Lecture at Pan-European Voice Conference PEVoC14 25th August 2022

Here the brief lecture of the first day, a small part is muted to respect the Conference only destined content but they are just few seconds. Does posture relate to voice? Yes but the how is the conundrum and I am opening since some years a path toward a rationale unifying all the practices with what science and research says about the subject and how to implement it in vocal practices for vocal health, voice development and training, career and artistic research and achievements, for amateurs. For confidentiality reasons the two one hour long workshops will not be published but I will publish some practices and exercises. At the end in the video you find my notes, this is just a path toward a model of voice including the interrelations of overall body (big box) on vocal system (small box into the big box). It does not pretend to be complete or correct in all its sides, just a useful work model that has helped in more than ten years my practice and students and general population and voice teachers and singers and that has a solid scientific background and confirmation. Enjoy.

JOINTS AND VOICE: DOES VOICE PRODUCTION REACTS TO JOINTS DYSFUNCTIONALITY FAR FROM VOCAL TRACT? SOME CASES AND AN HYPOTHESIS
Copyright all rights reserved Lucia Cossu
Vocal system is into the body and into specific segments of the body, it uses muscles and structures having multiple functions, you know better than me probably on those, today we focus on the respiratory and vocal and postural functions with a joint to joint approach, and the questions are HOW THEY correlate in PRECISE terms? In here I would open a path, I hope, to more sophisticated thoughts and directions of researching and getting specific in WHAT HOW WHY WHEN of those correlations, and IF as an effect on the vocal system or a direct contribution SO to be the vocal system thought in a less narrow way (I know it is more precise the more restricted a system is, but if we get specific we can expand). I think of it as a big box and a smaller box, being the smaller the vocal one, the smaller is into the bigger, they are independent in some ways, share some parts and even something more tricky as the cervical segment, as we will see what this can mean in the joint by joint approach.
(I anticipate that I look at posture and overall all body as the environment in which the vocal system can operate and develop, we know it happens also the other way around, but I remain focused on this direction in here).

From static alignment and managing the breath air to compensate for a not naturally gifted voice to a dynamic alignment and an hypothesis on how asymmetries, defensive stiffnesses and joints dysfunctionality or underdevelopement can be directly worked and change directly voice production. Many methods exist to help body connection, relaxation of defensive veto, help alignement. They are useful and sometimes fundamental, what lacks is a systematic and rationale on the precise mechanism related to voice production, and if there is one. This is a presentation with some examples of work on Sacroiliac joint and transversus abdominis, examples that present a discontinuity in voice production, some with medical control of it and a couple with the level of performance achieved. I make an hypothesis of this specific relation using the joint by joint approach of M. Boyle and G. Cook, the functional findings on SI joint of G. Cook and B. Contreras, some insights from C. Weingroff and the fascia system as a suggestion of a worth field to research. I use their work because in physical therapies and athletes training the literature and research is vast and rich; the body is one and the biological rules and muscles kinetics do not change, then the joint by joint approach can give insight on how joints are reciprocally related. The defensive system will be presented as a blocking and braking system, sometimes a veto system and sometimes a decelarating and expressive system, and it is presented with an hypothesis of its muscular structure and gestures with strategies to manage it with positions and exercises. C. Weingroff says citing Dostal, Soderberg and Andrews ‘the hip musculature changes dramatically through various range of motion and some muscles can reverse their function depending on the positioning’, so no surprise that if a muscle reverse role in the SI tract the expiratories will be affected and they will affect the diaphagm etc.
Here some links for a general view of the examples, in the presentation clips not publicly disclosed of the exercises will be presented.
https://youtube.be/CLcL_buf9tc
https://luciacossu.com/2016/09/13/cos…
https:/youtu.be/OUH9sXqKjRw

Lucia Cossu Voice teacher online/in person
Rue Charles Morren 9 – 4000 Liège BELGIUM
TVA: BE0723776188
Mail: cossuvoiceteacher@gmail.com

Breath exercise: unblock lungs and vocal tract

Thoracic segment and vocal tract can present some blocks into a fundamental function for singers.
This is an exercise that can unblock a physiological movement, used more consistently it helps developing the high sternum preaching of many (from Tetrazzini to Seth Riggs and many others).
You can do it then forget about while singing or use it and sing with it.
Try it and if you want you can ask about in my Thursday ask me session in my stories.
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The Cossu method is a way to manipulate directly voice production from the body and not just from vocal tract and air. It is an amazing and at today new tool to obtain a voice in difficult objectives situations and conditions. It has had results confirmed by voice production and abilities, careers with a clear discontinuity from before it, confirmed in medical objectives exams and cases.
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. I am a voice teacher specialised in technique and solutions for professional singers and future professionals. I use italian Belcanto and Cossu method, a way to manipulate directly voice production from the body and not just from vocal tract and air. It is an amazing and at today new tool to obtain a voice in difficult objectives situations and conditions. It has had results confirmed by voice production and abilities, careers with a clear discontinuity from before it, confirmed in medical objectives exams and cases. I come from a soloist career in classical music interrupted by a long septicaemia.
I had results also in vocal issues of organic and functional origin under medical control, called by their doctors or speech therapists, here some of them https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program

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healthyvoice #vocalcoaching #breathforsingers #voicetools #functionalvoice #functionalbelcanto #functionalitalianbelcanto #cossumethod #improveyourvoice #vocalfolds #breathexercises #breathexercise #voicecoach #breathmanagement #breath #vocaltips #voiceteacher #voiceproduction #onlinecoaching #voiceonline #freeyourvoice #vocalcoach #voicecoaching #voicecoaches

Vocal technique: relaxation, not a good idea to train only in relaxation and smoothness.

Training the voice is a complex work of opposite forces, and it does not work with the simple opposition of opposite muscles. We can think in a more complete and refined way putting the opposition on the functions so to work in some parts or in all the muscular chains and obtain not by luck all the different possibilities of voices and not strain or remain with a too limited voice.

If you are a boxeur or a sprinter will you train just in a relaxed and smooth way, as for example doing only Tai Chi? Relaxation can be useful and even fantastic as Tai Chi, but it is one of the tools possible and useful in voice training and it does not serve all the required purposes for professionals and performances or certain styles. Music and repertoire are made of different rhythms and accents and strenghts and if we do not train the system voice in a rational and precise way to be the perfect image of the music we are going to perform we will have a problem. Of course how to do that and from where and by what passages develop strengths and speeds requires great care and wisdom as in every training, but the answer always smooth and legato and relaxed is not the answer correct.

Talks on Cossu method

What nice to talk with a former student who has an interesting view on our work and my method from his medical job; and so nice that not only he is smart as he was but his band will get back rehearsing. Thank you Alex, still pleased of having had you between my students.

Vocal technique: some talks on fundamental questions.

My first two talks on some fundamental questions of vocale technique, often not so clear in students and singers and not clearly explained through their effects and consequencies so that they remain scary and refused in the first step. Often they are related as the fact that when you cover the sounds you will have in your sound not the effect of copertura but the disclosure of the state of your sustain and appoggio. I mean that not covered sounds have a different kind of pressure from the effective and true sustain (a true sustain always have a copertura effect), so you cover and the vocal folds do not respond anymore to the excess of pressure not correct. You will immediately hear how much the correct and true sustain is developed and the really good news is that with copertura it is safe and not tricky to develop the effective and true sustain. So if you refuse covering you will probably never develop a real and effective sustain, and this just because you were scared by the sound after copertura that was just the first step of the process and not the arriving point of the process. Many things in vocal technique present this two step process, I will try to clarify some of those for you on Istagram in my IGTV.
And the first is on copertura. 🙂

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Why you must not be scared by the covering of the sounds, the also called copertura and why if you initially feel of losing your sound it will just be a transitory phase and you will have back your sound but in a safe and healthy way. All the misunderstanding about why the sound get darker and with a lack of stamina in the first step. A series of technical talks on vocal fundamentals. I am a voice teacher specialised in technique and solutions for professional singers and future professionals. I come from a soloist career in classical music interrupted by a long septicaemia. I relate to Italian belcanto technique and some exercises I invented to make a step forward in the possibility of working on voices. I had results also in vocal issues organic and functional, called by their doctor, https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program/

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Who am I

I am someone who can solve the reason why some people can’t be effective in a vocal technique or style, or when a professional can’t have the full or correct use of its instrument even with excellent teachers or coaches.

I was a soloist and being trained in Italian Belcanto technique. A chronic disease that affects my inflammation level in the body and related to a medical malpractice made my career  last just three years during which I achieved goals I even had not dreamt about (further details https://luciacossu.com/about/).2012-09-28-13-15-24
I started then teaching,  vocal technique. Being frustrated by seeing some structural issues that made some singers think about them and never relax into a deeper dialog with music I tried to found ways to solve them forever with the same approach to sound I had when I was a soloist. So I invented some physical exercises and discovered in what they were useful to a wider range of persons, even if invented on someone specific. This became a corpus of exercises, some totally invented by me, some are yoga or dance exercises modified to be useful for voice muscular chains. I have so found some principles to work on the reason why some can’t have a proper vocal technique even with good teachers. I found the relation voice-muscular chains in a way not imagined by professionals and now also the way some Manuel Garcia vocalises were intended and why even my excellent belcanto teachers couldn’t use them correctly. . It is a very specific work, nothing to do with others body practises for singers, useful  but less precise for a vocal purpose.  To be sure that the results with my students were really appropriate I put some people with and without vocal problems under medical control before and after our work together and  it was confirmed the solution of their vocal problems in very short time, while a medical prevision of no improvement possible (https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program/ ) and those with no issues had confirmed an improvement in voice and posture.
When I say it is new I don’t mean that my work comes from nothing and goes to a new land, no. I mean that it is a step forward in what is the italian belcanto technique. I mean that it brings to the vocal land many that couldn’t previously reach it. And those who are yet there have a way to refine and obtain more.

That it is: a way to bring to voice (and voice styles and technique or even just natural voice) those who couldn’t before and to refine and find tools and expression for the advanced and the professionals.
It is a sort of way to put everybody to the zero point.

#cossuprogram second case Sister I., an organic damage solved

Sister I. entered my study program in june 2014. Sister I. had an important surgery to save her life, a thyroidectomy in october 2013. After she had problems with the voice, she could not easily speak, singing impossible. She used to sing in her convent, many times every day and also as a soloist. She had a beautiful clear and natural voice, not trained and had some stuttering when child. She had calcium levels very low and they remained low during the program and after. Now she sings again and as soloist as if she had never had any voice problem.

Here the certificates with the  diagnosis of hypomotility of the left vocal fold before logopedic treatment and still the same hypomotility after but but a good compensation gained, singing still impossible for her.

*01/28/2014 Tyrodectomy on october the 3rd 2013, since dysphonia, and slight dysphagia for liquids. Negate having other noteworthy patologies.
Fibrolaringoscopie: Normal cordal morfology. Hypomotility of left vocal fold. Inadequate compensation of the contralateral  fold. Normal respiratory spaces. No smoking.  Require a tenseabductive phoniatric treatment.   

After logopedy * 06/06/2014 At current control it is confirmed the situation of hypomotility of the left vocal fold, good compensation of contralateral fold

It confirms the hypomotility of the left vocal folds but now a good compensation of the other side. She had very low calcium level from the operation till several months after the last certificate you found at the end.

Sister I
Sister I. certificato-ipomobilita-privacy

After #cossuprogram. During she could get back singing every day and in some Those are her vocal folds in photo and stroboscopy after nine months since we stopped our work. No maintainance exercises, no further therapies. As nothing has never happened to the left fold. The certificate confirms that
* Fiber optic laryngoscopy: True vocal folds normal in morphology, slight hypomotility of the right vocal folds, slight hypertrophy in the posterior closure as for  suspected reflux. Stroboscopy: regular vibration, simmetrical and of normal amplitude.  

And since our work Sister I. sings every day and again as a soloist as before the surgery. In may 2017 Sister I. wrote me that she had been the soloist of the Litany of the Saints during a Solemn Profession in the Basilique of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola (Assisi). As nothing never happened to her left vocal fold, joy.

suor-i-07122015-privacy_20151207_163547-1

We could make the left fold work again after three weeks and in the video is her voice the first meeting and after 5 weeks. Professionals will hear that there is a substantial difference, even if in a subtle way since it has to get some training back after one year and a half of hypomotility. You can hear the gain in the ring, a little glow on the sound, a more clear timbre that starts appearing. This to me is a truly important sign and telling me that the vocal folds start having a correct activity, I know it is the start of having after just to make the chord being trained. She could sing in a little celebration of Sandro Pertini Hospital one month after the end of the program.