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Protect and Pamper Your Voice

Posted on October 4, 2018 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2011

Protect Voice with Pampering when Hoarseness Occurs

  

WHAT TO DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR VOICE ?

 

REST YOUR VOICE ~ STOP SPEAKING & SINGING~

 

Hoarseness is one of the first, most easily discerned audible symptoms presented to a voice teacher that indicates the presence of a “vocal fault” in an otherwise physically healthy singer. The most common cause for vocal hoarseness is “hyper-functional phonation;” demanding too much from the voice, producing a sound that can be described by any one, or combination of the following adjectives: tight, tense, hard, edgy, strident, rasping, grating, rough, constricted or even strangulated. Hoarseness is a danger signal to you, the singer. If huskiness or soreness is a common result of your singing, then you should

  

1) stop singing, and if it persists,

2) see a laryngologist.

 

Observations and recommendations:

1. Screaming hard even once can do temporary damage to the voice. The voice has to recover in silence and with more than usual sleep. Give it more time than you think it needs.

  

2. Vomiting and the burning from stomach acids also require extended time to heal. Give your voice time. You should pay attention to resulting soreness as there are relatively few pain nerve endings in the throat! Give healing more time than you think it needs, and limit your voice use. Begin establishing the habit (if you don’t already have it) of gargling whenever you brush your teeth and after meals - rinsing out your throat with water.

 

3. Regularly speaking too high, or too low will often result in hoarseness. Please read my entry on “speaking” to help you find where you should speak without unnecessary tension.

  

4. Long-term misuse of the voice can permanently damage the voice. So, your concern is legitimate. A voice therapist or qualified voice teacher may be what you need to correct the problem.

  

5. The feeling of “a giant lump” in your throat is a definite indication of misuse. Stop singing. Give your voice more time than you think it needs to heal and recover.

 

6. Allergies do tend to exacerbate (aggravate) upper-respiratory and throat edema (swelling). So, allergies compounded with possible misuse of the voice would tend to make things feel worse, faster.

 

7. While this blog will give you great tips and tools to utilize to start working on your voice, you would benefit greatly by working with a reputable voice teacher. If you do not live in the North Bay San Francisco Area, which is where my studio is located, you can Download SKYPE and we can work together well, on-line.

 

REMEMBER TO REST YOUR VOICE WHEN YOU FEEL IT IS STRAINED AND HYDRATE OFTEN!

 

Labels: how to sing, learn to sing, music, music lessons, music lessons on SKYPE, sing, singing, singing lessons, singing lessons on SKYPE, singing tips, singing tips blog, vocal coach, vocal therapy

2 comments:

   

hypnosinging   October 10, 2014 at 5:05 AM

Very useful and helpful post!

 

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Lovisa Benjamin   January 30, 2015 at 1:41 AM

What a great article. This is important information for singing.

 

_____________________

 


Vocal Care and Protection for Singers

Posted on August 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)




Learning to care
 for the voice is a must for all singers. Vocal care and hygiene should be a large part of any vocal training program that you sign up for. Some singers I have worked with do not realize how important vocal care is until they lose their voice. If the voice is pushed too hard by improper singing from the throat or a lack of breath support or singing without awareness, damage to the vocal chords can result. If you push your voice and over-work it, not only can Laryngitis occur, but nodes or vocal burn can impact the vocal chords, often requiring a need for total vocal rest, sometimes lasting several weeks.

Professional singers who have trained their voice know they must protect their instrument, pamper it and do the work of learning to master breathing technique and the work involved in building strong breath support and vocal control. It is like you need to make the training your religion (so to speak) as a singer, and learn to love your practice time. --"I don't like to go on the road because it messes with my practice time." -- Sonny Rollins

I've seen students who try to sing like Christina Aguilera and some actually sound pretty good. But, when I try to impress upon them that they need to sing like themselves and retrain their voice and learn to sing properly so they are not pushing from their throat to sound like her, they disagree. They don't realize that pushing and singing from the throat is damaging. Breathing shallowly and singing from the throat is like rubbing sand paper over your vocal chords. They are very sensitive and need to be respected and cared for or they may just stop working. Some singers feel that as long as they sound great, why should they sing, "properly.?" Well, a strong, long-lasting healthy, voice that won't burn out...is the reason.

If you are a singer who has not trained your voice with a voice teacher or vocal coach, do yourself a huge favor and find someone who has a solid teaching program that includes vocal hygiene or care of the voice. As a singer, you need to know your instrument, how it works, the parts of your voice, the ways to build, access, train and control it, so that you have it working well and healthily for a long time.

