Archive | Health

Singers Go Public

Spring 2018 saw numerous news items about well-known performers managing vocal risks, some more pro-actively than others. From Broadway to stadium shows to the alt-rock world, vocal health is the new ball to toss around! First came Lauren Ambrose, Tony award nominee for playing Eliza Doolittle in the current Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, […]

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Vocal First Aid

Dealing with short-term vocal strain?  Here is your emergency tool-kit (adapted from my book Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers (Hal Leonard, 2012.) If you’re often in emergency, of course, something may be wrong with your throat, technique, or work schedule that needs more in-depth attention. So be honest! (1) Vocal rest as […]

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Top Ten for Wellness

My friend Paul Crick, a life-coach, once asked me for my all-around top ten tips for health and wellness: Don’t smoke tobacco, or use other addictive substances known to be life-threateningly dangerous. Especially if you identify as an artist, or otherwise consider yourself to be a rebel against conventional rules: look for ways to express […]

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Laryngeal Massage: or, “Why would I let anyone put their hands around my throat?”

   “Vocal Massage”/ “Manual Therapy for Laryngeal Muscle Tension”/ “Circumlaryngeal Massage”/ “Myofascial Release for Speech Pathologists”/ “Voice Massage”/ “Hands-on Voice Therapy”/ “Musicians’ and Vocalists’ Massage”/”Adjusting the Voice Box”/ “Manual Laryngeal Musculoskeletal Tension Reduction.” There are lots of names for this kind of voice work, and it’s getting a lot of buzz. All of these labels generally […]

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Winterize Your Voice

I’ve always loved the winter solstice. As a child spending holidays in Maine, I was awed by the clear, cold, stillness in the air, the moon reflecting on icicles and snow. The music in that house was Beethoven, not folk. But when the sun hung low for shortening days, and then stopped and turned around, […]

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Singers’ Guide to Yoga

Protect your chords and harmonize your practice Meditation teachers in orange and white, clergy robed entirely in orange, and hundreds of devotees in summer pastels crowded the tropical pavilion in front of the mic where I was about to lead songs. Behind me was a flower-drenched stage from which our guru would soon bless and […]

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All About Vocal Fry

I’m cross-posting this excellent piece from a national speech therapy journal- jc Totally Fried What do you need to know about vocal fry? Speech-language pathologists and a linguist weigh in on where cultural influence ends and clinical intervention begins. Haley Blum The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 50-56.  doi:10.1044/leader.FTR2.21022016.50 Vocal fry: Maybe you hate […]

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The Next “Voice Science”

[What public health, ethnology, and neuroscience have to do with it] In the mid-20th century, people started to understand how the vocal cords actually work. Nineteenth century singing teacher Manuel Garcia had famously arranged a mirror and candle to SEE his voice, but until technologies arrived to capture moving images of the cords as they […]

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