What is Vocal Fry and How Can You Avoid It?

One seemingly normal Friday afternoon (insert your favorite movie trailer narrator here) an insidious, ravenous siege swept the nation.

Within minutes, everyone was croaking, choking and barely able to…

Will you please complete that sentence after watching this video about Vocal Fry?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abjdsJAIUf4

Do you want to commit to the amazing authentic voice already within you?

Here’s a great way to do it!

Four Vocal Superpowers Most Pros Don’t Know

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

November 2, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 pm In Partnership with Brenda Bryan and The Speakers Club

Swaha Studios

1235 SE Division St. Ste. 107

Portland, OR 97202

Register by emailing info@laurahandke.com.

In the meantime, love your voice and voice your love,

Laura

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

In only a few lessons with Laura, my voice quality improved tremendously, both for singing and speaking. I’m noticing more resonance, clarity, and range. Laura has a great ear, and her teaching and coaching style feels safe, friendly and professional. She is supportive and stretches me. Her acting, singing, and speaking backgrounds blend beautifully to support presence and confidence in her students, as well. I’m excited to continue with her, and highly recommend her if you want to improve your voice. –Cricket W., MD

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

This is Personal

I have two upcoming vocal workshops I’m excited to tell you about, but this post is personal.

I got married!!!

I have a husband!!!

I’m a wife!!!

Okay, I’ll stop with all the exclamation points.

Or not!!!!!!!!!

George and I have been in a committed, loving relationship for seven years, but it still feels weird to say those two little words. My husband.

The ceremony was short, sweet and simple, planned just a little over two weeks ahead of time.

Still, getting married is a big deal, so I wanted to share our big news and a little bit of our story.

In September of 2010, I started a new full-time job as a Sr. Claims Examiner, while I was completing apprentice teacher training with the Transformational Voice® Training Institute. I was at the studio three nights a week after the day job, doing homework and rehearsing, and dating was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t have the time, and besides…as my marriage of 12 years was ending in 2006…I swore I’d never get married again. (Oddly enough, my new husband was also married once before, in 1994, and divorced in 2006.)

My back, especially around the left shoulder blade area, was bothering me as I was sitting at a computer again for hours a day. It became almost intolerable one day. I had left my previous chiropractor and massage therapist in Salem behind when I moved to Lake Oswego after my divorce. And I had just moved into a new apartment, with a chiropractic clinic right across the street.

I searched my mind trying to remember the name of the chiropractic clinic and thankfully found it online. I called and was told Licensed Massage Therapist George had an appointment available at 5:30. I booked that appointment, and my back was so grateful I did. The owner of the clinic also became my new chiropractor.

For a year and four months, about once a month, I was typically George’s last client of the day, after I’d finished adjusting claims at the office and my body at Curves gym. I’d show up in gym shorts and a T-shirt, and George’s massage would make me feel better. When I was getting ready to go home, he was closing the clinic after the doctor and other staff had left.

We got to talking…George behind the reception desk, me standing in the lobby. We became friends. He told me about local bands he liked, and we became on friends on Facebook so I could check out some of the music he suggested. It turned out we were also neighbors, living just half a block away from each other.

Fast-forward several months. The TVTI graduation ceremony was complete and I had more free time. I hadn’t been in for a massage in a while, and it was around the time of the grand slam tennis events, which came up in conversation towards the end of my massage. I used to love to bat a ball around (I’m terrible at it, but it’s fun and good exercise) and mentioned that to George. He said he had a tennis racquet somewhere.

He flew at the Washington State International Kite Festival while I celebrated my 48th birthday with friends Lorinda and Richard. After George returned from the festival, I received a message that he’d located his tennis racquet.

And that’s how it started.

George had never dated a client and was cautious in his approach. I was just excited to have a tennis buddy again!

We first walked to the tennis court together on September 4, 2012. I thought we were just tennis buddies, until I got an invitation to the Saturday Market. Then I realized my tennis friend might be asking me out on a date.

