was friends with Bella Kovarsky, the first Ballet teacher of one of the greatest dancers of all time, Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was the founder of the Bayview School of Ballet, here in Toronto.

In the year 2000, Bella Kovarsky died suddenly during what was supposed to be a very mundane and simple procedure (a type of appendix removal). Her death was not only sad but completely unexpected. Nobody could have predicted such a tragic end for this wonderful and talented individual who dedicated all of her life to ballet and great choreography.

Both Bella and Joan’s surgeries were thought to be simple procedures, and yet both of these very talented people did not survive this simple invasion. Any surgical invasion, even those in outpatient facilities (like the one where Joan Rivers’s surgery took place) can be dangerous and could easily end your life. 

So, in my opinion, especially concerning vocal problems (since it is in my field of expertise), I would try everything non-surgically first and then, if there is no way to fix the voice naturally and holistically, turn to a surgical procedure.

To conclude: 

If you love your voice and yourself for that matter, please do not hesitate to spend the time to research the best alternative care and try absolutely everything possible to conquer your problem naturally, scalpel-less, and laser-less for that matter.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The life and unexpected death of the legendary comedian, Joan Rivers. Would she be alive today if she did not submit herself for a vocal operation?

What a beautiful article written about the legendary Joan Rivers!

When I came to Canada almost 35 years ago I was trying to watch as much TV as I could to learn the language. Although I didn’t fully understand her humour at the time, I was impressed by comedian Joan Rivers. Joan had beautiful energy and a very animated personality, and she spoke very loudly with huge command and conviction in her voice. However, being a voice specialist, I immediately noted that she was using her voice incorrectly, as her voice was obviously coming out from the back of her neck and the very bottom of her throat. 

In all honesty, I am amazed that her voice lasted as long as it did! 

That said, it is evident that, genetically, she was a very strong woman with a very strong personality. In a general sense, no human voice could withstand such pressure applied onto the vocal box for a prolonged period of time. However, you could clearly hear in her performances in recent years that her voice was getting raspier and quite often she simply sounded hoarse.

When that happens to a human being, especially one whose livelihood depends on his or her voice, that individual, quite often, emotionally disagrees with the situation. However, most of the time, that person intellectually understands that something has to be done about it, as there is no change without a change, so to speak. While disagreeing, however, they are trying to continuously push that voice out on the surface when, by that time, the voice has usually already been drowned deep inside in their throat.
So by pushing it vigorously, they are, unfortunately, accomplishing the opposite result, as by drowning and straining that voice exponentially could bring it to the stage of no return. However, like you are stating in your article, people with voice challenges should notice the change sooner rather than later and first try to conquer it non-surgically—by finding a qualified voice specialist who knows how to conduct the voice repair in a holistic manner.

We live in a very fast-paced world and to accomplish something we have to move pretty fast.
So the thoughts of people like John Rivers and even just of ordinary people are “Let’s do it now, and let’s do it fast.” She was probably thinking about her next upcoming performance and, nevertheless, wanted to sound nice, clean, and crisp. However, she did not realize that surgery is not necessarily the solution. The “instrument” might be tuned and fixed, but the “player” is still applying the wrong technique, trying to extract the sound from said instrument. If the greatest pianist of all time, Liberace, had been hammering his beautiful pink Grand Piano he would have broken it to pieces and would have no instrument to show his best piano skills.

It takes two—the instrument and the player.

The instrument has to be sound and the player has to be adequate. The player also must be able to extract the maximum capacity of that given instrument. So in the case of the voice, the speaker or singer has to be able also to extract the maximum capacity of their voice and with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy. I always say, work smart, not hard, and with minimum effort accomplish the maximum result. Also, work upon the design and do not play it by ear. 

That said, be professional on every level.

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