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. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Think You Can't Sing Again? Think Twice

 If we sing long enough, most of us come upon a time where something stops us from singing. It can be an illness, trauma, personal or family priority or other life situation that causes us to set music aside. Then we wake up one morning with that ache of the soul that misses singing. And we think it's too late... too much time has passed, or illness has left us physically incapable of singing again.

If this happens to you... I would urge you to remember what I say today. The choice to sing or not to sing is just that...  a choice. If you want/need to sing bad enough, you can do it in almost all circumstances that leave you still able to speak.

I had an older gentleman in my office yesterday that was recovering from throat cancer and had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from years of smoking. Guess what? He was singing again! He had gained most of his voice back and just needed a little tweaking to help stabilize his control. What helped was his long time habit of standing tall with his head balanced on his spine, like lots of great crooners do. And he is not the first throat cancer survivor I have worked with who gained their voices back.

Got vocal damage? Get medical advice, for sure, but know that with voice rest and corrective training you can recover from vocal nodes or polyps and get your full voice back. Sometimes surgery is employed as remedy of last resort, but most of the time is not needed. Adele proved by her performance at the recent Grammy Awards that you can fully recover from hemorrhaged vocal cords. I myself had damage from an endotracheal tube from which I lost over an octave of range. I fully recovered with vocal training from coach Gerald Arthur, developed more vocal range than ever, was able to continue my session singing and then went on to have my own hit career. That recovery informs my vocal coaching today. One singer, Adley Stump, came to me to deal with vocal strain. I worked with her with vocal lessons and vocal production and she began to sing her powerful style without a problem. She was chosen last week when she performed on "The Voice".

Does this mean you'll win American Idol, The Voice or get signed to a record deal by a major label? No. But what it DOES mean is that if your voice needs to sing again so well that it moves you and whoever is listening to you, it can. And that, in my humble opinion, is the best reason of all to sing.

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  • At March 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM , Blogger Embro Thistle Singers said...

    You are so right Judy. Coming back from any injury or illness is a choice and takes courage and work for sure. Your suggestions are right on.
    Giving people their first chance to sing is also a heart warming experience.
    We have a new member in our choir who saw us perform at a fall fair. He asked if he could come to a practice and try singing in the choir. He had only just sung in the congregation of his church in the past. I told him if he was willing to learn, we would love to have him. He was clear that if I felt he couldn't come up to the mark, to please tell him.
    He has been a great addition to our bass section and we have done a couple of early sessions working on voice placement and posture etc. He adds that stabilizing effect to our bass line.
    After his first concert, he was ecstatic. He loved the experience and his second just last week was equally as exciting as he shared with me. He is so happy to be learning how the written music works and that he can use his voice to make sounds that matter. What a treat to experience it with him.

  • At March 15, 2012 at 3:07 AM , Blogger Judy Rodman said...

    Thank you, Embro TS, very interesting that you've seen the same thing. Yes, it is quite heady to experience the reawakening of the voice... in ourselves or others. LOVE IT!


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