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.
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.
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. 🙂
A little talk with the great italian singer Eleonora Bianchini and why a professional like her, ranked 4th italian jazz singer, a stable duo with Enzo Pietropaoli, great career, winner of a merit scholarship at Berklee College, came having lessons with me. What did she found in our work, why it was important to her. Enjoy!
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 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/).
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/https://luciacossu.com/2016/09/13/sister-i-another-example-of-my-method/, M. 7 years old/ M. 7 anni, One of the participants to my study last year) 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.
This is a typical exemple of the results thought not obtainable by phoniatry, and especially in such a simple and not expensive way.
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 speak, neither sing. 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
Here the certificates with the diagnosis of hypomotility of the left vocal fold before logopedic treatment (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. She had the treatment, very effective with the speaking voice but totally useless for the singing voice. Few days before the beginning of our work another certificate (06/06/2014 At current control it is confirmed the situation of hypomotility of the left vocal fold, good compensation of contralateral fold) 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.
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 hyopertrophy 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.
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. You can hear that there is a substantial difference, even if in a subtle way. 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 attack, I know it is the start of having after just to make the folds being trained. She could sing in a little celebration of Sandro Pertini Hospital in the autumn.
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.