Author Archives: Ali Garrison

About Ali Garrison

Alexandra (Ali) Garrison mezzo soprano/performer, international voice teacher, clinician BMA in Vocal Performance, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Founding member, the Waverlies, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale ACTRA member and Gemini Nominee Operatic, theatre roles, concert soloist, Specializing in music for a more harmonious world

ABOUT LARYNGITIS

Dear Students, T’is the season(Spring and Fall) for these types of ailments so here’s some info on it if you are suffering from this: Ali’s Recommendations: Total and complete vocal rest and get lots of sleep Don’t clear your throat audibly, it bangs the cords together and causes more swelling and inflammation. Use a humidifier, steamer or take hot showers Gargle and use Neti cup with half sea salt and half baking soda Take Manuka Honey (health food store) Drink more water and throat tea, no caffeine or dairy or wheat. As the voice returns come in for a lesson to get the chords phonating properly again.   I’ve included some traditional and alternative perspectives, so you can be well informed: TRADITIONAL DIAGNOSIS AND CURES: NOTES: Laryngitis often makes you feel the need to constantly clear your throat. Other signs and symptoms may include: Hoarseness Weak voice Tickling sensation and rawness of your throat Sore throat Dry throat Dry cough Causes: Usually a viral infection causes acute laryngitis. A bacterial infection such as diphtheria also may be the cause, but this is rare. Acute laryngitis may also occur during the course of or after another illness, such as a cold, flu or pneumonia. Common causes of chronic laryngitis include constant irritation from excessive alcohol, heavy smoking or reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus and throat, a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In adults, other causes of chronic hoarseness may include: Sores (contact ulcers) on the vocal cords Growths (polyps or … Continue reading

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IF STEROIDS ARE ILLEGAL IN SPORTS, WHY ISN’T AUTOTUNE ILLEGAL IN MUSIC?

The problem with using autotune to correct pitch, is that it is inherently unethical. There are myriad sonically cool and creative uses for this tool, I’m certain. But in terms of altering (“improving”) a singer’s performance, it then becomes like using performance enhancers in the olympics or airbrushing human models in advertising images. It has grave, and insidious socio-political implications. A performer is presenting something that is fraudulent and gives the false perception that they are “perfect”, when they are indeed human and fallible like everyone else. The singers stop learning proper technique because they begin to rely on the technology to “take care of it”. They get lazy, instead of figuring out why their pitch might be suffering, and working it out technically. Or it ceases to allow the subtle gradations of pitch to be governed and artistically chosen by the singer, who needs to be carefully considering the style, genre and character of the music, the time and the place. So then the next generation of singers is falsely influenced and believes that they must shoot for a standard of performance that is actually an illusion and impossible to achieve without conforming to the same crutches as those who came before. Then we also get the problem that is rampant in today’s music culture, which is that many people in the industry don’t respect what it takes to sing well, and many young singers don’t thoroughly train or commit to the long process required to truly KNOW this art form. … Continue reading

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NETI POTS – A SINGER’S BEST FRIEND

Everything you ever wanted to know about Neti Pots but were afraid to ask ” The Sanskrit term Jala neti refers to an ancient yogic cleansing technique, meaning literally “water cleansing,” where the practitioner rinses out the nasal cavity with water (typically mixed with salt to form a saline solution for comfort) using a neti pot. The irrigation-specific elements of Jala neti are starting to be recognized by Western medicine under the term nasal irrigation to treat a variety of conditions.” “Jala neti, though relatively less known in Western culture, is a common practice in parts of India and other areas in South East Asia, performed as routinely as brushing one’s teeth using a toothbrush. It is performed daily, usually as the first thing in the morning with other cleansing practices. It may also be performed at the end of the day if one works or lives in a dusty or polluted environment. When dealing with problems of congestion it can be performed up to four times a day.” The benefits: reduction of allergy problems improvement to breathing elimination of post-nasal drip elimination of sinusitis or chronic sinus infections moistening of dry nasal passages temporarily reduces symptoms of phantosmia common colds are either avoided or the duration greatly shortened general improvement to sinus health. Yogic breathing practices known as pranayama are greatly enhanced by the practice of jala neti since many of them involve deep breathing through the nostrils. Other benefits: vision is clearer. Jala neti will clean the tear ducts, enabling … Continue reading

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