Welcome to the Speak With Your Whole Self blog! In my weekly writing, I share tips and mindset tools that will help you communicate more fully and authentically. Every Thursday I share something that pertains either to:

  • Vocal health and anatomy (How Your Voice Works)
  • Performing or public speaking (Lessons in Presence)
  • Your everyday life (Voice Body LIFE)
  • Or on the really juicy days, something personal! (Elissa gets personal)

You can also join me live every Friday at 1pm EST on the facebook page to hear a deeper explanation of that week’s blog. After all, I’m a voice teacher so I love talking!

P.S. If you want these blogs delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday, plus information about classes and workshops that I only share via email, please sign up for Voice Body Connection updates here!

Use a neti pot for World Voice Day!

Happy World Voice Day!

I wanted to do something special in honor of this relatively new annual celebration, so today I’m sharing a very special video. It’s allergy season, and I’ve frequently been recommending neti pots. But when I tell people to use them, I often get incredulous cross-eyes and hear “that’s the thing where I pour water through my nose right?!? I don’t think I could do that!” 👀

I’ll admit neti pots are definitely a little strange to get used to. But because I really believe in them, I’ve decided to ease your way in by recording myself doing it!

Watch the neti pot video here:

Enjoy irrigating your sinuses, and post any questions below!

P.S. Special thanks to Steve Weinzimmer (aka my dad!) for the cinematography ☺️

xo,

Free classes this April!

Hi All!

I’ve been feeling excited and inspired to do a lot of online teaching this spring, so I’m offering two free webinars at the end of this month. You are invited to sign up for one or both… whatever floats your ‘I-have-many-talents-and-interests’ boat! ⛵

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Voice teachers and singers, join me for:

Voice Metaphors: Why They Work, and When They Don’t

Wednesday April 26th at 7:30pm EST
Singing teachers and singers… you know how we’re constantly using goofy metaphors like “Imagine your head is a cathedral” or “Your stream of air is a toboggan racing over the snow”? Let’s talk about why they work, why they’re sometimes toootally confusing, and of course how we can create them and understand them better!

Sign up for the “Voice Metaphors” webinar HERE

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Public speakers and performers, join me for:

How To Sound Like Yourself: Speaking With Authenticity

Thursday April 27th at 7:30pm EST
I know you know that moment when it feels like the voice coming out of you isn’t yours or sounds fake… (I’m looking at you actors falling into “actor voice”!) Sure it seems silly that it’s hard to sound like yourself, but sometimes it totally is! So let’s get you reading high on what I like to call the “Truth-o-Meter,” shall we?

Sign up for the “How To Sound Like Yourself” webinar HERE

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Even if you can’t make it live on these evenings, if you’re interested in these webinars be sure to sign up so you’ll receive the recording after the event. You’re also invited and encouraged to forward this webpage link to any friends who might want to join!

I so look forward to both of these conversations and can’t wait to share with you!
xo,

P.S.: The above webinars are kick off events for enrollment in the spring round of my online classes. If you’re interested in joining, here’s the info now so you can mark your calendar:

How Your Voice Works, and Why It Matters To Know
A class for singing teachers and singers
Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30pm EST live and online
Seven weeks: May 10, 17, 24, and 31, and June 7, 14, and 21

This course includes registration in my pre-recorded online course “How Your Voice Works,” which dives into the physiology of the voice. In our live meetings we’ll then delve deeper into the mental, emotional, and spiritual implications of understanding our voice. It’s gonna be *awesome.*

How To Sound Like Yourself 
A class for public speakers and performers
Thursdays from 7:30-8:30pm EST live and online
Six weeks: May 11, 18, 25, and June 1, 8, and 15

In this class, we’ll do a deep dive into mindset, presence, delivery, and text work for public speakers and speaking performers. If you’ve been struggling with authentic presence and bringing your full voice into your presentations, performances, and meetings, this class is for you. You may be feeling stuck, but we’re gonna get you moving

Registration opens right after the webinars at the end of this month. Keep your eyes on your email because if you act fast, you’ll get an early bird discount!

A belly massage for your voice!

Okay guys today is GOOD, because this exercise that is my latest obsession.

We’re on to the Body stage in the “How To Warm Up” sequence, and today I’m sharing a technique for abdominal self-massage. It was actually my Ayurvedic wellness coach who taught me how to massage my belly in order to aid digestion. But in the last few months I’ve been applying it to my own vocal practice and sharing it with my students, and the results have been astounding.

Here’s why I think it works: In order to allow an easy inhalation to drop in (I talked about the importance of that in the “Tense and Release, But Backwards” Breathing video), it’s crucial to have a soft belly and let your guts go. However if there’s habitual holding in the belly, it can be really hard to figure out how to let go. So what’s a girl to do? How can you give your guts the kinesthetic experience of release?? Ding ding ding! 🔔  … by massaging them manually!!