Learning diaphragmatic breathing and breath control, which allows the breath to rise up from the diaphragm, catch your tone and carry it out into the room, as opposed to your pushing it from your throat, will serve you very well. 

Many famous singers like Adele, John Mayer and Keith Urban have had to learn this the hard way. They all experienced problems with strained and damages to their vocal chords after rigorous touring schedules. The attached article explains in detail what happens when singers do not take proper care to get the training and take the steps to care for their voice. Article - Getting Vocal about Voice Care.

To learn more about proper voice care visit: Learn Voice Care & Control

To get help locating a good voice teacher: Contact us

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TRAIN YOUR VOICE WELL BY SINGING THE SCALES

  

Working on scales is an important part of learning how to control your voice. Many singers have told me that they do not believe in singing scales as a warm up to a rehearsal session or even before a performance. 

If you want to keep your voice in good shape, extend your range, learn to manage your breath, have more stability in your voice and more access to a variety of emotions... sing scales that you like and work on them daily. Often, it is with a bit of embarrassment that a singer will admit - "I never thought that doing scales was important for me. I just sing and warm up as I go. Vocal warm ups and exercises - that's really more for classical singers, isn't it?" No, that is not true.

Vocal exercises are a requirement for all vocalists.

What is a Singing Scale?

Scales are a series of notes that go up or down in pitch and have a distinctive, regular pattern. If you sing Mary Had A Little Lamb using just those first four words and you repeat them at different pitch levels (going higher and going lower), you will have an elementary type of singing scale. Most scales are not so melodious. 

What scales should You sing?

The easiest way to discover scales that work for your particular voice is to take a few lessons with a teacher who is trained to work with vocalists. That is, find a respected teacher who is supportive of you and the kind of music you want to sing. They will cover scale work with you, but if they don't, ask her/him to give you some appropriate scales for your voice and your current singing ability. It is of no value for you to be singing scales that are beyond your means at this point. Having said that, I also believe that even the simplest of scales can be a benefit to the most advanced singers. If you cannot or do not want to find a singing teacher in your area, look for someone who teaches on-line with SKYPE or over the phone.

Scales for Everyone - and Scales for Certain Problems

Some scale patterns work for all students because they exercise the entire voice in ways that everyone benefits from, regardless of their ability, age, genre or style. But there are also many scales that can help a singer with specific problems - such as singing high notes, developing vibrato or learning how to keeping the breath steady.

Daily Vocal Exercises Have a Hidden Benefit

Overall, singing scales is an important part of learning about your voice, developing your voice and keeping your voice in good shape. But there is another less obvious benefit to these exercises. When you sing them daily, you are learning how to maintain presence, physical and mental co-ordination and inner awareness. You are also working out the voice as a weight lifter works out the muscles when lifting. Regular practice and repetitive scale work allows you to maintain your skill on stage, performing well, even when you are not in good health or when other conditions are not optimal.

Scales are Fun and Energizing

When you learn scale and do regular scale work, it helps to build confidence and exercises your vocal muscle. It's like you really pay your dues to the musical GODS by doing the real work of developing your voice. You will succeed far better if you practice the scales regularly so that your voice has the opportunity to sing all of the notes in all of the key configurations that you could ever possibly encounter in a song.

YOU WILL BE PREPARED TO SING ANYTHING!

HAPPY SCALES TO YOU!


Spring & Summer Vocal Tips

Posted on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

 

SPRING & SUMMER QUICK TIP #1


HUMMING...AN EASY AND EFFECTIVE WAY
TO KEEP YOUR VOICE IN SHAPE.



With the weather becoming nicer, it is easy to overlook practice time
and to want to get outside and enjoy the spring activities.

It is fine to skip your routine indoor practice time, but you want to
keep your voice in tune.  One easy and quick way to have the best
of both situations it to hum.  Simple isn't it?  Yes...and that's the point.

Singing and practicing doesn't have to be drudgery.  It does require
regular work and time put in to keep your voice in good shape and
to strengthen it.  

Humming scales, doing the hum-slide exercize (humming from the top
to the bottom of your range and then from the bottom to the top) humming
your favorite song, improvised humming are all important ways you can
maintain vocal power, flexibility and control.  

Hum for 5 minutes the first time you begin the process...then a half-hour
or so later, hum for about 10 minutes...take a break and throughout the day,
hum off and on for 5 - 10 minute increments.  Try to build the number of times
you hum throught the day during the week until you can hum 10 - 5 - 10 minute
rounds per day.  

