For the majority of my life I have been vocally frustrated and considered a singing failure.
I was a very active singer from elementary school through high school and considered vocally “talented”. Because of my love for singing, I went on to pursue a career in music education.
That is when I started to feel like I was broken and there was something wrong with ME.
A once confident performer lost the joy that singing once held.
My teachers explained how they wanted my sound to change by talking about things like “placement”, “opening”, “low breath” and “height”. Although they meant well, my interpretation of these things was never what they were trying to convey. As a result, I did not progress like so many other college vocal majors. I could not make the sounds that THEY were making. I was actually held back a semester because I had a vocal fold hemorrhage (a bleed on one of my vocal folds) as the result of over practicing incorrect movements.
I was frustrated. I was upset. I started to hate singing.
I became a high school music teacher and things got even worse. I even got a masters in music education, took voice lessons and I still continued to struggle vocally. When I went through a painful marriage and subsequently agonizing divorce, I developed MTD (muscular tension dysphonia) as well as vocal nodules.
That was when I found a speech language pathologist who specialized in professional voice users. She taught me in a different way that focused on the anatomy and function of the different parts of the body. In addition, I found some other teachers who really understood the voice at the scientific level and could teach me how to make organic and natural sounds that I had never made before. In my own practice, I experimented with different exercises to develop more awareness of the multi-faceted factory we call the voice.
I went on to become a speech-language pathologist myself and worked with singers of all ages to help them OWN their voices.
OWNING your voice takes more than understanding the body. One has to develop a mindset towards that voice that will help one progress in his/her journey. With both openness to new perceptions and experiments, self-trust and positive thoughts, I know everyone can feel more control in their vocal actions.
Visit my studio website at SAUNDERS MUSIC STUDIO