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Archive | Training & Pedagogy

The Vocal Martial Art: Help for Extreme VO Performers

Everyone knows that video gaming is big business, and a sizeable proportion of games are categorized as “fighting,” “shooter,” or “action.” As the gaming industry grows—it’s already larger than movies and music and expanding faster than both—more and more actors are getting hired to voice characters who are engaged in some kind of combat or danger. […]

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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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Teaching and Healing—some favorite quotes

“Health is a dynamic and harmonious equilibrium of all the elements and forces making up and surrounding a human being.” —Andrew Weil, MD “Knowing the person who has a disease is as important as knowing the disease the person has.”—Hippocrates “Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow, whatever is rigid and blocked will wither […]

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Expanding the Definition of “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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Ranges of Normal

Student question: Why does my singing range seem different now that I’m in college? Every voice changes over time. Teenage boys, of course, experience the most dramatic change, but adolescent girls’ voices also gain strength and depth, and may lose a note or two from the very top end, compared to their childhood voice. In […]

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Singers’ Guide to Weight Training

Twice last week, I met new clients whose voice problems began when they had started serious weight-training. I’ve seen others who got sudden lesions, including a gnarly vocal hemorrhage, when they changed trainers or otherwise increased their workout intensity. Most voice problems have more than one cause, so I won’t argue for an exact correlation. […]

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At Home In Your Range

Every voice teacher is asked, “Can you show me how to hit really high notes?” And the answer is, “Maybe, maybe not.” The pleas continue: “My rock band is getting some local buzz, but I need to sound like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, or else we’ll never get a record deal.” One singer I know […]

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Singer’s Basic Warmup

The singing voice is often considered to be the most sensitive and expressive instrument of music. It offers a wide dynamic range, a “fretless” flexibility of pitch, and a nearly infinite variety of tone colors. However, its sensitivity presents several challenges that must be addressed when warming up for a gig. First, the voice is […]

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