Proper breath support incorporated with the humming is essential.  
Remember to utilize your diaphragm, stay relaxed and you'll find that you have
accomplished the equavilent of you vocal practice time...just not while being
stuck indoors.

Happy Humming!   hhhhhmmmm...

 

 

VOCAL WARM-UPS ~

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (2)

 
  
VOCAL WARM-UP


* stretch and yawn; do whatever you do to help yourself to feel deeply relaxed...

* take a deep breath (from the diaghpragm) and on the exhale say and extended hhhhhmmmmm
     repeat X 10 allowing the lungs to release all of the air.  Collapse your abdomen as you exhale.
* Do a hum-slide up and down your vocal range with "hhhhhmmmmmmmm."

* feel different parts of mouth and nasal area or "Mask/Mid-Range" vibrate with the different sounds:

             MMMM MMMMMMMMMM...                 ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

                            EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...               NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN...

                 VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV...       Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum

* open your mouth , eyes, and face as wide as you can on the last syllable of:

Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula

SILLY PHRASES

* each phrase features different difficult consonant combinations.
Start slow, over-articulating and then increase speed

Red letter, yellow letter~

Good blood, bad blood~

Eleven benevolent elephants~

Teaching ghosts to sing~

The big, black-backed bumblebee~

A critical cricket critic~

Selfish shellfish~

Really rural~

Unique New York~

The tip of the tongue, the lips, the teeth~

To titillate your tastebuds, we've got these tasty tidbits~

COGNATES

* Feel a pulse in your diaphram with the following sounds

unvoiced: PUH PUH PUH PUH PUH PUH PUH PUH

VOICED: BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH

unvoiced: TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH TUH

VOICED: DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH

unvoiced: KUH KUH KUH KUH KUH KUH KUH KUH

VOICED: GUH GUH GUH GUH GUH GUH GUH GUH

TONGUE TWISTER!

* This long tongue twister contains many buzz sounds and difficult
consonant combinations. It is possible to say all in one breath if you
use diaphramatic breathing and carefully control the volume of air
expelled. Articulate every sound!

What a to-do to die today at a minute or two to two,

a thing distinctly hard to say but harder still to do.

for they'll beat a tattoo at a quarter to two:

a rat-ta tat-tat ta tat-tat ta to-to.

and the dragon will come when he hears the drum

at a minute or two to two today, at a minute or two to two

 


Voice Disorders and Voice Therapy

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (2)


TherapeuticVoiceWork encompasses many notions about vocalizing, singing and therapeutic methods for treatment and improving the voice. There are many areas of study with respect to voice therapy and several physiological and neurological voice disorders. However, there are psychological components effecting voice production and they are the focus of this article. Itis helpful to have a basic understanding of how sound is produced bythe vocal chords and other parts of the voice and helpful to have alittle knowledge about various physical disorders and treatments.

Vocal Hygiene

All voice rehabilitation should include the elimination of vocally abusivebehaviors such as throat clearing, habitual yelling or screaming,habitual breath holding, or glottal attack. Inhaled irritants such astobacco and toxic chemicals should be avoided. Gastroesophageal reflux,or chronic heartburn should be controlled. Itis important to not allow yourself to become dehydrated and you shouldfollow proper levels of fluid intake. Medications with drying potentialshould be minimized to optimize laryngeal hydration.

Five Main Categories of Voice Therapy:

Symptomatic voice therapy addresses the identification and elimination of vocallyabusive behaviors through facilitating approaches. These techniques facilitate a target or a more optimal vocal response by the patient.  Examples include auditory feedback, head positioning, laryngeal massage, and relaxation. Disorders of misuse or abuse benefit from this treatment philosophy. Psychogenicvoice therapy addresses the underlying emotional and psychosocialissues that are causing the dysphonia. People suffering from conversion dysphonia would benefit from this approach. Etiological voice therapy focuses on recognition and elimination of the cause(s) of the voice disorder(s). Muscle tension dysphonia may benefit from this approach. Physiologicvoice therapy, a type of biofeedback, involves the use of acoustic and aerodynamic analysis to direct the patient's vocal function back to objectively normative physiologic voice function.


Physiologic voice therapy may be useful on a patient with falsetto. Two alternate classifications of voice therapy techniques -

Direct and Indirect;
Direct techniques focus on voice production and include techniques such as the yawn-sigh method, optimal pitch establishment, and laryngealmanipulation. Indirect techniques focus on reducing the etiologic factor that cause the voice problem and include auditory training and patient education. Through a meta analysis, comprehensive voice therapy was effective in improving vocal performance in adults with Functional Dysphonia.



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