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Allergies & Vocal Problems

Latest News Jun 01, 2014 Comments Off on Allergies & Vocal Problems

Allergies & Vocal Problems

Have you had that nasty post nasal drip that won’t go away? I just participated in a workshop with Dr. Reena Gupta at Pepperdine and one of the main focuses was vocal health. She explained that this has been our worst year for allergies, pollution and dust. Because of this, our bodies constantly try to produce mucous to clear out the gunk. Also, if you are not using a nasal rinse to regularly clear out the dirt and grime, then you set yourself up for irritation, swollen membranes in and around your cords and bacterial infections.

She recommends that everyone gargle at least once a day and rinse your nasal passages at least once a day. A simple saline solution as a nasal rinse will work. Alkolol is also a great alternative.
Gargling with hydrogen peroxide or Scope is also a great routine to incorporate daily.

As simple as this sounds, you will be amazed at the results. The issues with sore throats, sinus infections, swollen cords and coughs will begin to clear up and make your life much more enjoyable as a singer. And then there is water. You can’t get enough. Make sure to have this with you at all times.

Dangers Of Fake Pot

Latest News May 01, 2014 Comments Off on Dangers Of Fake Pot

Check out this amazing article on the dangers of Fake Pot by Dr. Reena Gupta.

Is Your Job Killing Your Voice?

Latest News Mar 31, 2014 Comments Off on Is Your Job Killing Your Voice?

Read This Article To Find Out How Your Job May Be Killing Your Voice

NATS Symposium

Latest News Feb 02, 2014 Comments Off on NATS Symposium


Singers Making A Living

Latest News Jan 01, 2014 Comments Off on Singers Making A Living

An Incredible Article On Singers Making A Living

Vowels-The Soul Of The Voice

Latest News Dec 01, 2013 Comments Off on Vowels-The Soul Of The Voice

Our blog post today comes from Guy Babusek,  Director of PR and Master Teacher of the IVA Technique:

Today I’ll be discussing how vowels work to smooth out the bridges of the voice.

My first 8 years of vocal training was with a teacher who specialized in the “Caesari Method.”  While I don’t agree with everything Caesari has ever written, there is much wisdom in his writings.  One of the “mantras” I heard over and over again in those first years of my vocal training is that “the vowel is the soul of the voice.”  This is an interesting concept.  In any style of music, singers desire to be understood.  But in addition to having the lyrics be intelligible, the idea of singing with pure vowels means that the sound itself will be produced in a more efficient manner.  When I say “pure” vowels I simply mean that they are produced in an “unassisted” manner.  If we try to help the vowel making process we can too easily sacrifice the integrity of our tone.

Often times when a singer is having trouble navigating through the passaggi, or bridges of their voice, a sensitive teacher can hear that the vowel being sung is not pure, or that the singer is trying to do something physically to “create” the vowel.  What the student requires most often in these cases is to be guided to mentally hear the vowel they want to sing, and then to allow that vowel to be sung, rather than trying to intentionally adjust the musculature of the tongue, jaw, soft palate, etc.  The muscles responsible for creating the vowel properly can work magnificently when they are allowed to function involuntarily.  Being aware of the vowels being sung can sometimes be the missing link to achieving the much coveted “mixed voice.”  A key component in smoothing out the bridges of the voice that is often forgotten, is the training of our minds to hear the vowel we want to sing very clearly and then let the voice sing.  Another way to articulate this concept is that singing often requires more thinking and less doing.

Credit: This article posted from


A Letter From Allison

Latest News Nov 01, 2013 Comments Off on A Letter From Allison

A Letter From A Student

I received an email from a former sightsinging student. It really makes what I do worthwhile to hear this. I would like to share it with you.

