Why Are They Cutting Down The Trees?

This time of year, I hear Joni Mitchell’s song, “It’s coming on Christmas, They’re cutting down the trees, They’re putting up reindeers, And singing songs of joy and peace….”

I walk down Highland Drive and see another incredible 100 year old tree cut down. The canopy was phenomenal. Standing under the tree, I was in the cathedral of joy and peace.

In 2007, an old Queen Anne house was on the chopping block for a new multimillion dollar home with connecting townhouses. The first thing that came out of the contractor’s mouth,  ”Your tree has to go!”  “But my 100 year old maple is on my property!” I said. “My utilities are going to run right through its roots. It has to go!” He said.

I called the mayor’s office. I went to see the contractor’s plans at City Hall. I begged the City Council to listen to the tree and me. A blessing came through our city arborist, who became my constant assistant in helping me protect this beautiful stately tree.

One family who had five brothers and sisters lived across from this large maple. They spent summer nights climbing up the tree to be safely held in it while they watched the sunsets. One can see tiny slats of wood left, reminding us of what children cherish in their memories.

When I was a young girl the abundance of large trees delighted us. Long ropes that swung from towering tree limbs kept us entertained for hours. “Who can swing the farthest? Who can do tricks on the ropes? Who can jump off and never get hurt?”

One day someone started a fire where the trees had grown up so protected. Within a short time,  firemen were called in to battle the flames. We were told not to go down and watch but every child in that neighborhood was there. Each time the flames were doused or beaten down, we yelled with yeahs and applauded these brave men.

Looking down at the fresh cut tree stomp, I wished I could have been there to protect it. The canopy of trees may soon all be gone and we should have protected them. We should have.

“What Meghan Trainor, Sam Smith & Adele Voices Might Need To Get Through A Tour?”

Recently in the news media, Meghan Trainor, Sam Smith and Adele have had to cancel their tours. Whether any singer has vocal cord hemorrhaging or polyps or even nodules, they must have strong vocal technique in order to survive tours.

Teaching voice for over 39 years and running a successful vocal studio in Seattle and Los Angeles, I am an expert. Working with successful Grammy winning and nominated bands, I teach strong vocal technique. Technique that has been based in the Bel Canto style of singing, and transformed into vocal exercises for pop, rock, jazz, blues, country and metal.

Clients have come to me after they were told by doctors that they had nodules, polyps, or ruptured vocal cords. Since the 1970s, I have been working with singers who needed technique so they could begin to build the instrument inside of themselves. They realized they needed to know where the diaphragm and abdominal muscles were and how to engage them to support their singing. They also needed to know where to place their tone in a resonator chamber of the face with an even air flow connector. Through vocal rehab exercises that I had developed, my singers no longer have vocal polyps, nodules and have recovered from vocal hemorrhaging.

Singers must realize they can’t just sing songs stylishly or emotionally. They must learn techniques to get through a grueling tour. Sometime it is their speaking voices that can ruin their vocal cords as well.

A singer must come to a point in their career that training doesn’t take away from their voices, it enhances it. With technique from a vocal teacher, the instrument can be strong and powerful even in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Surgery is the last step that a singer should take. Scar tissue is a huge problem. If you choose surgery, then a singer must get a technique teacher to help them make their voices strong, healthy and flexible again.