How do we know what no one else does?
In an age where everyone is copying, regurgitating and recycling every vocal idea out there, The Voice Club Method created something unique that no one else can….or would…do
We decided that SINGERS deserve (& need) to know everything a top level vocal surgeon or vocal coach could tell them (but won’t) so that the SINGER can master their own voice and avoid damaging the only voice they’ll ever had.
Nice goal. But how is that actually possible?
Kim Snyder opens for Sonic Flood at the AtlantaFest Contemporary Christian music festival
Kim Snyder, creator of The Voice Club Method, was a lifelong professional singer and voice talent who had studied every available vocal technique in search for answers to maximize her own voice.
And after decades of independent research on vocal surgery, vocal anatomy, and high level training in the world’s top professional vocal coaching group, she put it all together to create her own little ‘black book’ that resulted in amazingly quick results.
Other working singers were watching. They wanted to know what she had done.
Before long, Kim was helping other singers recover from vocal damage, doubling their ranges, maximizing their power & empowering them understand what their own voice could really do.
Opening for Superchic[k]
Kim performing at her album release concert
Kim Snyder lead over 40,000 in worship at the Kansas City’s Rock the Light festival
THAT WOULD’VE BEEN THE END OF THE STORY – but then….
Doctors told Kim she needed a stomach surgery to control acid reflux.
But after she returned home a misplaced cut in her stomach tore open, filling her with sepsis.
The Kaiser ER staff sedated her for the weekend without checking for sepsis.
On Monday morning the surgeon found her in severe septic shock, moments from death. Her husband was rushed in to say goodbye and they made a last attempt to revive her.
She spent several weeks in the hospital recovering from full organ shutdown followed by liver failure and pancreatitis.
But as her recovery continued doctors also discovered that the event had left her with a permanent voice condition called severe Vocal Dysphonia (muscle tension dysphonia), or ‘strangled voice’.
Specialists gave her no hope for recovering any normal voice. They told her to make peace with it and learn sign language.
Just one problem: She had already committed to singing a gospel song with three key changes at her church on Easter. (20%-er’s, you know we never say no)
Something had to be done.
After several weeks, Kim gets moved up to ‘food’. Mmmmm, jello.
Knowing all she had been able to do with other damaged voices, she decided to take on the ultimate DIY project.
Everything she had studied about the voice and had learned to FEEL in the voice was added to what she could feel the anatomy doing during dysphonia.
She adapted and tested her theories until she had created her own recovery program.
Within weeks, she had recovered her singing voice even though her speaking voice would not work.
She did make it through the Easter services,
barely standing but hitting every note.
By following the program she created, Kim was able to restored full professional use of her voice.
THEN THEY DID IT AGAIN!
During one of many follow up surgeries, the anesthesiologist was asked to use a small tube to protect her voice.
The result was a deep slice through her right vocal cord and through the vocal muscle behind it, leaving her with complete Vocal Prolapse.
…and no voice, again.
Even the top vocal surgeon in the US in Beverly Hills admitted she would probably never make more than a gravel sound again.
But, he knew what she had been studying and what she had done after dysphonia.
He encouraged her to take what she learned and see what she could do.
She had already spent years researching, studying and proving what she believed in the voices of other singers.
Vocal Dysphonia gave her the unique opportunity to disprove many things she had been told, and be introduced to new, exciting possibilities about what the voice can actually do.
Vocal Prolapse presented yet another rare, front row seat to watch, test and utlimately feel the incredible vocal machine do what it was meant to do.
The process Kim developed to heal her voice from complete Vocal Prolapse allowed her to regain full use of the vocal muscle despite significant scarring from the cut and regain her entire professional speaking and singing voice were back...with a bonus extra half octave!
Kim’s appointment with Dr. Shawn Nassari, vocal surgeon to the stars. Every wall is covered with autographed records from the worlds greatest & grateful singers.
Studying every available method only left Kim more confused and insecure…even though she was already a professional singer.
When she discovered speach level experts who taught things similar to what she was already teaching Voiceover talent, she studied that.
Still, no one could really answer her questions.
Kim learned immesearuably more about her voice through these two recoveries than anywhere else.
She discovered that terms like ‘chest’, ‘head voice’, ‘mix’ etc. barely scratched the surface of what the voice really could do.
She coined a new phrase, VOCAL BALANCE, to describe the state of the voice when completely void of obstacles and trained to do what it can.
As with all things on the internet, our terms and other incomplete concepts have been (& will continue to be) wrongly regurgitated elsewhere to inappropriately give credence to other teachers skill sets.
Please don’t be fooled by words and definitions.
No one can do what we do because no one has the depth of insight developed from these unique learning experiences combined with an existing history as a high level vocal coach.
And…because we don’t teach anyone else how to do it
If one person is behind the voice club method
who is this ‘we’ you speak of?
Glad you asked.
Kim Snyder is the creator of The Voice Club Method, pretty much the only one you’ll see in our videos and the source of all intended vocal snark here.
There is no studio, business or mysterious group of people behind The Voice Club.
We were never started as a student-collecting, money-making venture. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just an important distinction.
Our products and services are purposefully offered as inexpensively as possible to cover the costs of doing what we do.
The ‘we’ around here refers to a small, very select few who at times help keep things running.
In order to make sure the message of The Voice Club continues, a couple people have been extensively trained and trusted with our unique methods. It just seemed prudent, given how this all started.
You may recognize another face & name who has been a huge behind the scenes help for years: Naomi Bignell.
Naomi came to us like everyone else…an online search desperately STILL looking for answers to her voice (even as a singing teacher with a vocal degree).
Kim & Naomi are our only certified vocal instructor.
If you read or hear anything that sounds similar to what we do but doesn’t have Kim or Naomi’s name on it, they’re not doing what we do.
Think of Kim as the ‘big mouth’ and the others as ‘the ones who help carry the load’.
IT’S RIDICULOUSELY CONFUSING TO FIGURE OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOICE TEACHERS
And I wasn’t happy when I figured it out.
Through over 2 decades of studying everything I could find, becoming a speech based instructor, having my voice taken away twice and being left by everone with no answers only to be schooled by my anatomy, it all started to make sense:
ARE REEEEAAALLLY NICE PEOPLE
They just haven’t been given the tools they need to help singers like they think they can. And that’s a problem for ALL of us.
Don't realize their making you manipulate your voice
Their training may include some awareness of vocal anatomy but instead of restoring it to the way it should function, they focus on creating a certain sound (classical, rock, etc.) This generally causes unintended bad habits that inhibit vocal potential and maximize singer frustration. Most students give up on singing.
*This group includes those with typical formal degrees.
Teach something vocally destructive
It’s not that they want to hurt you, they just don’t know how not to.
Again, there’s so much disinformation out there, even for teachers, that best guesses become best practices.
Some in this camp do know their students have developed damage but are quick to dodge blame.
*This group includes many tv show singing coaches and ‘coaches to the stars’.
Won't hurt you. That's refreshing!
These teachers can help you achieve a generally healthier voice & sometimes have good tips for making singing easier.
But like most teachers, they’re following a script with little room to ask questions themselves, let alone answer yours.
*Many (but not all) of these are speech based instructors. This is where singers who are tired or afraid of surgery usually end up.
Are high level coaches very few have access to
These high priced coaches repair and prevent some vocal damage & help artists preserve the life of their voice.
But for all they know, they don’t believe a singer should ever be trusted to understand their voice, why it does what it does, or what to do about it.
*This is where managers take singers whose voices make enough to be worth saving.
are singers who gave up and started guessing
These are singers who have created their own programs.
But because these programs are based in personal guesses, experience from a limited perspective and are built without the knowledge of how to prevent vocal damage they are a huge gamble to trust.
Many of this group are also members of the 75% who will leave you worse off than you started.
Why we are not affiliated with Speech Level Groups
Studying classical, pop, rock, and other methods only left Kim more confused and insecure…even though she was already a professional singer.
So when she discovered there were speech based singing experts who taught things similar to what Kim was already teaching other Voiceover talent, she couldn’t wait to compare the science and get clear answers for her singing voice.
She began working with a coach.
Still, no one was able to answer her questions.
She was told that she’d have to become a high level certified instructor to have access to that kind of information.
So she did.
Years of studying, high level master classes, training from the best and teaching gave her access to the studies, research and proof she couldn’t find otherwise.
The people were great. Many of the top coaches, impressive. In fact, we’ve got nothing bad to say about those we know in the speech level teaching corner. God bless ’em. They keep people from killing their voices!
But when it comes to what we teach singers,
how we teach singers and our core PHILOSOPHY,
it’s important to distinguish our differences.
WE DIFFER IN OUR APPROACH
While I have the highest regard for the level of commitment and education my associates have,
They (understandably) approach what singers should know from a teachers’ perspective.
We approach what we give singers from the perspective of an active, singing singer.
If your goal is to spend more time singing than studying, you’re going to need to understand a lot more in order to protect their voice and keep the sea of damaging myths at bay.
Plus…rather than learn terms, definitions and scales, wouldn’t you like to actually understand how to ‘sing better FASTER’!
WE DIFFER IN WHAT A SINGER SHOULD KNOW
As with all other vocal instruction methods, speech level instructors are in control of assessing, understanding, tweaking and hearing the difference in the singer.
The singer must trust, do and wait on the results.
Asking questions is not usually met with enthusiam…or actionable answers (something you can do and be able to measure the results).
