TESTIMONIALS

As a singer with the Metropolitan Opera of New York it is with great pride that I write to you about Chrissellene G. Petropoulos. Her vocal transformation and rebuilding of her voice is remarkable.

~John Fiorito, opera singer/teacher

I started taking lessons with Chrissellene when I was 17 years old. I had just been cast as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and I concluded that being the lead in a musical was a pretty good reason to learn how to use my voice. At that time, I believe the medical term for the way my voice sounded was "dying cat." I was perpetually hoarse, and if I spoke on stage for longer than about ten minutes, my voice would, quite simply, disappear. This is a big problem, particularly if you're going to play Pseudolus, and have every other line in the show. While the show's rehearsals were going on, I was also going to voice lessons weekly, and after a couple months, I was able not only to survive the shows vocally, but to keep my voice strong through the whole show. At one time, I was able to get through TWO shows in one day, with no vocal repercussions. I wouldn't have been able to get through HALF a show if I hadn't started taking lessons with Chrissellene. And, for that matter, I wouldn't have been able to play Max Bialystock in The Producers the following year, a much more vocally demanding role. And, lastly, I wouldn't have been able to project on a Broadway stage, which I had to do a year later, if it weren't for the Commands. So there you have it.

~Noah Robbins, Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs, 2009 Broadway, New York

Her name is Chrissellene Petropoulos and she is for real. I say this because to actually meet her is to encounter such exuberance, optimism, and vitality that one’s first reaction justifiably is, “Hey, no one could be this upbeat and be for real.” Chrissellene is, at least for the past 25 years I have known her. And she’s real-world smart.

I met her at Strathmore Arts Center a quarter of a century ago when she offered to help us get started in Montgomery County. A world-experienced singer and vocal coach, she puts her whole heart into whatever (and whoever) she is teaching. Over the years since then, I have watched her add wisdom to her incredible knowledge base, creating value far beyond most of her contemporaries, especially in the development of the voice.

Recently, she came to my office and briefed me on her project of the last 12 years, The 10 Technical Commands to Vocal Mastery. I was struck by the science behind the technique and the subsequent methods she developed to take the mystery out of vocal training. It may not endear her to some voice teachers who depend primarily on visualization techniques because her methods debunk many of the classic vocal coaching techniques by using real-time MRI images of proper throat posturing and control. I believe she and her colleagues have finally done the hard work of scientific research made possible by the invention of new, innovative, and non-intrusive medical diagnostic technology. Good for her.

I commend her to you. All I ask is that you give her an audience, if she requests one. It will not be a waste of your time or attention, even if your missions don’t eventually align. At the very least, she is a contagious, optimistic presence well worth experiencing.

At best, she may be a genius in her field that has discovered truly valuable information.

~Eliot Phanstiel
President and CEO Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc.

On Performance Mode:

Performance mode is not only an invaluable tool for any performer, it is a key element in surviving in the performing arts. The demands placed on the singer and the actor are extraordinary, and made all the more personal because the live performer is their own instrument. This often makes criticism hard to swallow, because what you do and who you are can often feel inextricably linked. This also makes it quite difficult for performers to take a good, hard, objective look at themselves. Performance Mode is a means of looking at both you and your work with an objective set of eyes--and the only real way to synthesize both positive and negative criticism in any helpful way.

As a Director, I have seen many very experienced performers sabotage their work both onstage and off by letting their emotions get the best of them. Whether you're on Broadway, at a major Opera House, or at a Community Theater, Performance Mode can only help you not take things personally, but also understand yourself better.

On the Ten Commands:

Learning the Ten Commands means you can achieve the muscular ability and technique to sing any repertoire you want. After seeing the cool, hard facts of the human voice and how one can go about strengthening it, all other methods look lightweight and unrelabiable. So many performers spend their livelihoods worrying about vocal health, and the Ten Commands outline the most straight-forward method for protecting, strengthening, and maintaining your voice so you won't have to worry about it again!

~Alan Paul,
Resident Assistant Director at The Shakespeare Theatre Company

Chrissellene's system allowed me to take control of my own voice, giving me the confidence and ability to perform anytime, anywhere.

~Tim Rogan,
$15,000.00 scholarship to a musical theater university; Best male vocalist, winner at the CAPPIES Awards, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.

Performance mode is helping me see more honestly how I am interacting with the world and how I can get out of my own way to do the work at hand.

~Mary Candler,
Actress, Singer

Performance Mode is the way to keep from getting emotionally involved with your performance. This allows you to not lose control of your autonomic nervous system. This is the physiological basis of prevention of loss of neural pathways which constrict the body and throat.

As we speak and sing, we frequently overlook the complexities of our vocal apparatus. We focus on the sounds, intonation and content. Chrissellene G. Petropoulos has used the most modern imaging techniques to dissect the anatomic and physiologic characteristics of our vocal apparatus. The synchronized sound MRI of her voice is remarkable. With her methods, we develop an understanding of that which we can control: posture, air flow, tongue, soft palate, throat, and neck positions. I, along with hundreds of her students, have learned her techniques and have effectively incorporated them into my daily public speaking and singing performances.

~Kenneth M. Kent, MD, PhD

In high school I struggled a great deal with my voice. Whether speaking or singing, I would vocally deteriorate without fail. I would wake up mornings after a week or so of rehearsal and count to a hundred, first with barely any sound and then a hoarse rasp reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard, because my throat had become so swollen. One day, during a rehearsal-warm-up, I snuck to a music room to try to recover my mysteriously vanished voice with clumsy exercises I had learned from friends. The director burst in the room and called me a prima-donna! Performing became a miserable affair. I longed to be on stage but loathed having to utter a sound.

Through a series of fortunate events, I met Chrissellene and began to work on the10 commands. After years of work, I no longer fear about losing my voice or going hoarse. I no longer have to run my day based on the preservation of my voice (which I’m sure every singer/speaker has felt at some point in their life). Like all, I have my ups and downs, however, the difference is inches whereas before it was feet. When things are going haywire or I feel any strain, I have the tools and abilities to get my instrument functioning again.

I have also learned from Chrissellene how to be more positive in my personal and professional life. People are told in job interviews to ‘be themselves’. This seems odd at times because one wants to appear positive, open, and flexible in the interview when these are not qualities that they live by. To feign these in an interview is false but to show one’s true colors seems just as detrimental. The only way to deal with this paradox is to accept that personal and professional are two aspects of the same human being. Chrissellene challenges each student to examine themselves and bring themselves to a new level of personhood, something that few teachers dare to tackle. The performer is the person and Chrissellene is not afraid to teach both.

~Gianmarco Soresi

To say that Chrissellene is a voice teacher is like saying Mr Miyagi is a karate teacher. She teaches you more than how to sing; she teaches you how to survive in the crazy world that is show business.

Chrissellene's first lesson, Performance Mode, brings out a more confident version of myself. One who is able to deal with narcissistic and defensive people in a way that preserves my self confidence. Chrissellene's second lesson is the 10 Commands, which has served me as the 10 Commandments served Moses. With hard work and careful counseling from Chrissellene I was able to turn my pitchy thin alto voice into a strong and clear soprano voice. I recall a previous voice teacher claiming I could never be a soprano nor should I aspire to be one. Chrissellene, however, never made a judgment. Instead she worked hard with me to strengthen my vocal chords and confidence and turn me into a leading lady. Anyone who is serious about a future in the performing arts will see after the first lesson that Chrissellene is the way to get there.

~Aliza Sotsky,
Graduating Senior, GDS, Washington DC

Seeing is believing! This summer, Chrissellene Petropoulos invited me to her PowerPoint presentation. Fiber Optic Laryngoscopy and Magnetic Resonance SOUND VIDEO Imaging allows us to view what the body is doing in "real time" and what we can achieve.

Ms. Petropoulos has demonstrated an important direct link between scientific research and clinical/professional outcomes. Her research has tremendous implications for enhancing the skills of singers, actors and those with vocal pathology. Through her research, insights and technical commands, Ms. Petropoulos has proven that we can truly build, strengthen, and change the muscles involved in breathing, speaking and singing. I strongly encourage you to view her presentation.

~Laura Rubinoff. M.S.,CCC
Speech-Language Pathologist Diagnosis and treatment of speech, language and learning disabilities educational advocacy on behalf of families and children.

The 10 Commands are a salvation to anyone that has EVER lost or strained their voice. As a singer and an actor, I used to live in fear of embarrassing myself whenever I produced sound.I left rehearsals with little or no voice and spent hours before performances with tea, honey, and absolutely no talking.

Now, backed with scientific knowledge and a great deal of practice, nothing can stop me. I practice for hours a day, rehearse a climactic scene, and then go out with my friends-without ever losing or straining my voice.

Once you truly know the facts behind what you are trying to do, there will be no end to your progress and success.

Even more amazing, however, is how Performance Mode has helped me take on life with a newfound optimism and positive attitude. Criticism on the stage and in daily affairs no longer gets my emotional roller-coaster running.

Directors, teachers and friends can all attest to me taking their comments/notes and improving them by the second, never allowing me to be bogged down in negative/defensive thinking.

With The Ten Commands and Performance Mode, I am constantly growing as a performer and as a human being. There has yet to be an end in sight.

~Gianmarco V. Soresi,
$19,000.00 scholarship to a musical theater conservatory

Most vocal training provided by professional voice teachers at this time is based on timeworn methods that may have little relationship to actural human physiology. As a physician and singer, I am quite impressed with the extensive work Ms. Petropoulos has undertaken to develop and support her theories of vocal training.

Her background as an internationally recognized soprano certainly prepared her for this career. However, being raised in a medical family her father is an Otolaryngologist, certainly aided in her pursuit of a scientific basis for proper vocal technique. I have seen the marked improvement in many singers she has coached and have sought her out myself for this training. Therefore, I speak not only as a doctor, but also as student of her evidence-based system.  

~Blair M. Eig,M.D.
Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer Holy Cross Hospital
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
The George Washington University School of Medicine

Commands

The Ten Vocal Commands should be followed like Commandments. I started working with Chrissellene and Vocal Mastery when I was fourteen years old, and they have been helping me since my very first lesson. The Commands allow you to be as versatile as you could ever dream to be, and yet they can also provide help to specific problems, when need be. My passion lies in classical drama, and so, I thought the Commands wouldn’t help me. I thought they only applied to singing. I was wrong. The Commands can help anyone with any type of performing – or even with speaking. What Chrissellene taught me is that it doesn’t matter if you are singing or speaking, the Commands allow you to protect your voice and use it to its fullest capabilities.

Performance Mode

As wonderful as the Ten Commands are, Performance Mode is that much better. Performance Mode allows you to strip away all the unnecessary emotional reactions that many performers deal with on a day to day. For me, Performance Mode has pushed me ahead in my theater work. With Performance Mode, I can focus on the performing and on my abilities. Performance Mode is a game changer for any performer.  

~Susannah M. Eig

Performance Mode has put me in control of my life.
I can choose to react objectively instead of emotionally to any situation.

The 10 Commands have made singing a joy again. It's incredibly hard work, but what a sense of satisfaction to make the voice do what you want it to do, when you want it to do it.

~Denise Young,
singer, banker

Recently, I attended Chrissellene Petropoulos' Vocal mastery techniques, which she has developed and tested in ways that are acceptable to the scientific community. I was very impressed with the background, data, and demonstrations via powerpoint, fiber optic laryngoscope and MRI videos.

The predictions were supported and I strongly recommend these methods. The Vocal Mastery techniques provide a unique collaboration between the arts and sciences that enables physicians, professors, performers, and the public to achieve better physical and psychological control over breathing and speaking.

~ Kim Burgess, PhD

The ability to approach singing as a series of ten learned skills, as ten separate muscular or physical controls, is immensely helpful. I am no longer trapped by an inability to "visualize" singing. I know that to whatever degree I practice and master discrete skills, as I might for a sport, I can control and improve my vocal production.

~ Ned Johnson,
CEO, Prepmatters, Inc.,
singer

Thanks so much for setting up the vocal coaching with Chrissellene Petropoulos. I was stunned by the amount of solid information she was able to give in such a short amount of time.

With that kind of no-nonsense approach to what has traditionally been treated so vaguely, I can't imagine her program won't just set the world on fire when word gets out.

Her video by itself was worth gold. But, having her in person (what a personality!) was a great, great experience. Thanks for putting that together!

~Phil Hosford

I am a singer in New York City and I have worked with vocal coaches that currently teach voice at Juilliard, Yale, and NYU as well as coaches for Broadway shows and national tours of musicals and all of them combined do not have as much knowledge as Chrissellene Petropoulos does when it comes to using the vocal apparatus.

She teaches the valuable skill of singing without hoping and wishing that your high notes will be hit that night. She gives singers a strong foundation of knowledge about how the vocal apparatus works and how to use it to optimum efficiency without ever getting tired, cracking or feeling strained. If one uses these muscles correctly, he or she can sing and speak for extended periods of time without losing his or her voice (even at the after party). I personally hope to continue growing in my knowledge of the Ten Commands and learning from this extraordinary teacher and her valuable research.

~Helene Elford,
singer, actress, dancer

It is an honor for me to write a letter of support for Chrissellene G. Petropoulos, B.A., M.Mus., A.D. who has spent twelve years defining, demonstrating, and documenting objective measures which alter the-human voice. Ms. Petropoulos has analyzed and categorized elements of vocal master}' including body posture, head, mandibular, and neck positioning and tilt, tongue and soft palate motion, as well as the muscular function of inspiration and expiration into ten technical commands. Her hypothesis is that by understanding and implementing ten specific muscular commands students are able to improve the quality of their voice, and also to protect the vocal apparatus from strain and potential harm.

The culmination of Ms. Petropoulos' hypothesis is the scientific documentation of how each command alters the voice using direct fiberoptic laryngoscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging. Ms, Petropoulos, using herself as the subject, has recorded a fascinating and outstanding visual display of how the ten muscular commands alter the vocal apparatus, accompanied by the auditory changes. She also illustrates singing techniques, which could lead to vocal cord damage. As a physician and musician who has spent hours listening to singers and actors, I am in a unique position to appreciate the scientific voice enhancing and preserving techniques, as well as, the aesthetic contribution Ms. Petropoulos is making to the education of voice students. She has proven her hypothesis, and demonstrated the ten vocal muscular commands objectively via two modern and beautifully clear medical imaging modalities.

I have observed some of the two hundred and fifty subjects in her study perform in master classes, and have seen first hand how-understanding and utilization of the ten vocal commands defined by Chissellene G. Petropoulos improves the vocal performances of students of all ages and degrees of musical experience. I recommend Chissellene G. Petropoulos and her outstanding scientific study to you highly, and without any reservations. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  

~Pamela Sears-Rogan, M.D.,
FACC, FASH Director, Echocardiography Laboratory Director,
Intraoperative Transesophageal Echocardiography
Washington Hospital Center Washington, D.C.

Performance Mode is a tool which has become an essential part of my life. I now process other peoples words and actions objectively. I graduated with a degree in voice, yet I possessed no knowledge of how my instrument functioned. The 10 Commands are essential for life long singing. They build muscle strength and skill that no other technique can.

Performance Mode and the 10 Technical Commands have changed my life. The scientific methodology of the 10 technical commands work wonders on the voice, and performance mode works wonders on the mind. They are a powerful combination that creates a well rounded singer who will be an asset to the singing world and community.

~Rachael Goldman,
singer, teacher

What a fantastic experience it was getting to a workshop with Chrissellene Petropoulos. Her over view of her methods on Performance Mode and the 10 Technical Commands to Vocal Mastery was so very informative and effective. In such a short time to see and hear improvements in myself and other was nothing short of phenomenal. I am so delighted to now have the knowledge she share with us on breathing, and opening the throat that I can't stop putting those practices into play. Please thank her again for me.

~Patrick M. Doneghy

I just want to tell you that your teacher is AMAZING!! I really want to go back and learn more!! Just from being there and seeing all the warm-ups have inspired me!! I even have been practicing the pinky thing and in chorus I sang "stoopid".
Thanks for last night!!

~Nick Stamos

Thank you for setting up the workshop with Chrissellene last night. That might have been one of the top two or three theatre related experiences of my life. Her methods are amazing. I think I got more from her in three hours than I did from my vocal instruction in five years ( and she is locally recognized as being one of the best).
Thank you!

~Hugh Gordon

Thank you Chrissellene, for the lessons you gave Damascus Theatre Company on Tuesday. We were all very impressed with your techniques of teaching us how to sing at our fullest potential. From beginner to advanced, you were able to encourage improvement for those at all vocal levels. Thanks,  

~Jim Korte

I have been performing in theater since middle school. Along with that I have studied singing, or more specifically, performance lessons. My teacher stresses objective thinking when on stage. She teaches us to take criticism objectively, without letting our emotions control our reactions. This is important when facing a frustrated stage director or manager, but it can also be used in everyday life. It turns out that I have spent time learning how to sing and act, and time philosophizing. She taught me about the old Greek philosophers, like Plato and Socrates (her favorite). She urged me to utilize their teachings in my life. While I still personalize my brother's criticisms, her lessons have had a profound effect on me. I am different from most of my friends because I value honesty, altruism, and all of my learned principles.

My lessons about objective thinking and philosophy helped me as a singer and actor. I learned how to analyze a script in more ways than one, and get along with fellow actors and directors. But ironically, these skills also helped me with literature. I was able to follow along with Raskolnikov's internal rants, and read the story with all of the character's perspective's in mind. I can see scenarios which I have discussed with my voice teacher, playing out in these novels. I have the ability to analyze human behaviors, and I am a good judge of character.

The 10 Commands gave me the vocal power to become leads in musicals and plays without feeling any tension in my throat.

~Stephen Kent

Thanks for an outstanding workshop in Richmond! I learned more in four hours than I have in 10 years!.

~Elia Nicholas

I have studied voice with Chrissellene Petropoulos for the past 5 years. In that time, my ability to speak, sing and present myself with confidence to a public audience has increased twentyfold both in my scientific career and my private life.

I have been an amateur singer for 25 years, but by 2000 my voice had completely broken down and was no longer functioning properly. Once I began working with Chrissellene, my technique immediately began to improve and I have become a soloist performer with many community theater groups in the Washington D.C. area. I can now step in front of an audience without fear and doubt. This has made an enormous positive change in my life – allowing me to live out a dream of singing and performing for the enjoyment of (rather than being painful to) an audience.

In addition, I am an astrophysicist and media spokesperson for NASA. As my vocal control and confidence have grown, I have found increasing opportunities for public speaking, TV interviews, and media events. Many of these are opportunities that I would not have had before my vocal training. I am also a manager for NASA, and my vocal training has allowed me to succeed within my job to a level I could not have imagined 5 years ago.

As a scientist, I can say that the evidence of breathing and muscle control gleaned from the fiber optics and MRI imaging videos is stunning and ground-breaking research. These data are remarkable and will have an enormous impact on the field of vocal production. To produce sound properly one needs to have an understanding of how the body works – not vague imagery or tricks. Most voice teachers unfortunately ascribe to the latter since they do not understand how the body produces sound. Once the technical commands of vocal control are mastered (as demonstrated by the clear and concise data obtained by Chrissellene) anyone can produce a high-quality sound and reach whatever potential is within them.

I highly recommend Chrissellene’s work. I believe it is the most relevant and innovative research on voice production that could be presented at your conference. This is vital information with incredibly high scientific and human value. Singers and speakers the world over are in desperate need of Chrissellene Petropoulos’ method.

~Dr.Kim Weaver