Friday, January 27, 2012

Vocal Health Basics- How to Care for Your Voice

How to Properly Care for Your Voice
While there is no doubt that singing in front of a funk band requires practice and stamina, vocalists who sing for hours at a time with no amplification, over a full orchestra in a packed house holding 4,000 people, place even greater demands on their voices. Enter the opera singer and those who train them, such as Dr. Lynelle Wiens, Professor of Voice at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA.
Dr. Wiens is a former faculty member at the Symposium on the Care of the Professional Voice in Philadelphia, and at the Pacific Voice Conference in San Francisco. She was also a recipient of the prestigious “Van L. Lawrence Fellowship” that is awarded jointly by the Voice Foundation and National Association of Teachers of Singing in order to foster interdisciplinary education among laryngologists, voice scientists, singing teachers, and speech pathologists. Dr. Wiens has taught aspiring classical singers for more than thirty-three years and offers a number of simple, common sense tips that can help any singer to reduce the risks to their voice.
Like any other musical instrument, the voice needs proper care in order to be ready when called upon to perform. Wiens counseled, “In order to function properly, the voice needs to be well lubricated. The effects of alcohol, cigarette smoke, marijuana, and other drugs cause dryness of the vocal instrument and can lead to vocal fold edema and inflammation.”
Wiens advises that “It’s essential to drink lots of water before, during, and after performances. It’s also very important to get plenty of rest and exercise and eat properly between performances. To the extent that is possible, try to avoid noisy places where you will have to shout to be heard.” For example, trying to be heard above the sound levels backstage during an opening act or in a typical van traveling for hours on the freeway come to mind as situations that might lead to further strain on one’s voice.
Dr. Wiens cautions that “throat clearing, yelling or screaming, singing too loudly for an extended period of time, singing a song that is pitched too high or too low, or putting too much pressure on your voice, all increase the strain on it. If it hurts, you’re doing something wrong. Listen to what your voice is telling you.”
Over-singing on stage, especially when the monitor situation is not optimal, is another potential cause of vocal strain. Especially for musicians on tour, Wiens counsels, “You have to prioritize what you absolutely need your voice for and then make the best decisions to protect it.” So if you are out on tour and have been nursing a sore throat, maybe the band’s guitar player can give the interview and appear at the local record store for autographs while you stay back at the hotel to rest your voice for that night’s show. Wiens added, “Taking care of your body and learning to manage your physical and emotional stress are also key factors in maintaining good vocal health. Perhaps the best preventive care is good training. Finding a good coach is the best thing you can do for yourself.”
Dr. Wiens advises that a singer should seek a professional if they have a concern about their own vocal health. “If there is a sudden change in your voice from what is normal, or if you experience persistent hoarseness and/or vocal fatigue for more than two weeks, I would suggest you see an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) who is experienced in caring for singers. Be sure to ask for a strobovideolaryngoscopic examination in order to get the most thorough assessment of the health of your voice.”
If there has been damage, a singer should ideally be treated by a team of professionals that may include an ENT doctor, a voice teacher/vocal coach that can help a singer avoid any techniques that may exacerbate problems, and if appropriate, a speech pathologist who can assist with proper rehabilitation of the voice.
“The voice is a delicate mechanism,” Wiens concludes, “so it makes sense to take preventive measures in order to help ensure a long and productive singing career.”

Hope this was helpful.

six #1 & 11 top 10 Billboard hits. 10 Aria Club chart hits

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Australia tour 2012... so far

     So, I'm STILL in Australia; gigging on the weekends.
On New Year's Eve, I gigged at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Needless to say, it was awesome. The lobby was transformed into a Nightclub dressed in Gold, as was I!
     On New Year's Day, I had THREE shows! I flew from the Gold Coast to Sydney where I gigged at DayWash at 5pm, then the Cruise Bar  for Get Together at 7pm, and finally, I flew back to my home-base, (Melbourne), and gigged at Trak for Rogue's recovery party by 11:30pm. WHEW!
     I co-hosted a party for a radio station here in Melbourne for a new radio show called HER SOCIETY.. created and presented by my friends, Ginni & Natalie. We had a major blast. The place was packed, the entertainment was great, and I met some fun people.
     I've been eating like a queen while here. My Aussie brother, Dave, cooks his butt off  so eating at home in Melbourne is like being at a 5 star restaurant.
I DID dine in some actual 5 star restaurants. I Posted a few pics of Dave's food, and of the restaurants food.
You can also see the kitchen area at the apartment along with Pictures of Dave, Murray and Ashleigh.
Get an inside view right here! ( More to come)

Chat soon!
Thanks for reading!

six #1 & 11 top 10 Billboard hits. 10 Aria Club chart hits

Monday, January 9, 2012

SHINE by Me.. coming soon in 2012

Happy New Year!
     Figure I'll start the year off with some new sounds for your earholes.
It's just my voice and guitar on this one.
     Recorded this a while ago in Germany. I think I'll release it some time this year.
     It's from the perspective of a person who's determined to succeed in spite if what's said or done to her/him. I think you'll dig it.
Have a listen.


Get some of my other releases here: