A couple of years ago I posted about my vocal journey, it has now been 12 years since my vocal surgery. Since that time, so much has happened. But I do have a vocal journey update from something that started happening last fall.
After completing my first show in two and a half years (due to you-know-what), I noticed some fatigue and difficulty in my upper vocal range. During my bi-weekly voice lessons with the incredible Kristen Ruiz at Sonaura, we tried several different methods of working through this area with ease, but we both decided the best course of action would be to get some eyes on it (or get scoped). I was due for my annual check-up anyway, so this seemed like the perfect time.
My otolaryngologist since 2005 recently relocated so I went back to where it all started – Philadelphia, Ear, Nose, and Throat to visit with Dr. Lyons and to see what was going on. I was told that it looks like my thyroplasty had shifted (what?! I didn’t know this was possible) and that, along with light fatigue, is why I was having trouble phonating because the way I had been singing was no longer successful.
Thus began my six month vocal reset and the creation of the rest of my vocal care team: bi-weekly sessions with Phillip Doucette, a singing therapist and continuing my bi-weekly lessons with Kristen to focus solely on technique and finding my new vocal path. Eventually, I also revisited speech therapy with Michelle Harmon because why not work the full instrument?
Highlights from my personal journey during this time:
- Don’t think about not taking a breath, think about opening the mouth and letting the breath just happen.
- Tongue tension is usually the problem 99% of the time.
- By giving myself permission to focus on the long term benefits instead of short bursts of necessity, this allowed me to appreciate my voice even more.
I got the all clear from the doctor to be able to go back to my full vocal load and I’m singing better than ever. I have no issues with my upper range and am just allowing myself to SING OUT.
You know your voice better than anyone. If something feels wrong, seek help. And never stop learning – we are never a finished product.