As a result I found that the most students and even many teachers can do is explain terms, definitions and sing healthier, though they can’t explain functionally how or why they do what they do.
I believe that because a teacher can’t feel what’s going on in the singers anatomy, the singer has a greater potential to know where the voice begins to lose balance before a teacher can hear it.
That means if the singer is given the right tools, they can regain vocal balance, many times even before you’ll even hear it in the voice.
That’s craaaazy powerful. Why wouldn’t you want to be able to do that?
A singer trained to feel vocal balance and imbalance is instinctively much more likely to have a healthy voice, not because of things they’ve read or memorized but because they can feel what’s not good for the voice.
The voice is the only thing that knows exactly what it needs, which varies from voice to voice.
So why don’t we all teach singers to feel for imbalance in the voice? No teachers know what it feels like (beyond the difference of vowel narrowing).
They also don’t believe singers should be trusted with anything even close to that.
We have proven any singer CAN be trusted to understand what their voice is doing. Plus, they excel much faster the more we put the power back in their hands.
Talk about empowering!
In one session our students can tell you what their voice tends to do, what’s in their way, the first thing they need to do to make it better..and make it happen in a measurable way.
I’ve met level 4 instructors who still don’t believe that’s even possible.
HOW WE TEACH
I have the utmost respect for the decades of study and research that have gone into what most speech based specialists utilize.
But I ran up against two problems that became deal changers for me:
I couldn’t get an answer that made simple sense & could be instantly actionable.
I had many opportunities to ask the top pro’s questions.
At first I assumed I was just stupid because I couldn’t easily put into action what I was told and have instantly measurable results.
But realizing all of the working singers I knew asked questions the same way I wondered if it may be in the delivery,
I once asked my master coach to repeat something he told me in response to a question.
I asked him if he could just pretend I was a nobody on the street that asked him this question about my voice.
I wanted to know in ‘simple chick language’:
This in your voice (X) is doing this (x) action.
That’s why (x) goal can’t happen. But if we make this (X) change, it will.
He thought on it a bit. He honestly really did try. But he admitted that he couldn’t.
It’s not that he wasn’t incredibly smart (he was amazingly brilliant), it’s just not the language they typically use.
There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s common in higher circles that debate vocal pedegogy.
But I’m just a simple working singer who’s gotta pull this song together by Friday. I don’t have the luxury of that kind of time.
And because my goal is to make vocal improvement as easy and quick as possible for singers who don’t tend to run in those circles either, my goal is to explain everything as simply as possible.
Because if we can’t understand it, it’s benefit is extremely limited.
There are decades of research and data that back up speech based training thanks to vocal surgery studies that began 1950’s & 1960’s.
A couple of pioneering voice teachers (including a couple founders of speech based models) went along for the ride.
They got to ask the surgeons questions, be on the forefront and see the anatomy for the first time.
They asked follow-up questions and, I bet, experienced some serious ‘ah-ha’ moments for themselves.
But the vast majority of voice coaches, including those even at high levels, will never have the opportunity to ask their own questions in that environment.
After Kim had suffered severe Vocal Dysphonia, the first place she went to for help in recovery was to her master level coach.
She was surprised to hear that there was nothing documented or tried that could help.
And no one knew where to even start.
So how did a lower level vocal coach with much less experience manage to figure out what the biggest minds in the world couldn’t?
She was able to take the data, the charts, the surgical information, add in what she’d already begun to boil down…
and add in something no one else knew:
What it actually felt like to have a non-functioning voice & try to get it to work.
Much like a blind person’s other senses will attempt to compensate, Kim developed an ability to feel nuances in her own vocal anatomy.
That allowed her to test what she thought she knew and chart a pathway to recovery.
She went from ‘you’ll never speak again’ to full recovery in weeks.
If the voice could be dramatically enhanced this fast, what else was possible?
The second time her voice was ‘permanently’ damaged, master level coaches again said recovery was too far beyond the scope of what could be done with the voice. Doctors agreed.
But it seemed possible that she could test what she knew and let the anatomy guide her to what it was able to do.
She was again able to repair and completely recover from what they said was impossible.
Does this mean she knows more than anyone else?
Not even close.
But what it does mean is that there is far more to creating a balanced, maximized voice than all the research, jargon, experience or even levels of certification can begin to touch.
This is how we can definitively say that no one does what we do.
No one has been where we’ve been, experienced what we’ve seen happen in the voice or even attempted most of the things we do every day.
Others can copy & make claims they can do the same, but to date:
Kim is the only person in recorded history to have ever made a full recovery from both vocal dysphonia and vocal cord prolapse, EVER.
No doctors have done it.
No speech therapists.
No vocal coaches.
No singing teachers.
Heck, not even any singers!
We are training concepts that go far beyond what we previously believed to be the ‘top’ of vocal ability because of the incredible learning opportunity Kim’s experience opened up.