This is the story we included as part of our wedding ceremony:

L: It all started with a walk to the tennis court

G: Sometimes when you first meet someone, and you feel that energetic connection

L: Your heart starts to show itself

G: So, I took her downtown to Saturday Market and to see the Church of Elvis, which wasn’t really a church

L: Before we got the Moroccan chicken seasoning packet that would soon cement our relationship, and we saw the dragon boat races

G: Somewhere along the way, we realized we spoke the same language

L: And looked at the world through similar eyes, so I asked him to help me hang a sarong on my wall

G: And we made plans for that Moroccan chicken dinner

Both: That was seven years ago today and I’ve loved you more every day since, Baby.

We decided to get married before our trip to South Dakota to visit my family late September and had already made plans to visit our dear friends Kathie and Rod over the night of September 14th. They live in the country, 30 miles from the Oregon coast. After they agreed to host our wedding and be our witnesses, we realized the date was exactly seven years after we’d committed to each other; 10 days after that first walk to the tennis court.

Here we are with Kathie and Rod and Rev Susan Dorn. Photographer Debbie is an old friend of George’s who happened to be available at just the right time, and brought her granddaughter, Gabby.

My favorite florist gifted me with the orchids in my hair.

Each person was integral to our sweet, short, simple and meaningful ceremony. (Which is what I would recommend to younger people getting married, too, by the way. )

I had fun getting married, and I hope you’ve had fun reading about it.

From your voice (and piano) teacher,

Mrs. Laura Lee Handke,

Married to Mr. George Edward Meredith

TWO UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

October 5, Saturday, 2:00-4:00 pm

Dance with Joy Studios

8051 SE 16th Ave., Portland (Sellwood) OR

Embrace Your Authentic Voice: Four Critical Pillars for Effective and Healthy Vocal Technique

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

Tuition: $25 preregistered/ $30 at the door
Register: support@dancewithjoystudios.com 503-704-5617

November 2, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 pm

In Partnership with Brenda Bryan and The Speakers Club

Location TBA

Four Vocal Superpowers Most Pros Don’t Know

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

Tuition: $35/$25 for Speaker Club Members.

Register: brendarbryan@gmail.com

Love your voice and voice your love,

Laura

Within the first couple of lessons with vocal coach Laura Handke, I learned to use my voice in a more powerful way using the breathing and resonance techniques she teaches. She is always pleasant and upbeat, which helps me to relax as I learn.  I would recommend her to anyone who wants to take their vocal expression to the next level. Thank you, Laura! –Mary Jo H.  

Laura Handke, Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher

Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice

Your Breath is a River (or a Conveyor Belt): And Yes, You Can

Every time I meet a new student, give a voice lesson, or sing intentionally myself, I learn something new.

Hearing “I can’t” dismays me. And I’ve been hearing those two little words a lot lately, especially from young female singers. “I can’t sing that high.” “I can’t breathe like that.” “I can’t hold a note that long.”

The more subtle and insidious message behind those I cant’s is “I won’t.” “I’m not willing to consider that I can.” “I choose to believe I am unable to do this.”

Admittedly, some of the suggestions I give students feel downright silly, and that can be embarrassing for tweens or teenagers. Say ‘nyaaa’ like an angry cat. Stick your tongue out of your mouth and tack it onto your chin with a finger, while you say ‘aaa’ (as in the word cat or hat.) Pretend you’re throwing your voice all the way across the room then down the street three blocks while you say, ‘money, money, money’.

Yet these exercises help free the authentic voice. Trust me…it’s not always easy figuring out how to help students get healthy and effective vocal technique into muscle memory, while keeping in mind how self-conscious we can be at certain ages. It’s not like I’ve forgotten my own experience of being 12, 14, 17…

Students of all ages tend to respond to the idea that your breath is a river – or a conveyor belt – carrying the sound of your voice. If you can picture your belly/abdomen as the bellows which bring forth the breath, which carries your voice on the river… you’ll be several steps ahead of most people who talk all day long without having this conscious awareness.

Just one little tip today to help free your voice.