I’ve shared this technique with a lot of folks lately, and across the board people really like it. So now I’m very excited to hear your thoughts on this approach. Have a watch and let the belly massaging begin!!

Check out the Belly Massage Warm-Up here:

xx,

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The “Notice what’s in the room” impulse exercise

We’re back at the top of the loop of the How To Warm Up video series! So today we dive back in with an exercise about how to follow our Impulses. I love using this exercise as a way to get my creative juices flowing, become really present, and practice connecting impulse all the way into speaking. I like to call the exercise “Notice What’s in the Room.” Check out this simple and highly effective technique!

Check out the Impulse Warm-Up here:

It’s entirely possible something hilarious might come out of your mouth when you do this. If so, please let me know by commenting below the video. We’d all love a good laugh 😆

xx,

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Interview with Line Hilton: Getting the medical care you need as a performer

It’s vocal health time! I recently interviewed my incredibly knowledgeable colleague Line Hilton. Line is a voice coach, performing arts medicine specialist, and founder of the online magazine iSing. In this special bonus video for my online course How Your Voice Works, Line and I talk about what performers need from their medical care, and how doctors and other clinicians can support artists.

Check out our interview here:

And if you have any questions, comment to let us know!

xo,

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Midterm Check-in

We’ve made it through a full loop of the How To Warm Up Series, and you’ve now got one video each pertaining to Impulse, Body, Breath, Sound, Resonance, Articulation, and Language! So at this juncture I’d like to take a moment to have a midterm check in….

Before you go running away at the sound of the word midterm, don’t worry it’s not a test! 😜

What it is is a check up to make sure you’re incorporating all the exercises with awareness of what you’re doing them for. So have a watch of the video, and then I recommend you take the time this week to start at the beginning of the playlist and do a full warm up.

Check out the Midterm Check-in here:

Ask me any questions you’ve got in the comments below the vid, and let me know how it goes!

xo,

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The “Peter Piper” Language Exercise

In this week’s How To Warm Up video, we’re moving into Language! I’ll take you through a beloved tongue twister you may know: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers! This text has tons of plosive sounds in it, so you’ll have a chance to build on your work with clear and sharp explosive consonants which we worked on in last week’s Articulation video. Ready? Let’s do this!

Check out the Peter Piper exercise here:

Once you get good, try it in lots of different ways!

xo,

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Elissa on the cover of Psoriasis Advance magazine

Friends, Clients, and Colleagues,

I am beyond honored to be featured and on the cover of the Spring 2017 issue of Psoriasis Advance magazine. I have had psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that manifests as a skin condition, my whole life. In recent years I have become more outspoken about my struggles with it and my path to healing holistically. This article is a rare and exciting feature about natural remedies for psoriasis sufferers. I am thrilled with how the article turned out and how helpful I believe it will be to many people, and can only express my deepest gratitude at getting to be a part of it.

Check out the incredible work of the National Psoriasis Foundation at www.psoriasis.org. And without further ado, here are the relevant pages of the magazine:

Read the entire “Treat Your Total Self” article here

If you read this and have something to share, will you leave me a comment below? I would LOVE to hear your reactions!

xo,

P.S. If you’d like to read my previous writing about my psoriasis, it is here:

August 2016: I Am Not My Spots (On the NPF blog)

February 2016: Healing Has Got To Be The Most Joyous Thing A Human Being Can Experience (aka how I’ve been healing my psoriasis naturally)

October 2014: I’ve Been Sick, and I’m Healing Myself By Speaking My Truth

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The “Topeka Bodega” Articulation Exercise

In this week’s How To Warm Up video, we’ve made it to Articulation! This time around we’re focusing on plosive sounds… the ‘explosive’ consonants that are super important to pronounce accurately for clear enunciation. This exercise is silly and fun, and if you practice I bet you’ll get good at doing it fast enough to impress all your friends 🙂

Check out the Topeka Bodega exercise here:

If you get really good at this, please record yourself and send it to me so I can be proud with you.

xo,

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Understanding vocal registers: an interview with Chris & Steve of the Naked Vocalist

Vocal registers… kinda make no sense. I mean they do! But everyone talks about them differently. And the deeper you dive, the more confusing things can get. In my online class, lots of students have had questions about the vocal register rabbit hole… so I decided to call on my awesome friends Chris and Steve of The Naked Vocalist podcast to help me dive in. Check it out!

Want more where this came from? Learn more about my online class “How Your Voice Works,” plus get my free Top 5 Tips for Vocal Health video here.

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