Jan 01 2013

Celebrating 10 Years of VocalWisdom

Happy New Year to everyone! I recently realized that 2012 marked the 10 year anniversary of VocalWisdom.com. So better late than never, right?

It is hard to believe that it has been over 10 years since I started writing about the voice. I started VocalWisdom.com not long after I moved to New York to study with David Jones.

At that time, although I was essentially starting over with my voice, I had ten years of experience exploring and researching vocal issues. So I had a pretty good idea of what I was after. I just hadn’t been able to put things together quite right. (I always said I knew what I didn’t know.)

A big part of our process isn’t just learning correct concepts and applying them, but figuring out what imbalances and obstructions exist in our instrument and our habitual use of it.

That was the reason I went to work with David. It is pretty normal to think we are the product of our teacher, when it comes to being a singer. But what I have found is we are really a product of our own efforts, and the teacher is a valuable guide in the process.

At the time I knew what I was looking for. And I felt David was the one teacher I had found that had the information I was looking for and the understanding to help me sort it out. Perhaps that is a less common perspective. But that was how it was for me.

I think that is how some people may not make very much progress even with a good teacher. And how others can make progress with mediocre teaching. It is what we do with the information that matters. Yes, of course good information is going to be better than poor info. But if we apply it wrongly we make it a moot point.

You can see on my first articles that I wrote a copyright date of 2002. I’ve learned a lot since then and improved my vocal concepts and diagnostic skills. But it is interesting to read those early articles now, 10 years later, and see how well they still hold up. There isn’t much I would change.

Reflecting back on these 10 years I am proud that VocalWisdom.com has survived and been a source of inspiration for many. I’ve had the honor of meeting so many people from all around the world (mostly virtually) and felt the satisfaction of being able to help them better understand their voice.

This celebration of 10 years also coincides with a maturing of the blog. The interest in VocalWisdom.com has continued to grow over the years and I have reached the point now where the amount of email I receive is beyond what I can answer. At least with as many words as in the past. So I have had to limit my responses to individual questions to quick, basic answers.

Because this is more than just my passion, it is also my business, I have been thinking about ways I can grow and take VocalWisdom.com to the next level of providing value. A big part of that is finding a way to continue to answer all of the questions that people who find the website have.

I think one of the unique aspects of this site is the information and the explanations of how the voice works and how to better understand it. One new offering is something I have been planning on doing for quite some time, I will be starting to provide videos to explain and demonstrate the concepts I have written about.

These will be concise and to the point. They will be free to view on my YouTube channel, which is easily accessible using the link along the left side of the page. Once there you can subscribe to be notified when there is something new posted.

For more in-depth instruction I am creating a big, new project. I have long wished I could reach more people that need the information I can provide but are not able to meet with me live in person or online. The first option I came up with was the recorded video consultations. They were inexpensive and because they are recorded, getting schedules to match up is not a problem.

But to keep them affordable, because they are created individually, they must be short. And this limits the amount of learning that is possible.

Considering that much of what needs to be learned is the same information for each person (only the application of the information is individual), I have been developing an instructional program that is video based and organized much like a Voice Class.

I have named this program the VocalWisdom Virtual Voice Class. It will be located at a companion website, VocalWisdom.tv. Right now if you go to that site you can sign up to be notified when the program opens.

The key thing for all of us is to make continual improvement. That has been my main focus all along. But in order to do that you must be headed in the correct direction. And the direction you are headed is determined by the information you are operating from.

Make sure you have accurate information about how the voice works so the technique you are trying to build is actually in line with the nature of our physiology.

I am constantly assessing if I am operating from accurate concepts. And this keeps me continually improving. Let me help you learn to understand your voice, and make 2013 the year you redefine your voice.

  1. Congratulations!

    I love reading your website and I am too, always learning by concepts and facts and try to impart that to my students. I also continue to grow and learn and being an active teacher/student makes a teacher much better!

    Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the great work!


  2. Nancy Townsend

    Congratulations, Michael, on this ten-year milestone! Your blog has been invaluable to me. Thank you!

  3. You can bet that I signed up for updates! Congratulations on ten years of sharing your knowledge with the online world.

  4. Tom Langley

    Congrats. Looking forward to seeing some examples from you on your Utube channel.

  5. Chris Byrne

    Congratulations from me also, Michael! Apologies for being incognito. I have had a huge couple of months since moving to Toronto. It turns out that my vocal problems are a result of whiplash I sustained 9 years ago that caused the vertebrae in my neck to rotate and push my larynx crooked. Unfortunately, the fact that it has been so long since the original injury means that I have had to do an awful lot of rehab and re-adjustments to the cervical spine. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I’m looking forward to having a throat free of swelling soon!

  6. Just letting my message of congrats – this blog made me listen to singers differently – and it also helps me discover my voice (I’d saying I’m still exploring it, but I have made a huge progress – and this blog has its part in this discovery).

  7. Thank you, Evandro. I realize that sometimes I overlook the fact that what I have presented actually does make a significant difference for some. It would be good for me to remember that.

  8. Hi Michael
    You are so right when you say that when seeking a vocal coach you ‘knew what I was looking for. And I felt David was the one teacher I had found that had the information I was looking for and the understanding to help me sort it out.’ That is exactly my perspective.

    Some of us are lucky if we only meet a handful of mentors in our lives who we feel intuitively just ‘get it’ – I have met three, my last vocal coach (before he moved across the country), my local personal trainer/exercise guru (before he moved across the country too!) and yourself (and let’s face it, you’re on the other side of the world to me).

    So thanks for sharing with us all.

  9. Well I haven’t met you yet but I feel like I know where you’re coming from!

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