grasping at straws …

grasping at straws …

some days you’re all: I’m going to do a big ol’ blog post about STRAW EXERCISES because NO ONE HAS DONE ONE OF THOSE BEFORE …

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and then you’re all:

oorrrr …

roughly A MILLION people have already done big ol’ blog posts (and podcasts and YouTube videos and journal articles, ET CETERA) about straw exercises so why don’t you just quote the heck out of those folks already (which leaves you more time for drinking wine and congratulating yourself on being a freaking genius #isallImsayin)?

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yeah. so … I’m going to do THAT*.

HERE COME THE LINKADOODLES (#youvebeenwarned):

I love the internet

posts of epic proportions

SOVT Exercises from our friends over at [this is the blog post I wish I had written #truestory]

Mix It Up Monday Straw Exercises from Matt Edwards [if you haven’t already, you really should subscribe to this blog. #justsayin]

NATS Chat with Dr. Titze from 2011 [it’s a TRANSCRIPT, y’all – read ’em and WEEP]

Straws for Everyone! from our friends over at The Voice Lab [short, sweet, SUPER INFORMATIVE]

Straw Phonation Takes Center Stage from Kristie Knickerbocker [not gonna’ lie: I love her name so much I say it to myself eight or ten times every time I see it. … you’re doing it too, now, aren’t you? #yourewelcome]**

audio-visual content ftw

side by side comparison strobes of singing with and without a straw from Mindy Pack (who’s singing in the clip) and Dr. Reena Gupta (who’s doing the scopes) [you guys, THIS BLEW MY MIND … #isallImsayin]

talking through what you’re seeing on the side by side comparison strobes of singing with and without a straw from YOURS TRULY [yep. it’s me. 🙂 ]

Singing Through a Straw … It Will Change Your Life! podcast episode from our friends at The Naked Vocalist [#thatnametho #clever]

The Science Behind the Straw Exercise video series from the folks at NCVS [kickin’ really old school with the ol’ youtube interview format but, you know, it’s INGO TITZE so #SHUSHANDLISTEN]

Using SOVT Exercises podcast episode from John Henny [John has a bunch of good podcast episodes about straw phonation and SOVT exercises you can check out … he even has a code you can use to save on purchasing your very own OOVO STRAW [they’re #ALLTHERAGE right now, friends. #pinkyswear]]



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for searching the internets for ya’ … because there’s absolutely no way you would have done that on your own #amiright?


* It’s like a #fridayfavefive only it’s not Friday and there are more than five things … SO NOT AT ALL LIKE A FRIDAY FAVE FIVE.

** That’s not creepy at all, right?

a matter of intention

a matter of intention

intention shapes action

I’ve had the privilege of working one-on-one with Toronto-based Alexander Technique Teacher, Alison Jane Taylor and in a recent session, we talked about how intention shapes action and how, when voice teachers work with singers, we may come out of our ideal balance as we listen because our heads come forward to really hear the singer. In other words, if our intention (articulated or not) is to hear the singer with our ears, our body responds beautifully to that intention and moves forward from the head, leading with the ears … even if that movement results in the body being out of balance.  

try it out: adopt your “habitual listening position” and observe where your head is in relation to your body …

We also talked about ways to reframe that intention and the possibilities that reframing can offer to the body as it responds to that reframed intention.  For example:

what happens if I change from hearing with my ears to absorbing with my skin?  Or drinking with my eyes? Or breathing in through my nose?

I’ve tried a few of these intention changes in the studio this week and have made some SUPER COOL DISCOVERIES about different kinds of perception and around how my body can respond to those different intentions. 

So many of us perceive the singers we work with primarily through listening, which implies using the ears. And if that is our intention then – of course – we run the risk of coming out of balance as our ears try to get closer to the singer we’re listening to.

If this is something you’d like to change, consider INTERRUPTING YOUR INTENTION in some (or all!) of the following ways and see what kinds of differences you observe in your own body:

drink the singer’s acoustic energy in through an open mouth 

observe the singer through the smallest aperture your eyes can make and through the largest

allow the singer’s energy (acoustic and otherwise) to wash over your body as if you are swimming in it

draw the singer’s sound into your ears from behind you, rather than from in front of you

imagine the singer’s acoustic energy is a tidal wave of sound that washes over the front of your body from bottom to top

There’s literally no right or wrong answer here; it’s all about finding more efficient ways of observing the singers we work with while at the same time, changing our own bodies so we’re ever-more balanced and released. 

talk to me: tell me ALL THE BRILLIANT intentions you set in your studio and how they change your perceptions and body balance


ps, if you’re in the Toronto area and would like to do a little introduction to Alexander Technique and movement for singing, you are CORDIALLY INVITED to come and hang out with Alison in August!

(RSVP by emailing coatess AT sympatico DOT ca)
friday fav five – 19|01|04

friday fav five – 19|01|04

New Year | New You Edition

Yeah … I’m not really into setting a whole bunch of resolutions to change things up BIG TIME in the New Year.  But you know what I AM into? These cool ‘reset / set intention / start the year off right’ thingamabobs that everyone offers at the beginning of the year. I totally dig those. (Maybe because I don’t have to do anything except show up and let the folks who are running the show, well, run that show? But ENOUGH ABOUT ME)

Here are five super-cool ‘reset’ singingteachery thingamabobs that I found on The Internets last year:

1. 14 Day Vocal Reset from Elizabeth Rotoff at The Fit Singer

I mean, for a very low price point, you get meal plans, workouts, vocal exercises, personal consults, AND MORE. So you don’t have to figure all that out. All you have to do is, well, everything else. But the BIG STUFF is taken care of.

i am fluffy and very happy with my own fluffiness, #thankyouverymuch. but if you want to change my meal plan to include more wet food, i will not say no #isallimsayin.


2. 21 Days to Your New Voice from Kerri Ho at The Songbird Tree

This is a free YouTube series that you can just follow along. Again, all you have to do is SHOW UP. Okay, and DO the things. But there’s a tonne of great info here parsed out in short segments that are easily digestible. Also? THAT ACCENT.

accents aren’t all that, human. you’re so weird.

3. Dedicate – 30 Day Yoga Journey with Adriene Mishler from Yoga with Adriene

Okay, this one isn’t exactly SINGER focused. But it’s the one I’m doing. And I’m loving it so far: free, short, daily videos with a down-to-earth guide. We’re only two days in so it’s not too late to join.

this is my cat/cow pose. don’t ask me to do a downward dog. that’s just insulting.


4. How to Run Your Studio Without Hating Your Boss with Michelle Markwart Deveaux from FaithCultureKiss

Yeah. This one isn’t really a RESET for the New Year thingamabob. It’s more of a BLOW YOUR BUSINESS OUT OF THE WATER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE thingamabob. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

i’m into sleeping. that’s what’s resetting me for the new year, human.


5. Favourite (and only, frankly) New Year | New You Thingamabob: You Can Change Your Life. Yes, You Can, from the same crazy-inspiring peep who developed How to Run Your Studio Without Hating Your Boss. Yep. #shesallthat


my resolution is to sleep more. JUST KIDDING: it’s to trick you into feeding me more wet food.


Whatever you choose to NEW YOU this year, just know (from my therapist’s lips to your ears): you’re enough.

And you’re good enough to #teachyourfaceoff,

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