My name is
and this is my story
I’ve always wanted to sing
During my teenage years and twenties I was taking voice lessons from various private voice teachers. Even so, to my dismay, I saw very little progress. Discouraged, but not deterred, I was more determined than ever to improve my singing voice and began my quest for knowledge researching how the voice truly works.
The quest for answers
The information that I found on the Internet couldn’t answer my most burning questions. I intuitively felt that if I wanted to have a strong, powerful voice, I would first need to get my breathing right. When I talked about it with professional wind instrumentalists and vocalists, I realized that they themselves didn’t have much knowledge about breathing and the physiological aspects of singing. I tried all the well known vocal exercises, but felt confused from all the diametrically opposite recommendations for doing them, and was alarmed at the amount of misinformation I heard and concerned as I felt it could not only stop someone from achieving their vocal goals, but it could also be hazardous to one’s health. I also became frustrated when witnessing vocal coaches teaching singers poor and unsafe singing and breathing techniques.
I realized that I have to find all the answers myself. I started to observe my breathing and look for ways to strengthen and control it.
Soon after starting to do street workout, I also started to learn beatboxing and quickly realized that all the breathing exercises I had done before were nothing compared to it. I woke up next morning after the first beatboxing lesson with muscle pain in my mouth, neck and torso region, and that helped me realize that muscles play a huge role in breathing and making sounds. After practicing beatboxing for a while I felt that my breathing was becoming more efficient and I could physically feel where my diaphragm is and which muscles are working when I inhale. When I tried to sing after beatboxing, my voice sounded as good and powerful as never before.
Street workout and beatboxing became my best and only
Starting out as
a breathing coach
Time went and as I got better, I realized that my experience could help others with the same or similar problems and questions, and I myself became a vocal and breathing coach. Helping others became my mission in life.
One time one of my ears had gotten clogged and I had to visit an otolaryngologist. He asked me about my occupation and I told him that I help people strengthen their breath and voice. He took my number because he had had many patients with overworked vocal chords whom he hadn’t been able to help. I started to research information about overworked vocal chords and found out that it was a very popular problem for people who use their voice a lot - teachers, actors, pastors, singers, and so on - and was surprised by the lack of available remedies. I decided that I must do something.
I met a leading otolaryngologist, lecturer in Rīga Stradiņš University and owner of a voice clinic - Dins Sumerags - and told him about my methods and exercises. To my surprise, he recognized them as innovative and unique, and promised to send over to me his patients whom traditional medicine cannot help. His encouragement motivated me to keep working.
Not long after, patients from doctor Sumerags started coming - a woman with a paralysed vocal fold, a guy whose voice didn’t crack during teenage years, a preschool teacher who had lost her voice, a pastor with dysphonia. My breathing exercises helped all of them.
Their feedback after the first few weeks of doing the exercises was that the voice doesn’t get as tired and wear out as quick as before, it sounds better and they can sing higher than before.
I started to work with a lot of singers, event hosts, TV and radio anchors, later also with choirs. As more and more people got to know about me, I was invited to lead masterclasses not only for singers but also for singing teachers and conductors, and to speak at voice related conferences.
Arturas Burke on Latvian Television (2013)
A world that
I realized that there are many people who are suffering in their careers and from health problems due to not knowing how to control their breathing, and helping them became my goal in life.