You’re welcome. 😊

TWO UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

October 5, Saturday, 2:00-4:00 pm

Dance with Joy Studios

8051 SE 16th Ave., Portland (Sellwood) OR

Embrace Your Authentic Voice: Four Critical Pillars for Effective and Healthy Vocal Technique

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

Tuition: $25 preregistered/ $30 at the door
Register: support@dancewithjoystudios.com 503-704-5617

October 26, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 pm

In Partnership with Brenda Bryan and The Speakers Club

Location TBA

Four Vocal Superpowers Most Pros Don’t Know

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

Tuition: $35/$25 for Speaker Club Members.

Register: brendarbryan@gmail.com

In the meantime, love your voice and voice your love,

Laura

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

In only a few lessons with Laura, my voice quality improved tremendously, both for singing and speaking. I’m noticing more resonance, clarity, and range. Laura has a great ear, and her teaching and coaching style feels safe, friendly and professional. She is supportive and stretches me. Her acting, singing, and speaking backgrounds blend beautifully to support presence and confidence in her students, as well. I’m excited to continue with her, and highly recommend her if you want to improve your voice. –Cricket W., MD

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Vocal Registers: Rev Your Maserati

Registers of the voice is a complex topic I only begin to introduce in this short 4-minute video, yet I bet you’ll find it super helpful: 

Here’s a little physiology background I didn’t get into in the video. Musculature changes as the larynx moves between registers; for example, when going from the 1st to 2nd registers, the thyroarytenoid muscles pass control over to the cricothyroid muscles, as the vocal folds are pulled tauter. Also, the back of your tongue goes down as you shift down through your register “gears”.

I told you – complex stuff!!!

We won’t be getting that complicated in my two upcoming group voice workshops:

Four Vocal Superpowers Most Pros Don’t Know

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

October 5, Saturday, 2:00-4:00 pm:

Dance with Joy Studios

8051 SE 16th Ave., Portland (Sellwood) OR

October 26, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 pm:

In Partnership with Brenda Bryan and The Speakers Club

Location TBA

I hope you can make it to one of them!

In the meantime, love your voice and voice your love,

Laura

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Laura has helped me find my true, authentic voice. She’s given me music I didn’t know I could sing to help me realize I’m truly a singer, not just a person who can sing. -Kenyon A.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

On Vacation!

On Vacation!

I’m in Ontario, Canada, visiting a dear friend and seeing Niagara Falls for the first time over my 55th  birthday mid-August.

While I’m gone, check out this previous blog post for a great reminder of what connections can mean. http://laurahandke.com/simply-authentic-your-soul-voice-is-calling-the-inner-voiceintuitive-nature-at-work/

We’ll soon have another group workshop at Dance for Joy Studios in Sellwood, September or October, so stay tuned! This is what the last participants had to say:

I would recommend this class – and highly – to anyone finding or working with their voice. You are delightful and encouraging. -Emily H.

This workshop was such fun – if I have any feedback, I wish it was longer! Laura was warm and inviting and made us feel comfortable from the start. -Michelle L.

I feel much more knowledgeable about my own voice and have a few practical exercises to use and explore. -Jennifer F.

First time I have been comfortable with my voice. Especially want to say I feel safe in class with Laura. -Sara G.

Enjoy summer, sunshine, and love your voice while I’m away.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Connections to Your Vocal Dreams

TVTI Apprentice Teacher Graduation Ceremony May 7, 2011

Connections to Your Vocal Dreams

Long before I became a certified Transformational Voice® Teacher, I was part of a women’s group designed to help each other make our dreams come true. We impassioned women who joined M6 in Salem, Oregon, quickly accomplished so many dreams I just had to write a book about our process …and create a video to share with Oprah Winfrey. (At the time, Oprah had a TV network show.)

The miracles pouring in after I first voiced my “Oprah video” dream at an M6 meeting still amaze me. First the camera operator showed up, then she brought her video editing friend, then a friend I hadn’t seen in several years introduced me to someone who had just been hired by Harpo Productions as a Field Producer.

Seriously…what are the chances?

I knew the exact day the pitch had been made to the top Harpo producers, and – to this day – still think M6 would likely have been featured on Oprah’s show…if the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City hadn’t been annihilated on September 11th of that year, just a week or so after the pitch.

Yes, friend, that was the horrific time frame. I’m taking a few moments here to breathe and send light to the countless individuals who were touched by that enormous tragedy.

‘Touched’ isn’t really the right word, is it?

Sigh.

And…

So…

What does this have to do with vocal dreams?

While the Oprah video was being edited, I wrote a page and a half of my first book, which would eventually become Six Degrees to Your Dreams.

My thusband (then-husband) sold office equipment, and he drove to Portland to meet with a woman named Renee at her martial arts school. She needed a copier.

Jeff, thusband, didn’t know Renee https://www.askrenee.com/ was also a psychic medium. When he discovered this, he mentioned I had recently read a book on the topic (Rosemary Altea’s The Eagle and the Rose) and that I had recently had my first reading.

That’s all he said about me.

Renee grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down a note for me: “TV is a go. You have a book to write.”

Even Jeff, who didn’t believe in all that psychic crap, was so blown away he called me from the parking lot before he got back on I-5. “You won’t believe what this woman just wrote down for me to give you.”

Now let’s fast-forward to 2008. After I’d gotten to know Renee as an intuitive and friend, I received an e-mail about her new voice teacher, Linda Brice. Renee doesn’t recommend people easily, yet she highly recommended Linda. She wrote, “I’ve seen this woman take people who are off pitch and have them singing on pitch in a matter of minutes.”

And here I was, wanting to sing again – right at the same time.

When I took Linda’s first voice class, I was hooked. There was no competition about people being better or worse singers. People shared from their hearts. The outer voice became a mirror of what was happening with the inner voice. Everyone grew and became braver in sharing their voices.

Being curious by nature, I wanted to know how Renee met Linda!

Renee met Geoffrey Knight through hypnosis training, and he introduced her to composer Michael Hoppé  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hopp%C3%A9 to help with music he was composing, Renee mentioned wanting a new voice teacher, and Michael had just run into Linda a few weeks earlier in Portland.

Now, get this! Linda had met Michael Hoppé in Los Angeles around 1996 through Julia Cameron, famed author of The Artist’s Way and several other books on creativity. After reading Cameron’s amazing book, Linda attended an Artist’s Way workshop with Julia, during which Julia confessed that she had always wanted to sing but had been told she was a “bad alto.” She got up her courage to sing a lullaby she had written, and Linda immediately recognized that she was no alto, but a very high, light coloratura (the same voice type as Renee!)

Several months went by, and one day Julia called Linda out of the blue, wanting to study voice. She introduced Linda to Michael, whose album, Solace, had been nominated for a New Age Grammy award. (Michael and his lovely wife, Monica, have since moved to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, where he is composing up a storm!)

Renee and I went through the first Transformational Voice® apprentice teaching seminar together, and now Renee http://www.reneesings.com/ is a professional singer. You can call her America’s Singing Psychic, or at least I do. 😊 Linda Brice http://transformationalvoice.com/ continues to inspire singers and voice teachers across the globe.

And me?

I resigned from the workers’ compensation insurance world in 2014 and now teach voice and piano full time. Not just in my home studio and at Lake Music, but in vocal workshops at schools and organizations.

Soft Surroundings is my favorite store, and I work there usually one-half day a week, because I love the employee discount on my clothes, wonderful facial care products, and the sisterhood I’ve found there.

At Soft Surroundings, I met the woman who would introduce me to a small alternative high school…the pilot school for my Speak Up! Workshop for teens with colleague Katie Ramseur.

More recently, in speaking for the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, I met another woman who will help bring the fundamental principles of healthy and effective vocal technique, the powerful inner voice meeting the outer voice, bringing it out into the world, to teens in other schools.

Friend, you never know where your next inspiration will come from.

Just keep sharing your gifts with the world and be open to the possibilities of inspiration and guidance. You will be amazed by what happens next.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I hired Laura to be my voice coach after hearing her speak at an NSA (National Speakers Association) event. Laura is AMAZING! In just a few coaching sessions with her, I learned so much about where my voice comes from, what my range is, and how to get the most out of it. I absolutely love working with Laura!  -Cathey A. Speaker/Trainer/TEDx Speaker Coach

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura