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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Lawrence, Kate, and Lilith: Looking Back at the Women’s Music Movement

first published in FolkWorks, March-April 2005; revised 2014 Ross Altman’s recent Folkworks article on the music of the IWW featured the 1912 “Bread and Roses” strike by women textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts and the now-famous song that the young strikers inspired. In the same issue, alongside Larry Wines’s cover story on present-day songwriters, all […]

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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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Voice and music—some favorite quotes

“If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.” —Daniel Webster “The best communications technology is the ear.”— Esther Dyson “A voice that is free, that feels its inherent right to speak, will have no fear of calling […]

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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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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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Backstreet Boys: Voice Therapy onscreen!

Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys became my client in 2013, while a documentary crew was filming the band’s 20th anniversary journey. The movie “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” is now out, and includes a  short scene of our work together. This is a new level of visibility for voice therapy! I can’t […]

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