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INSIDE MUSIC: What if you could improve the sound of your voice almost instantly?

By Rosemary Conte

originally published: 07/24/2018

INSIDE MUSIC: What if you could improve the sound of your voice  almost instantly?

There’s an abundance of tech gear and gadgets on the market for instrumentalists to alter their sound, but there are few options for singers and speakers. Here is one that I and my students have used to great effect. 

Introducing….HearFones!  No wires, no electronics at all. It’s a lightweight, acoustic headset instrument that enables a person singing or speaking to hear the actual sound of his voice.

To be clear, this is a practice tool….to improve vocal technique, and not to be used by a singer in performance. However, a drummer could get away with it live, as drummers often wear headphones. But it would look silly on an out front singer.

The headset is used by amateur and professional singers, speakers, actors, vocal coaches, speech/language pathologist patients and new-language learners to build new, or to modify existing muscle-memory patterns. This device is also effective in helping modify breathing when singing. (In my teaching practice, breathing is one of the two most frequent problems of most singers.)  HearFones quickly helps a singer to “hear” the problem. 

The novel invention has been used to teach children with learning disabilities and auditory processing issues how to blend in with their school singing group. Large youth and adult choruses have found HearFones valuable for creating a unified sound, as the users learn to automatically adjust their technique for a better sound.



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Normally, we hear our voices through our esophagus. We don’t know how our voices sound to others. HearFones is a tool that allows us to hear clearly the real and total sound of our own voice instead of hearing only the reflections of our singing in a room. It’s a better and truer sound than hand cupping behind our ears.

HearFones work by redirecting sound binaurally from the mouth to the ears using high quality plastic ellipsoidal reflectors that focus sound at the user’s mouth and at the ear canals. So instead of dissipating in the air, sound goes directly to the ears. And here’s the important news:  Using this device, singers and speakers intuitively modify their vocal habits to create a voice that they prefer. 

INSIDE MUSIC: What if you could improve the sound of your voice  almost instantly?

One vocal expert remarked that, “Not since Guido d’Arezzo’s music notation in 1030 has there been such a help for the singer.” You know  how we’re often skeptical of positive product reviews?  I researched HearFones and came across superlatives like amazing and incredible.  And when I put my HearFone headset on my student and she began to sing, she said exactly that! 

I haven’t tried recording wearing this device, but I think it would be helpful, especially when having to record with a vocal impairment…or, as sometimes happens to me, my breathing might be “labored” due to a sudden asthma attack. That happened to me when I was recording in a studio’s enclosed vocal booth that was very dusty.

When Elaine Silver, popular folk singer visited me last summer and put on my HearFones and sang, she was so impressed with what she heard, she immediately took out her cell phone and ordered the item from Amazon as a birthday present for her musician husband.  Visiting me this summer, she reported that her husband loves his HearFones.

This product was designed by a U.S. company and is manufactured in Maine. The item sells online for $43 plus shipping and handling, or check your favorite music store or other online vendor.  For further information email hearfones@hearfones.com  Visit the website at www.HearFones.com   






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White Eagle Hall Presents Mason Jennings
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- White Eagle Hall presents Mason Jennings on Sunday, September 16 at 7:00pm. Jennings is touring in support of his latest album, Songs From When We Met, which was released earlier this year.  Tickets are $20.
Pioneer Productions Presents Wendy-Lane Bailey Women's Work
(DENVILLE, NJ) -- Pioneer Productions kicks off its new Living Room Series with Women’s Work - an evening of songs by female songwriters on September 16 at 6:00pm at the Arthur Murray Studios in Denville. Conceived and performed by singer/storyteller Wendy-Lane Bailey & composer/pianist Michele Brourman it has a funny, sometimes challenging but always defiantly feminine viewpoint that brings the worlds of Broadway, pop, and country together in one show.
Stone Pony To Honor Butch Pielka
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- A special day of music to honor the legacy of the original Stone Pony co-owner and manager, Robert “Butch” Pielka, will be held Sunday, October 7, from 2:00 to 9:00pm at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. The lineup includes reunions of Cats on a Smooth Surface and The Shakes, and Lance Larson.  More names are expected to be added.
Victor Wainwright & The Train To Perform At Lizzie Rose Music Room
(TUCKERTON, NJ) -- The Lizzie Rose Music Room presents Victor Wainwright and the Train on Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30pm. A 3 time BMA Piano Award winner,  BB KING Entertainer of the Year Award Winner, and Band of the Year Award winner, Victor Wainwright is at the top of his game right now.  The band is touring in support of their latest record, The Train, on Ruf Records. Tickets are 30 in advance and $35 at the door.
State Theatre presents Lost 80's Live
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Lost 80’s Live on Saturday, September 20, 2018 at 8:00pm. The Lost 80’s line-up features some of the most iconic bands from the 1980s including A Flock of Seagulls; Wang Chung; Bow Wow Wow; Farrington and Mann, Original Vocalists of When in Rome UK; Naked Eyes; and Animotion. Tickets range from $48-$98.


Let’s Hang On’s Tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons LIVE! at The Strand
Q: So what do four guys from Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Massachusetts — and all currently based out of Florida — have in common with four guys from “Joisey” this summery August 3, 2018 evening at the Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ?
80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America
I never in a million years would have thought about iPlay America in Freehold as being an event venue. To me, it's a place to ride bumper cars, have kids' birthday parties and play video games. Never been there.
The Great Rock N Roll Time Machine LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
As we make our way inside the Grunin Center of the Arts located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ, this Saturday, July 28, 2018, we see music lovers of all ages. Some of them are wearing street clothes but some are decked out in outfits from the 1970s and ’80s for tonight’s concert by the ’70s and ’80s tribute band, The Great Rock N Roll Time Machine.
Classical Guitarists Alex and Wesley Park LIVE! at The Great Auditorium
The bucolic seashore town of Ocean Grove, NJ is a place designed for quiet reflection and spiritual renewal. An artist sketches in the lush green park off Pilgrim Pathway. Still others read or meditate in the heart of this picturesque village which features gingerbread houses and colorful gardens, all just steps away from the fresh salt air wafting off the blue Atlantic Ocean.
“Rock and Roll Icons!” Hippiefest LIVE! at BergenPAC
A light summer rain is falling outside Englewood, NJ’s BergenPAC this Wednesday July 25, 2018, as music lovers decked out in peace signs, tie-dyed shirts, and bell-bottomed jeans arrive for tonight’s Hippiefest concert event starring Vanilla Fudge, Rick Derringer, Mitch Ryder, and Badfingers’ Joey Molland.










Event calendar
Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018


MUSIC

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Chorus Auditions @ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Emerson - 6:30pm

Allah-Las @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

CIRCLES AROUND THE SUN @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

STASIS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Victor Wainwright & The Train @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


THEATRE

Saturday Night Fever @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 8:00pm

The Lion In Winter @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 8:00pm

Shakespeare in the Park' Twelfth Night & Macbeth @ Englewood Library, Englewood - 6:30pm







FILM

The Greatest Showman @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

FREE SUMMER MOVIE: COCO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 10:30am and 7:30pm

View all events










 






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