Vocal nodules are not a death sentence for the voice!

It’s Sunday and I am exhausted from working on my old, but charming Victorian fixer-upper home! Whew! I hope you are all well and hydrating well in this heat! I received a distressing call from a former student, explaining she had contracted nodules on her vocal chords! Vocal nodules are not a death sentence for […]

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Breathe, breathe, and breathe again

In my continued teaching, I find repeated problems, most owing to a lack of breath consistency. Nerves, emotional pushing, unreleased body tension…if only we could remember to breathe, breathe, and breathe again! Actors are so concerned about not being in their heads that they forget they can “check in” and still take a second to […]

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Value your words!

Move your words fully into the space you are in and into the person or persons you are with-don’t speak to just purge your thoughts. Give value to every single word in your thought, not just the most operative. Remember everything you say is important and the world wants to truly receive all your words, […]

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How do I work consistently on keeping my voice strong?


How do I work consistently on keeping my voice strong? Finding time to do vocal and physical warm ups is often a challenge. A week can go by and you may realize you didn’t achieve your goal of working in some focused way with strengthening your vocal instrument. I admit setting weekly goals and sticking […]

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Prepare for allergy season!

Carol gave me my heart!

As we approach, or better yet, are in the middle of allergy season, do pay close attention to the early signs of vocal or breathing distress: more post nasal drip than usual, tightening of the chest, sinus congestion, headaches, and fatigue. I tend to suffer from all of these problems at least once a year […]

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happy spring?


(Kelli Holsopple as Electra and Page Clements as Clytemnestra-Photo credit: Gerry Goodstein) As my show winds down to a close tomorrow, I am reminded of just how thankful I am for this career path and all that it brings to my life! Playing the self absorbed Queen of Mycenae, spewing out rage and bitterness to […]

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How to scream without hurting the voice or throat

The age-old question-how to scream and not hurt your throat or lose your voice?  The quick answer I give to my students is always to breathe through it.  This isn’t so easy to do and certainly difficult when in a heightened state.  One doesn’t want to be thinking of our technical work when performing.  We must use our core breathing muscles to support the scream with breath, not our throat. The answer is to learn how to do it in the classroom or from a coach and practice it like crazy.  Use your breath and core muscles, not the throat!

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Fear of Speaking in Public

I am always bowled over by how many students share their fears re: their voice. Not a new subject to me, I quickly respond to each with a similar story. It never ceases to amaze me how emotional I become every time I share it. Many, many years ago, I experienced a traumatic experience with my voice and it still lives in me to this day. I had a teacher who paraded me in front of a large master class of music majors and described my voice as what no one would ever want. Of course, the second I realized what was happening I choked and could not produce a note. I will never forget that day or the lasting effect it has had on my performances requiring a song.

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Well, here’s a topic!  Who doesn’t have tension?  As we age, more and more establishes itself throughout our body and mind.  We work to release it through exercise, meditation, relaxing, etc., but what about the effect it has on the voice?  The more I teach, the more I see that focusing on relaxing the throat and jaw area, the more we can drop our sound down in the body and produce a bigger sound and clearer words.  Grabbing for breath in the high chest and back (around the clavicle bones and thoracic area) doesn’t serve our purpose.  We want the thought to carry and mean something for the listener.  So next time you feel tension taking over your voice, stop, take a deep breath and use it on the sound.  Don’t just dump it out and then talk.  Breath is the fuel.  Make your vowels more open and value words-don’t just spew them out to get them out!

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