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 For confidentiality reasons the two one hour long workshops will not be published but I will publish some practices and exercises.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

Ask me series

On Thursday in my Instagram @lucia_cossu_voiceteacher ask me a question in English, French and Italian. Follow me if you want to ask or just come by to read, you were many more I thought. See you next Thursday.

voicelessons #voiceteacher #vocalcoachingonline #askmeaquestion #voiceteachersofinstagram #funthursday #luciacossu #vocaltechnique #vocaltips

What to expect from voice lessons: a list.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM VOICE LESSONS
I made a little list, since some frustration or effort or good satisfaction is the way of moving between some points.
I did not made 5 points for not professionals and 5 for professionals since the points go in the order I made the list. What happens in my practice is that some amateur want to just use lessons to be happy into point 10 jumping or with no appreciation of the previous and the joy of accomplish points 3 and 5. Sometimes professionals get scared of exploring points 6 and 10 and remain safely (but internally dissatisfied) into point 2 and 3. Other times some think of lessons and teachers as a substitute from moving from one point to the other. Sometimes they just use the lessons and teacher for what they are: tools to move from one point to the other while singing and enjoying and giving often better and with a great deal of satisfaction.
We can use technique and some tricks of experience and creativity to start the moving and progress, when we will get to each point is to no one to really say and control; certainly reality and sound and music will just tell us and can be surprisingly fast as pretty slow according to us and many factors that are not to be solved during or with the lessons.
The list can help to put in perspective some bad strategies and also relax in enjoying the actual point without stressing in doubt of not having yet a three steps after.
Good music and Friday all everywhere you are.

Is our voice really like a horse?

Last week a voice teacher in a group of professional teachers I follow wrote a witty and brilliant post with a list of points he follows in its lessons. I wrote that all the ones from his point 2 are mine and this takes away all the other points but the last. The last was on having a perfectly clean bathroom, yeah everybody still in lockdown and online lessons.

What was his second point to take away every other one? He does not accept students who do not sing in pitch: and as him many others do, as those who not have yet a voice. He asked me about my answer and I told him that basically I have all the students out of pitch the others did not want, the singers who start losing their pitch or never solved it really and have by that some career problems and I have had also many teachers when they start losing something and they do not know what to do about. In my concept they have to be treated in the same way, because they have something in common and it is the main reason teachers historically do not accept them.

To explain that I do a little diversion: some decades ago, as teen, it was discovered I could bring back into balance horses got dangerous. I am a pretty serious soul and I spent then summers in Uk to perfect my training skills and also there they gave me school horses not happy with kids anymore, or with various stiffnesses inexplicable or after surgeries while I did refine the technique. What I thought was that I could use some movements that were typical of a happy and joyful situation to change the emotional state of the horse, so to destress him and take away the preventive fear, and open back to what they mostly love: playing and collaborate with us. Also the joyful and happy gesture will improve and condition muscles and muscular chains and patterns so to have them present in every moment more than before. The origin being a physical trauma or not skilled kids moving heavy on their back or a not respectful or violent or inappropriate trainer? If repeated with no other input they would go in burnout as we do. So I was just putting back functionality and reopening the thing horses love most doing with us.

Why do I talk about horses? The voice is a horse and reacts as a horse. So is the student the horse? Not exactly. The student or the singer is both the horse and me, meaning by that the one the horse live playing with. Why teachers do not want the kind of singers we said previously? Because they have a bad horse? Not exactly, they do not refuse the horse but something the person clearly have shown of not being able to do: they have a burnout horse. So again: is the horse?

Do you remember bullies at school? Were they fragile or strong kids? We well see they are kids with a huge energy that has taken a bad flip, we see and experiment them as fragile as violent. Violent, not aggressive; their energy is not well expressed and it becomes the frustration of it in burst of violence. When do they save themselves, they discover that this fantastic energy they have inside is a hell of a gift. Taking care of their burnout horse is easy and will give some fresh air and good vibe to the other part, the smell of what they can really be and have inside. They will then have to learn not to always escalate but reopening easiness for their horse and by that the dialogue and playing with the other players. They have to learn to restrain themselves not to act the bully actions, suspending them for a certain time and thus letting the place for other things.

If they do then they will be the singers ev’ry teacher and musician want, as many of my students or professional have become. It is not easy and sometimes really annoying, and as teacher you must not have a problem in being profoundly straight as profoundly respectful of the human inside and fond of his qualities, with the vibe of the admiration of the true soul you have in front, acting protecting the horse but not loving less the non horse of that person. How this: not teaching the person but teaching on focusing and freeing and respecting the horse, that at the end is what we call in music listening and playing. Because a happy horse is sign of a hell of a rider ;).

In the group I will only write of how to free technically the horse. Have a good weekend everybody.

Alice and me the series the end

*the series was streamed on YouTube where it remained available for some months (then it was time to let it go and look at the future). Now some clips and a resume in the page dedicated here and some on Instagram  @lucia_cossu_voiceteacher    #aliceandme #aliceandmetheseries

We are at the end of these 6 weeks, Alice performs again. She decides to stream it on her Instagram while we stream on Youtube. She decides to sing 5 songs. She risks more, enjoy.

What means in sound the proper diaphragm connection in yet good singer.

Singer since very young, it is twelve months she studies with me. You will hear that she is quite in order but there is a huge difference in bewteen the Dianne Reeves and Alicia Keys’s songs and Withney Houston’s one: this is the diaphragm connection that I long looked for her, not perfect yet in all the passages but connected and so it will be possible to train it and have those passages perfects just by using it and remaining connected. Enjoy!

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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Fundamentals. Adapt to times changing.

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Into expire lies inspire. The only question is how to work and treat expire, and adjourn this work on changings yet happened and preparing chagings happening.

Said in other terms you have the yin disclosure from a correct yang, at the end and as a part of a correct yang. To define and work on yang is the question now

* Ilse Middendorf worked very well to define what the yin was, looking for the definition of correct inspire. She took away totally the yang since she saw the prevalence of this into inspire and wanted to avoid the loss of the totally yin principle that is at the basis of inspire nature. Linklater has found back a yang but does start not from where has to, they are expire and inspire one into the other defined and separeted but not far. External muscles can make mixed actions, not the root.

** Manuel Garcia worked truly well on the expire pure and correct that has as a disclosure the opening of the throat that appears when diaphragm make an inspire without interrupting the sound. And the principle of Belcanto italian technique is to find the inspire from the expire. Correct expire is crucial, not being just a pushing of air.