ONE WORLD | MANY VOICES: World Voice Day April 16, 2021
Posted Thursday, April 8th 2021 by Meredith Davis
On World Voice Day people from all over the world will meet to share research, health tips, and admiration for the human voice.
Singers and actors use their voices to shape stories and captivate audiences, and public speakers use theirs to communicate information or motivate us to achieve greatness.
On World Voice Day, all - speakers and singers, young and old, professionals and hobbyists - are encouraged to assess their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good voice habits.
World Voice Day is an annual event coordinated by the Voice Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This year, the theme is ONE WORLD|MANY VOICES.
As one of the premiere vocal studios, New York Vocal Coaching is ready to celebrate! Our own Voice Teacher Associate Kristy Bissell is our personal coordinator for the day’s events. Below, she discusses what World Voice Day means to her.
You’ve spearheaded this project from day one. What motivated you to create a full day’s worth of events instead of just a single lecture?
“I felt like it was a great way to celebrate. There is never enough time to enjoy people’s voices. This day is a way to let people have an open experience and explore. It will be especially freeing for those who feel like they haven’t been able to touch base with their community.”
What are some of the exciting activities and classes we can expect to see?
“We’ll begin with a Meet and Greet session accompanied by a vocal warm up. Just a chance for everyone to say ‘hi, this is who I am.’ This is meant to be a comfortable, safe space. The day itself will be relaxing but thorough in the topics covered. And of course, we’ll be open to questions and suggestions.
I’m particularly excited for the Vocal Hygiene class. It will cover things you might have neglected in the past such as medication, hydration, posture, alignment, mental health, etc. All of the things we don’t remember because we’re so focused on that ‘perfect’ sound.”
What is the main mission of World Voice Day?
“The whole day is about mindfulness. Just as the theme says, our activities will center around one world, many voices. The beginning of the day will challenge our bodies but the end of the day is about the heart and the mind.
We want our guests to ask themselves how music has shaped their lives. Singers are focused on the end goal; ‘how can I sound perfect now?’ They need to dig deeper and discover who they are as an artist. I want people to honor who they are. And then walk away with a stronger desire to build on what they’ve learned.”
Due to the ongoing health pandemic, this year’s platform will be held virtually. What are some of the benefits to connecting with singers through this platform?
“We’re located in New York City. There is a false sense of elitism that if you’re from New York, you’re the best. A virtual lesson or online course has the power to open doors. Look at all these amazing people in different parts of the world. We’re all singers and we’re all equals.
This is also a great opportunity to meet other people outside of your community. Or even find a new one. Some singers have a lone wolf mentality. A group setting gives you a sense of belonging.
And there’s a level of safety. A lot of people might not yet be able to do in person lessons for health or anxiety reasons. Now they can. It’s not a sensory overload or a financial burden to have an online voice lesson. “
Where did your own vocal discoveries come from?
“After I finally left the musical theatre world professionally, I was forced to figure out my voice. I always hid behind the actions of the character instead of ‘who is Kristy. ‘ When I finally went into contemporary music with my masters I was told to sing however I want. I had a wonderful instructor who showed me the other lovely qualities of my voice. Contemporary music, pop or rock right off the radio, and looking deeper into lyrics that reflected what I wanted to say.
My voice is used to help other people make those same discoveries and find a sense of safety. How to run from perfection and not fear the mistakes.”
What inspires you about the voice?
“That it can be molded. It can be whatever you want it to be. Whatever song you want to sing, genre you want to explore, find your stronger or lighter voice, male or female. Any discovery! I love experiencing that in voice lessons. As a vocal coach, I know it’s possible. Getting the singers to discover that too is the coolest part.”
Meredith is the Studio Manager at New York Vocal Coaching, as well as an experienced actor, director, and choreographer. She served as the director of Musical Theatre for the North Carolina Young Artists Program. During the summer of 2011, 2012 and 2013, NCYAP traveled internationally to Bulgaria and Italy to perform her works. She has also worked as the Assistant to the Producer of North Carolina Theatre where she maintained the daily workings of every production throughout the spring season of 2013.
The Opposite(s) Of Singing
Every singer has a goal. For some, it’s being able to sing exciting, strong high notes. For others it’s singing the most difficult songs with ease; others long to sing lightning fast riffs. Clients come...
Before I became a professional music director, I had every intention of becoming a musical theatre performer. I studied four years at the prestigious Musical Theatre program at the University of Michigan, then, as was expected, pursued the life of an actor here in New York. But somewhere along the way, I made a turn and didn't quite end up where I'd planned...
Transform Your Struggle into Your Strength!
I teach a Musical Theater Audition class at New York Vocal Coaching for a group of very eager, talented performers in which I give useful information, helpful hints, factual discoveries and motivational anecdotes that have helped me during my career. At the end of each class I like to check in with my students and discuss their auditions from the previous week. My personal goal is to help prepare my students so well that they feel confident about every audition.