Healing Voices

Healing Voices (1)By Leda Scearce, MM, MS, CCC-SLP author of Manual of Singing Voice Rehabilitation: A Practical Approach to Vocal Health and Wellness

Singing is a part of virtually every culture and is fundamental to our human experience. In the United States, singing is enormously popular, as evidenced by the vast number of people engaged in all kinds of singing activities. Over 30 million Americans participate in choral singing alone (Chorus America, 2009). Shows such as The Voice, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol illustrate how passionate we are about singing. From the amateur recreational singer to the elite celebrity, we sing as soloists and in ensembles, with instruments and a cappella, in classical and contemporary styles, on stage, in concert, and in the shower.

Every person’s voice is unique and identifiable, and our voices can be a big part of our identity and how we see ourselves in the world. This is especially true for singers, for whom the voice is not only intricately tied to self-image and self-esteem but also may be a source of income and livelihood, creative expression, spiritual engagement, and quality of life. For a singer, a voice injury represents a crisis. Because of the specialized needs of singers, it takes a team—including a laryngologist, speech-language pathologist, and singing voice rehabilitation specialist—to get a singer back on track following an injury or voice disorder. Singing voice rehabilitation is a hybrid profession, requiring in-depth clinical and scientific knowledge married with excellence in teaching singing.

Voice problems are rarely isolated in etiology—usually multiple factors converge to create an injury. These factors may include poor vocal hygiene, inadequate vocal technique, an imbalance in vocal load and medical problems (allergies and reflux are common in singers, but thyroid, pulmonary, neurologic, and rheumatologic conditions are among the illnesses that may affect the voice). The singing voice rehabilitation process must encompass all elements that may be contributing to the problem: medical factors, vocal hygiene, vocal coordination and conditioning, vocal pacing, and emotional factors. Continue reading

Ground-Breaking Book on the Mind-Body Link in Singers

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers by Karen Leigh-Post

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers by Karen Leigh-Post

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers: Unleashing Optimal Performance provides a fundamental understanding of functional anatomy and cognitive neuroscience to guide singers and teachers of singing to unlocking the mystery of the mind-body link involved in the complex audio-motor behavior that is singing.

New theories and concepts, rooted in both the wisdom of masters in the field and current scientific research, are introduced from the unique perspective of the performer. Practical application exercises train the singer to work with, rather than against, the systems of singing to integrate the cognitive and conscious with the unconscious sensory and motor processes of our nervous system. Continue reading

Brand New Practical Resource for Voice Coaches

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman, MM, MA, CCC-SLP, is an excellent resource for teachers of singing, voice coaches, and speech-language pathologists who work with singers and other voice professionals. It provides a new paradigm for working with singers in a way that allows for improved kinesthetic awareness needed to work with their body rather than against it. The text contains a series of lessons designed to train singing teachers, coaches, and voice therapists to recognize in their students the patterns of use and posture that interfere with respiration, phonation, and/or resonance. In addition, it provides tools for the teacher to guide the student to a level of self-awareness of habituated patterns along with strategies to implement change from the inside out. Continue reading

Invaluable Resources for Anyone Who Uses or Trains the Singing Voice

The Vocal Athlete

The Vocal Athlete by Wendy LeBorgne and Marci Rosenberg

The Vocal Athlete and the companion workbook The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer are written and designed to bridge the gap between the art of contemporary commercial music (CCM) singing and the science behind voice production in this ever-growing popular vocal style. These books are a must have for the speech pathologist, singing voice specialist, and vocal pedagogue. Continue reading

Featured Article- Choral Pedagogy, Third Edition


CHORAL PEDAGOGY, 3RD edition

Brenda Smith, DMA and Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA

Choral Pedagogy 3rd

Singing is known to every culture around the world.   For most of us, singing skill is learned collaboratively in choirs.  To participate in a choir throughout a lifetime, we must adjust our vocal expectations and maintain a dynamic sense of readiness for the changes that occur from year to year.  The choral conductor must work nimbly to accommodate the vocal needs of each age group, including all singers at all times in assignments appropriate to the contributions they are able to make.  There are many challenges, but choral pedagogy, voice science and medical resources are equipped to assist the choral conductor in the creation of a dynamic rehearsal and performance plan.

Lifelong Singing

For the training of vocal skill, trained and amateur singers of any age benefit from the personal attention of a voice builder or choral conductor.  Each voice presents with a specific complement of unique set of vocal, aural, rhythmic and interpretative gifts.  Because singers perceive their voices differently the way they are perceived by their listeners, singers at any age rely on constructive feedback generated by the trusted ears and eyes of a qualified person.

choirChanges in range are a natural part of the aging process and are due to the loss of muscle bulk and alterations in connective tissue in the vocal fold, as well as to respiratory changes, blood flow and alterations in body muscle nerve condition, and other alterations.  Another factor is the ossification of laryngeal cartilages.  The degree of aging changes varies from singer to singer.  People who love to sing wish to be included in choral activities as long as possible.  Choral singing can be particularly beneficial for the preservation of vocal skill and for delaying the inevitable losses of range, control and agility.

 

Medical Aspects

While choral conductors are not expected to have the medical knowledge of physicians, they should have sufficient familiarity with vocal health problems to recognize at least obvious voice dysfunction and suggest that afflicted singers seek medical attention.  Medical voice care has advanced markedly over the last few decades.  Voice is now an established subspecialty of otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), and expert care for singers is available much more widely than it used to be.

Good medical diagnosis in all fields often depends on asking the right questions and then listening carefully to the answers. This process is known as “taking a history.” Recently, medical care for voice problems has utilized a markedly expanded, comprehensive history, recognizing that there is more to the voice than simply the vocal folds. Virtually any body system may be responsible for voice complaints. In fact, problems outside the larynx often cause voice dysfunction in people whose vocal folds appear fairly normal and who would have received no effective medical care a few years ago.

Physical examination of a patient with voice complaints involves a complete ear, nose, and throat assessment and examination of other body systems as appropriate. In the last few years, subjective examination has been supplemented by technological aids that improve the ability to “see” the vocal mechanism and allow quantification of aspects of its function. With phonation at middle C, the vocal folds come together and separate approximately 250 times per second. Strobovideolaryngoscopy uses a laryngeal microphone to trigger a stroboscope that illuminates the vocal folds, allowing the examiner to assess them in “slow motion”. This technology allows visualization of small masses, and other abnormalities that are simply missed in vocal folds that looked “normal” under continuous light. The instruments contained in a well-equipped clinical voice laboratory assess six categories of vocal function: vibratory, aerodynamic, phonatory, acoustic, electromyographic, and psychoacoustic. State-of-the-art analysis of vocal function is extremely helpful in the diagnosis, therapy, and evaluation of progress during the treatment of voice disorders.

Following a thorough history, physical examination, and clinical voice laboratory analysis, it is usually possible to arrive at an accurate explanation for voice dysfunction. Of course, treatment depends on the etiology (cause). Fortunately, as technology has improved voice medicine, the need for laryngeal surgery has diminished. When the underlying problem is corrected properly, the voice usually improves, but collaborative treatment by a team of specialists is most desirable to ensure general and vocal health and optimize voice function. The choir director should be part of that team.  Details of medical problems associated with voice disorders may be found in other literature. 1-4

The Basics of Singing

Warm ups and cools downs are necessary for any singer.  Warm up and cool down exercises adjust the vocal instrument from speech to singing and from singing back to speech.  Warm ups and cool downs involve four elements: relaxation, posture, breathing and resonance.  Relaxation before and after singing contributes to vocal health.  The vocal mechanism and the extremities need to be stretched and warmed.  Good posture, both standing and seated, must be established in order to achieve a full breath.  Conductors should be mindful that singing in a seated position is not an easy task.  All singers should maintain an erect posture that allows maximum muscular freedom, flexibility and safety.   A buoyant, flexible approach to breath support during exhalation follows.  The final step to vocal readiness involves uniting the breath with the vocal sound.  Exercises that evoke resonant sounds, such as humming, trilling with the lips or sighing set the stage for a focused vocal tone.  In the process of cool down, singers return the voice to the speaking range by sighing, chanting or humming through the mid and lower registers.

singer

The role singing plays in the daily life of each singer is diverse and unique.  The rhythm and discipline of music learning sharpens mental acumen and memory. For choir members who maintain interests in acting and public speaking, singing can be a means of maintaining vocal strength and stamina.  For many, singing in a choir makes life worth living.  The overall musical results of a choir rehearsal may be of less importance than the good experience of being together for the task of singing.  Singers want to continue singing as long as they can and as well as they can.  Choral pedagogy is advancing to accommodate the special needs of singers of all ages.  By establishing good singing habits, remaining physically fit, setting reasonable goals, and attending to vocal health, choral singers can “stay in the game” for many decades.

References

  1. Sataloff, R.TProfessional Voice: The Science and Art of Clinical Care, Third Edition.  San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.; 2005.
  2. Rubin, J., Sataloff, R.T. and Korovin, G Diagnosis and Treatment of Voice Disorders, Fourth Edition.  San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.; 2013, in press
  3. Heman-Ackah, Y.D., Sataloff, R.T. and Hawkshaw, M.J.  Protecting the Vocal Instrument.  Narberth, PA: Science and Medicine; 2013.
  4. Smith, B. and Sataloff, R.T.  Choral Pedagogy and the Older Singer.  San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.; 2012.

 

 

Australian Voice Association’s Student Encouragement Awards 2013 Winners

Australian Voice Association

Each year on World Voice Day, April 16th, the AVA presents their Student Encouragement Award to five national recipients. This year Plural sponsored the award by donating one of our books to each of the five winners.

This year’s winners are:

AVA-Clare-Eastwood-2013

Grace Smibert, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts receiving her award from Judy Rough and Daniel Novakovic.

 

 

Grace Smibert and Caitin Cassidy

Caitlin Cassidy, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and Clare Savina Eastwood, University of Sydney, are presented their awards by Ros Barnes and Julia Moody.

 

Eleanor Stankiewicz, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

 

Michaela Brown

Michaela Brown, University of Queensland receiving her award courtesy of Adele Nisbet.

 

 

 

About the AVA Student Encouragement Award- Each year potential students are nominated based upon the following criteria:

  • Exemplary attitude and commitment to their particular program of study
  • Sound academic achievement
  • A genuine interest in learning about voice
  • Leadership in some manner with reference to vocal issues
  • Research achievement in voice
  • Vocal performance worthy of support

The winners receive:

  • Complimentary AVA membership for the year of nomination
  • Complimentary participation in one AVA Professional Development Event
  • A relevant textbook sponsored by Plural Publishing

World Voice Day 2013

About World Voice Day- World Voice Day is every April 16th. It is a worldwide annual event that celebrates the voice. It aims to demonstrate the importance and impact of the voice in daily life; as a tool of communication and as an application of a large number of sciences, such as physics, psychology, phonetics, art and biology.

The Voice Foundation 42nd Annual Symposium: Care of the Professional Voice

vflogoPlural will be exhibiting at this year’s symposium and displaying many of the books written by this year’s presenters. The following is our list of recommended sessions led or moderated by our esteemed authors:

Thursday, May 30th

10:30 am – 11:00 pm

AGING AND TISSUE CHANGES

The Westin Philadelphia Hotel: Grand Ballroom

10:30 am Vocal Training Mitigates the Effects of Age on Rat Vocalizations and Laryngeal Neuromuscular Junctions

  • Aaron M. Johnson, Michelle R. Ciucci, Nadine P. Connor

10:45 am Aging Induces Severe Metabolic and Contractile Dysfunction in the Rat Posterior Cricoarytenoid Muscle

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

SINGING AND PITCH-SHIFT REFLEX

  • Chair: Christy Ludlow

11:00 am Analyzing the Pitch-Shift-Reflex

  • Simon Petermann, Michael Döllinger, Lisa Göderer,  Ulrich Eysholdt, Anke Ziethe

11:15 am The Effect of Singers` Positions on Vocal Tract Configurations  During Professional Singing

  • Matthias Echternach, Luisa Traser, Michael Burdumy,  Marco Vicari, Bernhard Richter

11:30 am Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Christy Ludlow
  • Guest Panelists: Michael M. Johns III, Brenda Jo Smith, author of the new Choral Pedagogy, