A SHORT TRAINING COURSE FOR THE PHARYNGEAL RESONANCE

     In the video course, the very particular location for sound “focusing” at the border of hard and soft palate was proposed. The precision of this location is very important to minimize soft palate activation, avoiding engagement of wide muscles (primarily palato-pharyngeal and palato-glossal, the so-called “arches”). Activation of these muscles leads to tension via their connection with lower jaw and ultimately with the throat. Researcher Dimitri Niks went further attempting to find a resonating point that would bypass the soft palate altogether. It is noted in anatomy texts that the pharynx plays a big role in high notes production. An effective resonating point was discovered in the nasopharynx with the activation of a major muscle, the superior constrictor. This muscle is completely free of any connection to the soft palate. Activation happens for an instant and then the location of the resonating point is supported via muscle memory and the feeling of singing in the space of the nasopharynx. Singing in the highest space of the nasopharynx brings improvement of highest note production and expansion of the high register. This is an exciting result for singers of Opera and Music Theater who  have to produce the highest notes in full voice. Due to the fact that this approach is completely novel and more refined than that which is described in the video course, we propose a few sessions of special training on how to achieve and sustain the PRP.

 

 

     For more information please contact:

 

 

Inessa Niks by phone at (626) 298-6496

 

or Dimitri Niks by email at dniks@ucr.edu

 

 

         

             We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Mikhail Niks who succeeded in the last three years of his life in establishing the correct direction of the vocal research. 

            

             We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the piano and vocal students who inspired us to dig deeper to find the easiest and most efficient explanations of the complex ideas. Our special gratitude goes to our friend and singer, Margie Gillroy, who studied singing for many years, being involved in all phases of our research.

                                      

                                                                                                                                                                         — Inessa Niks

                                                                                                                                                                         — Dimitri Niks

 MODERN APPROACH TO THE WORK OF MUSCLES

IN SINGING WITHOUT TENSION

 

RESEARCHERS:

 

MIKHAIL AND DIMITRI NIKS — 1993-1996 (Redlands, CA)

DIMITRI AND INESSA NIKS — 1997-2017 (Redlands and Pasadena, CA)

 

 

             While surveying the recordings of legendary singers, we noticed that the best ones did not necessarily possess the most powerful voices or voices with the widest range. What outstanding singers had in common was the most beautiful sound production, effortless technique and very clear articulation that allowed them to achieve optimal self-expression. These qualities contributed to their enormous success that made them legendary. To unlock the “secrets” of their mastery became the exciting goal of our many years of research.

             There are no two identical singers in the world. Every singer has a unique personality and possesses a unique voice. There are differences in timbre, volume, artistic temperament, sensitivity to sound, range of emotion, etc. However, there is an essential feature that all singers have in common— the same muscles that obey the same physical laws. Thus, a vocal approach that ought to serve singers effectively for many years should be based on the effective work of muscles. In order to express optimally artistic individuality, a singer’s apparatus should work efficiently without creating undue tension. Tension not only impedes the capacity of a performer to express his/her emotions but also can cause vocal chord complications. As a result the beauty of produced sound is diminished. During research in piano playing we were concerned with avoiding tension of muscles in the wrist, elbow, and shoulder areas. In singing research our focus became the vocal chords and the abdominal muscles. Spasms of throat muscles, excessive activation of the larynx and the lower jaw negatively affect the work of the vocal chords, while tension of abdominal muscles makes the breathing process ineffective. The physical approach described below addresses these issues.

             An important question arises once training is complete— does constant muscle control interfere with the spontaneity and emotional expression in performance? An effective approach once acquired soon becomes a near reflex requiring very little control during performance, so that singers can fully expose their individual gifts.

             Our course of 10 exercises is divided into 2 videos— the first one dedicated to breathing and the second to singing. The 2 videos are narrated by Dimitri Niks and illustrated by Inessa Niks. The complete text of the course is available as a .pdf file here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video 2:

Video 1:

     The principles of singing without tension described in the video course above are indispensible for singers of any style, preventing vocal chord complications. In addition for singers of Opera and Music Theater a special short is available focusing on the specific problem of producing high notes in full voice. This course provides training of effective pharyngeal resonating point (PRP) and assuming the material of the video is previously acquired.