Q & A
What the what does “velum” and “posterior cricoarytenoid” mean?
Oh anatomy! How I once feared spelling you wrong, or getting a D+ on your tests! Although let’s be real, I still trip over your pronunciations. (Yes, I realize the irony there.)
The velum is also known as the soft palate. It’s right behind the hard palate, in your mouth, on the top. If you put your finger-pad on the roof of your mouth, you’ll feel the hard palate. Now, S-L-O-W-L-Y move your finger toward the back of your head. Don’t go too fast, or you’ll trigger the gag reflex, and that won’t be pretty. That soft fleshy thing you feel is your velum, or soft palate. You can feel it stretch when you yawn.
The posterior cricoaryteniods are the muscles responsible for opening (or abducting) your vocal folds. This is helpful, so you can take in breath, and not die.
For all the other reasons this is helpful, see this very cool, but a little gross, video of these muscles in action using a cow larynx.
Who trained you?
- Pamela Hicks, in Hayward, CA
- Leslie Mannring, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
- Howard Skinner, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
- Don Benham, Patten University, Oakland, CA
- Jack Krauscoup, Oakland, CA
- A ton of workshops, Master Classes, books, videos, more books, Seminars, Certification Courses… you know, all that school you do after school called professional development.
- This just in! I’ll be joining the National Association for the Teachers of Singing as one of their 2017 Interns. My teachers for the internship will be Mary Saunders-Barton, Kenneth Bozeman, Peggy Baroody, W. Stephen Smith, and Warren Jones.
Who can be part of the studio?
- Vocalists, Actors, Business-People, Voice Teachers, Choir Directors, Drama Teachers, Stage Directors, Vocal & Music Directors, all other types of Future Rockstars.
- Doesn’t matter how old you are, but we’ll approach your training with age-sensitivity in mind. Five year olds should focus on different things than 14 year olds or 95 year olds.
- Beginners, avocational performers, and professionals who’ve got a growth mindset and a love of learning.
- Hashtag Truth: I’m not the best person for a dabbler. It’s just who I am. Good news though: I am very much about the right fit, so if you don’t know where to start in finding the right voice teacher for you, reach out! I’ll help you figure out what you need, and how to find it.
So do you do group classes?
For Students: Kind of. You can get on the list to do in-person, or online group sessions. When there are enough signed up, we ROLL.
For Teachers: I absolutely do! In fact, there’s a very cool little subscription service, just for you, called The SpeakEasy. Click here to find out more.
What kind of training do you offer?
For performers: Singing, Music Theory, Acting, Public Speaking & Presentation Skills, Audition & Role prep.
For fellow teachers: Pedagogy & Voice Nerdery Deciphered, Independent Studio Business Growth, “Fill the Gap” Sessions (for you and your students, together!)
How do I start?
- Make a call, send an email, or fill out the contact form.
We’ll set up a phone or video conference consult.
- After that, you’ll have an Initial Fit Session.
If you’d like to jump right in, and schedule our Initial Fit Session, by all means, do so, by clicking here.
- Once we’ve had our Initial Fit Session, and know we’re a good fit, I’ll prep your personalized packages and we’ll get to it.
Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Depends. Your training package is personalized for you, so you may invest more or less than your neighbor.
Then, you’ll have your Initial Fit Session. ($175) Please be prepared to invest about 90 minutes at your Initial Fit Session. This is a vital part of making our time together effective! Get scheduled for this HERE.
For those of you who just need polishing, or prefer a more loose schedule, I do offer drop sessions at a first come/first served basis. You reserve your goal-specified session with a $125, prepaid, non-refundable retainer. You can do that here.
Can you tell me about yourself?
Michelle Markwart Deveaux hates writing her bio, but she likes telling her story:
I loves the singing, and the teaching, and the turning singers and teachers into beasty-bosses. I built faithculturekiss studio for voice & acting, and The SpeakEasy Cooperative, because it was the best way to pay the bills, and my soul. I write a blog. I gig. I travel the nation and do workshops and MasterClasses that focus on singing stuff and empower independent voice teachers to be in love with their businesses.
I have too many books. bel canto was my gateway drug… leading to the bigger dangers of psycho-ping, super-belt, scream, voice science, and Jazz. My kids make me flip out in all the ways, good and ill. I’m the president of the California Capital Chapter of NATS, and have participated in the NATS Intern Program in Toronto.
I’m a business strategist and coach, too. I learned how to do this by, well, doing it. A lot.
Degrees? SURE! BA in Music from Patten University, MA in Worship, Theology, and the Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary. I cut formal education teeth at the University of Northern Colorado in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance.
My teachers include Pamela Hicks, Mary Saunders-Barton, Leslie Mannring, and Sheri Sanders. My mentors include all my clients.