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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Voice's Gratitude List

It's really a LOT longer ... 
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As Thanksgiving approaches this year, I am reminded of a thousand blessings that keep me in a state of gratitude. In keeping with All Things Vocal, here's a sampling of what's on my voice's gratitude list:

  • Knowing that vocal damage can completely heal 

I know this from personal experience, and as vocal coach that experience has helped me help others. But now we have a fresh example, as Adele rockets back to the studio and stage with her biggest success yet the album '25' with breakout single "Hello". She reports in a recent interview that she - after healing from vocal hemorrhage and polyp, requiring actual vocal surgery - can now sing higher and lower than ever before!

  • Not having grown up with auto tune

I had to learn how to be precise from sheer technique... and now it helps me teach others vocal control.

  • Conversations with other curious vocal coaches

I have had fantastic conversations, in person and online with coaches including Jeffrey Allen, Jeannie Deva, Jamie Vendera, Robert Lunte, Lisa Popeil, Joana Cazden, Richard Fink IV and many others. We may not see things the same way, but the conversations have all made me a better and more confident teacher. Pete Mickelson and Ray Miller talked me into trying my first pair of 'HearFones'. Mr. Allen granted me permission to use his hook shaped voice path in my teaching, and Ms Cazden suggested improvements to my vocal health document. I love sharing information as a member of NATS, or National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the Modern Vocalist World. I'm truly grateful when a teacher or other voice expert comments on a subject I cover in this blog.

  • Great voices and music creators

Without the inspiration of incredibly talented singers, writers and musicians, my voice would be just a collection of various noises. My singing and speaking are influenced by decades of other voices, from multiple genres and eras of music. 

  • My vocal coach, Gerald Arthur 

When I moved to Nashville, I found that Gerald was the coach for the top studio session singers I worked with. I got in to see him, and he fit me into one of his 8:30am 1/2 hour spots, which helped get singers ready for 10am sessions. The first thing he told me was to stop 'guarding'. Many of you have received that instruction from me; well that's where it came from. Gerald not only helped me get my damaged voice back and then some, he also taught me how to teach. He showed me that the voice is a deep part of the psyche, and that a vocal coach often becomes part counselor or life coach. I can't imagine teaching someone without loving and caring about them. Gerald gave me that blueprint.

  • The gift of insight and intuition.

I'm just not that smart. But I know that if we are open, useful wisdom is somehow channeled to all of us us from the ultimate source of all wisdom. I'm so grateful to God for taking all I've done in my career, adding other illumination and creating in me the ability to teaching voice. I had no idea how fulfilling it would be for me to help nurture other voices. Now it blows my mind.

  • Every vocal student I've ever had 

...especially the ones with toughest, peskiest problems. Your patience and your dedication to your training has led to breakthroughs and of course, to solutions for the next student who comes in with that issue. I love you for trusting me with your precious voices!

  •  My husband John 

John makes people feel welcome in our house, enjoying a chat as they wait in the living room for me to finish up with a lesson. He also helps me to remember to power down at the end of the day, and gives me a great reason to:)  Also, John chose to join with me to create and perform our new album "Here We Are". There aren't enough words for what that album means to us both!

  • Listeners

My poor mother STILL listens to me when I tell her my dreams. My sweet brother, husband and son STILL listens to me sing. Thank goodness people not only have voices, but also ears! I'm so grateful for everyone who has ever come to one of my shows or presentation. I love listening to you, too, especially as your voices bloom freely open. If no one is there, how can a gift be given?

  • Friendship, trust and support

My first vocal training office was in my brother's house, the second in the basement of my friend, singer Jennifer O'Brien. They welcomed my vocal students into their homes. I began creating my first Power, Path & Performance course at the request of producer/friend Dick McVey, who suggested I create and record some vocal exercises for people. Now PCG artist development company founder and friend Bernard Porter has commissioned a video course that will be published by his company. People like this have driven me to do things I'd never have otherwise done. The support of my close community of family and friends is priceless to all parts of me... including my voice. 

  • Pineapple juice

I had no idea when I poured a little can of pineapple juice into that 13 oz glass of water that it would go on to be my best recommendation for dry or irritated throats! I rarely leave home to sing without it. Oh... and coffee. Without my morning Folgers, my voice would still be staring at the alphabet rather than stringing it together into sentences:)

  • The transpose button

Thank you, thank you thank you, whoever invented the transpose button on my keyboard! That way my students and I can sing in the key of B, but I can play it in Bb or C!

  • YOU

I am very grateful for you, dear reader and supporter of 'All Things Vocal'. You are the reason I do this. If you have a suggestion for this blog or podcast to make it of more value to you please let me know.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving... 
thanks for letting me be a part of your vocal village - xo Judy

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