“Hi Gerald! I’ve been meaning to write you for the past few weeks- to thank you for the sight reading training I’ve received from you thus far. It turned out to be extremely beneficial during my High Holy Day choir job at Sinai Temple this past September. Our eight person choir was given seven FAT binders of music, and had basically three weeks to learn- and perform- all of it. Needless to say, the ability to sight read was paramount. And I noticed that, when I tried to fall back on my old habits (e.g. expecting to just “hear” my part/learn it by ear), I usually didn’t stand a chance. There was simply too much material in-hand to make that work. But when I applied simple techniques- e.g. determining the key, the interval, and/or what relation to the tonic my next note had, I was saved! I’m now amidst learning 108 complicated Christmas Carol arrangements, and once again- applying sight reading technique is key. I’m definitely far from perfect- and would most certainly still buckle if someone gave me a score to read cold- on the spot. But I’m certainly getting better. So thank you!”


Latest News Oct 14, 2013 Comments Off on EQ-101

How many of you perform live shows and get frustrated with the sound system and whoever is running it? Do you wish you knew some very basics which would help put your in charge of your own outcome. I would like to share an article from Shedlightevents. It’s a great website for singers and here you will see an example of great insight for singer issues.


10 Tips To Save Your Voice

Latest News Sep 01, 2013 Comments Off on 10 Tips To Save Your Voice

Some 7 million Americans have some type of voice disorder, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
Hogikyan and colleagues have put together the following 10 tips to help keep your voice in shape:

Written By: Norman Hogikyan and colleagues at the University of Michigan

1. Drink water to keep your body well hydrated, and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Your vocal cords vibrate very fast, and having a proper water balance helps keep them lubricated. Important note: Foods containing large amounts of water are excellent hydration-conscious snacks, including apples, pears, watermelon, peaches, melons, grapes, plums, bell peppers and applesauce.
2. Allow yourself several “vocal naps” every day, especially during periods of extended use. For instance, teachers should avoid speaking during the breaks between classes and find quiet ways to spend the lunch hour rather than talking in a noisy staff room with colleagues.
3. Don’t smoke, or if you already do, quit. Smoking raises the risk of throat cancer tremendously, and inhaling smoke (even secondhand smoke) can irritate the vocal cords.
4. Don’t abuse or misuse your voice. Avoid yelling or screaming, and try not to talk loudly in noisy areas. If your throat feels dry or tired, or your voice is getting hoarse, reduce your voice use. The hoarseness is a warning sign that your vocal cords are irritated.
5. Keep your throat and neck muscles relaxed even when singing high notes and low notes. Some singers tilt their heads up when singing high notes and down when singing low notes. “The high notes are on the ceiling and the low notes are on the floor,” Rosenberg says. “Over time, you’ll pay for that”—not just with strained vocal muscles but also by causing future limits on the vocal range.
6. Pay attention to how you speak every day. Even performers who have good singing habits can cause damage when they speak. Many skilled singers don’t continue their healthy habits when they speak; indeed, says Herseth, “many people—including singers—should have much more breath flow when they speak.”
7. Don’t clear your throat too often. When you clear your throat, it’s like slamming your vocal cords together. Doing it too much can injure them and make you hoarse. Try a sip of water or swallow to quench the urge to clear. If you feel like you have to clear your throat a lot, get checked by a doctor for such things as acid reflux disease, or allergy and sinus conditions.
8. When you’re sick, spare your voice. Don’t talk when you’re hoarse due to a cold or infection. Listen to what your voice is telling you.
9. When you have to speak publicly, to large groups or outdoors, think about using amplification to avoid straining your voice.
10. Humidify your home and work areas. Remember, moist is good for the voice.

The Training Never Ends

Latest News Aug 01, 2013 Comments Off on The Training Never Ends

I drove to Vegas several days ago to see my voice teacher. A trip that is always worth the time away and the money involved. I consider it my gift to my health and future. During the lesson, my teacher pulled out a piece of music and had me read it. I always stop and take a breathe when that happens. No matter how long I’ve done this, it still puts a sinking feeling in my gut to think about it.

It reminds me that the training and practice never ends. In fact, as we age it requires more. No matter if it’s a voice lesson or reading through music and working on intervals. Just to maintain we have to continue the process and be diligent about keeping up.