Archive | Training

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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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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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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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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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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Throat Tightness

Student question: I feel tightness, almost a pinching dry feeling in my throat, when I sing. What could that be and what can I do about that? There are several possible reasons, so you may need to try a few adjustments and see what helps. Sometimes feeling dry means that your throat IS dry! The […]

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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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