We're THRILLED to be back from a long hiatus with Christine Schneider! Christine is the leading manual laryngeal therapist in the country. She is a graduate of The Swedish Institute College of Health Science in New York City where she specialized in laryngeal and TMJ therapies. After graduating, Christine received extensive training in Myofascial release, laryngeal therapy, TMJ therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, and Visceral Manipulation along with several other specialties and modalities. She works along side New York's Otolaryngologists, Speech Pathologists and Voice Teachers providing the manual component for vocal rehabilitation and vocal health maintenance. She has a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University and has worked as a professional performer all around the world. Christine has a thriving private practice in NYC where she works with a variety of professional voice users including Tony Award winning Broadway Actors, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriters, Oscar nominated actors, Opera Singers, Sports Broadcasters, Lawyers, and CEOs.
What's one thing singers can do every day to prevent injury?
Stay hydrated and do singer self care. (I have online self care classes coming this Fall.)
If a singer has $100 to spend on tools for vocal health, what products/practices would you suggest they buy?
A steamer, A neti pot, and a therapy ball.
How can singers get out of their heads and more into their bodies?
A practice of stillness and presence. Feel your body. Bring your awareness to your body. Learn to be present in every moment.
What does “belting” mean to you?
1. A fun style of singing where I get to pretend that I am happily calling to my neighbors to discuss something important.
2. Belt is from the Latin term balteus meaning ‘sword belt’ or ‘girdle’. It was intended to provide “support” for a weapon. The muscle that is the ‘belt’ or ‘inner tube’ for the body is the transverse abdominis. This muscle is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and provides support for all singing. So I guess I would say “belting” means, “support for singing using the TVA”.
What would you say to a singer experiencing fatigue during vocal rehearsals?
It is important to know the difference between being tired and being fatigued. Think of long weeks of training for a marathon. There are some days where you just feel tired, and it's the classic battle of mind over matter. But there might be other days when you are feeling fatigued and worn out, and pushing yourself, in this case, would be relying on other musculature and harmful body mechanics which could potentially cause injury. In rehearsal or in a long run of a show, if you are tired... Pace yourself. Fatigue is different. What in your body is overworking, and what is underworking?
Tell us one fun fact!
Our cells synchronize instantaneously and can all access and store emotional information; therefore, emotions are not just stored in our brain but throughout our entire body.
“We’ve all heard about psychosomatic illness, but have you heard of psychosomatic wellness? Since emotions run every system in the body, don’t underestimate the power to treat and heal.” -Dr. Candace Pert, The Mother of Psychoneuroimmunology
What’s a lasting piece of advice you’ve heard from a Voice Teacher or Music Director?
“Don’t sing to the balcony, sing to the eighth row: they are the ones who paid big money to hear you.”
What's a piece of advice you find yourself giving to clients in long running shows?
Always think about longevity! Take a day off! In a short run, someone may be able to push through a cold, or a divorce, or being tired. But in a long run, you have to think about how long you want to sing. If the answer is several more years, then think about that when you feel bad for calling out.
I have come to find in my clinic, that what separates a good performer from a great performer is the recognition of the importance of taking care of the self. There are covers and understudies for a reason. Taking one DAY now, will be much better than taking one MONTH later to heal from damage that you did just to push through.
For more information and to work with Christine, please visit her website.