Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Case Studies: Applying Power, Path & Performance Vocal Training

The value of any vocal training is in the gain of vocal ability and the resolution of vocal problems as a result of the lessons. I thought I’d give a few case studies of the three-pronged synergy of Power, Path and Performance vocal training. There are many unique variations of each case, of course, because every singer brings unique challenges to training. But here are three common examples I see:

Case 1: Bad Breath
I had a middle aged speaker and singer come in with a very tight voice. As I watched him in my initial assessment, I saw the same thing whether he was singing or speaking... a frozen, guarded posture. This was creating a chronic rib-tightening condition causing him to have trouble getting enough breath to use his voice, and vocal strain when he did. When I corrected his stance, his breath came easy and he noticed a distinct lessening of vocal strain. Correcting his breath had the synergistic effect of correcting the other two cornerstones of Power, Path & Performance...
  • Path through Open throat: His throat opened and the muscles along the throat channel relaxed so they could move and adjust properly as he sang and spoke.
  • Performance : He had a much more pleasant resonance to his voice, and the lack of strain helped him connect to the object of his conversation.
Case 2: Tight Throat

There are myriads of reasons for a vocalist to habitually send the voice down a tight throat path. A newly signed artist was sent to my by his management because he was experiencing vocal strain and quick fatigue when he performed. The sound of his voice told me his throat was tight. I was able to correct his voice path, sending his voice through an open throat instead of a tight one, by changing his posture and facial expression, which instantly de-stressed his voice. The synergistic effect corrected the other two PPP cornerstones as follows:
  • Breath: His changed posture gave him much more breath control, keeping vocally straining pressure off his cords even while his richer open-throat resonance gave him plenty of volume and passion.
  • Performance: Not worrying about his throat enabled him to fully commit to his song.
Cast 3: Numb Performance

A vocalist coming in for training usually is seeking a better performance. A typical case was a young girl whose producer sent her in because her vocals lacked 'feeling'. I was able to use some acting technique to teach her how to focus her mind on authentically communicating a message. Doing that resulted in these corrections to the other two PPP cornerstones...
  • Breath: Changing her mental state resulted in instant changes in posture and in the tightness and flexibility of her ribcage. This immediately helped give her more breath, and more breath control.
  • Path through Open Throat: The changed posture and increased facial expression opened her throat and gave her a much more pleasing vocal tone and increased her vocal range so her high notes were no longer strained.
These case studies are examples of what Power, Path & Performance vocal training can do. It's a holistic approach to freeing the physical and emotional voice.

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