I have struggled with declining voice strength and increased voice shakiness for four years. I have been to multiple doctors and a speech therapist who all said I have spasmodic vocal dysphonia, and there is nothing I can do to stop my deteriorating voice. My career felt at risk since I need to speak in front of groups. Fortunately, a different ENT doctor recommended I see Dara. Determined to improve my voice, I followed her directions. While it has taken several months of daily practice, I am getting my voice back. In the past, I avoided talking much of the time. Now there are times that I don't even think about my voice. Thanks Dara!
Bobbie - Austin, Texas
I was referred to speech therapy after being diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction. It caused horrible and often embarrassing coughing fits (sounded like whooping cough), and lasted for three years. At it's worst, I have pulled muscles in my back and have even fainted! It was the worst at night, and I actually had to start sleeping separate from my hubby because of it. I was honestly a bit skeptical of speech therapy after getting the referral. Would this really improve my situation? After my 2nd session with Dara I noticed a big improvement! Dara taught me techniques, exercises, and even how to breathe correctly. By working with Dara, there has been such an amazing improvement in my quality of life! My cough is nearly gone! If it starts acting up again, I use the tools that she taught me, and I'm back on track. I was blown away. No extra medicine, non-invasive, and I'm sleeping with my hubby again. Amazing!
Jenn B - Austin, Texas
I hurt my voice singing for a CD back in November 2009, and I was diagnosed with vocal nodes soon thereafter. I could barely speak for nearly 3 months. The Doctor (ENT) prescribed vocal therapy. I saw on separate occasions, two different therapists and had only modest results. I developed a form of dysphonia, and continued to have pain. I was referred to Dara Allen on June 7, 2010. All I can say is I have had remarkable results. The pain is slowly decreasing, my singing voice tone has returned, and I am experiencing increased vocal strength and endurance. (I am writing this in mid August.) I was at the end of my rope till last June. Dara has helped me get back something very important to me -my old voice!
Lance Chambers - Austin, Texas
For at least the past 2 years I have suffered with a "sore throat" that was quite debilitating. I went through probably 5-6 of antibiotics, 3-4 rounds of steroids and even an unnecessary surgery before I was diagnosed as having vocal cord bowing. I was sent to Dara Allen-Voice Specialist. Since about June 07, I have been under the therapy of Mrs. Allen, and my life professionally and personally has taken a turn for the markedly improved. Now I am no longer afflicted with the daily 3PM sore throat-am able to function much better; and when the throat does act up, I know how to relieve it..without drugs. Dara has me now off caffeine, I am now drinking water, and she has taught me to speak in a much more vocally healthy manner.
Dara is great. She has a pleasant disposition, and makes this whole process somehow easier and dare I say it, fun. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Matt Sloan, M.D
I came to Dara with terrible vocal nodules and could barely speak. I work in radio sales and talk for a living, vocal rest was not an option for me. Dara trained me to notice the damaging habits I have and alternate ways to speak without doing harm to my vocal cords. She understood the importance of my voice to my job and worked with me as a partner. I think this is a very fine characteristic that she possesses. Thank you Dara for your help and coaching!
Amy Jain Lowe - CBS Radio
I am excited to have had the opportunity to work with you! As a singer, dancer and aspiring actress, you have given me tools that has helped me to grow in all three art forms. The instruction given including my body alignment, breathing techniques and diction have been invaluable. You have opened my eyes to a whole new world and since has landed me in the musical Evita, Anything Goes cabaret show in Los Angeles, and most recently work on Prison Break season two and three!! I'de like to thank you for pushing me that extra mile and believing in me. You are the best!!
I closed my run of BAT BOY last night-- with a full healthy voice thru the whole run--- and I owe SO much of that to you--- I feel great finishing a VERY challenging and demanding show-- and still feeling healthy.
Thank you Thank you-- for helping to give me my voice back!
Jimmy Hays Nelson - Singer/Actor NYC
It is our sincere honor to recommend Dara Allen as a voice coach. Dara has worked with our daughter for many years, and has a rare combination of technical and creative skills and strenghths. Dara has an uncanny ability to push and motivate a child in a manner and fashion that instills a sense of confidence and poise. Dara's work has always been innovative and fresh.
Under the direction and guidance of Dara Allen, our daughter found her purposse and passion in life. Dara is one of a kind - she is sensitive and caring and her compassion is true. She possesses the zeal, talent and passion to make any child feel like a superstar.
Our daughter sings all day long - and we have Dara Allen to thank for the gift of song in our lives.
Jill and Jeff Rasansky
I was cast in a leading role of a musical six weeks after giving birth to my daughter. I was out of shape, vocally and that, combined with a rigorous rehearsal schedule, brought on laryngitis and an awful cold 2 days before we opened. I called Dara and she met with me immediately. She gave me exercises that enabled me to successfully sing through the cold so that I could perform a 4 show weekend. She warmed me up before each performance, allowing my voice to open and relax. Without her vocal expertise and incredible skill, I would not have been able to sing the show. I am forever grateful and terrifically impressed with not only her great talent as a speech therapist, but also her passion for the work.
Thank you Dara!!!!!!!!!!
Laurie Bulaoro, actress, singer
I had performed Sancho in MAN OF LA MANCHA three times before being recently cast in the WaterTower Theatre version. In past productions, I had trouble keeping my voice from giving me problems. Since the Sancho songs are so high in my range, I would always start to loose my voice. In preparation for the new production, I met with Dara so that she could help me prevent the same problems from happening. With her help, I sang my way through the production run with no vocal problems what-so-ever. Her help has also carried over into all of the Cantoring that I do for services at my Temple. She made me realize a lot of things about my voice that I never took into consideration - and since then I constantly hear her instructions like a little voice in my head that keeps me on the right track. I highly recommend her services!
Randy Pearlman, Actor/Singer - Dallas, Texas
I am so happy I started vocal therapy with you last year. It has made a huge difference in my life. One huge difference is if I go out and have a dinner with family or friends I do not feel the same tension or awkwardness. I feel much more relaxed. I feel like I have more tools to maintain a more relaxed pleasant voice.
Jackie - Grapevine, Texas
Dara is not only a great voice teacher, but also a confidence builder. She has an unequaled ability to understand a student and find the best way for them to learn. Since starting with her a few years ago, my voice has improved, but most importantly how I feel about my singing has changed. I am no longer scared to sing, but proud to sing. Dara is the best!!
Michael Feldman - Singer/Actor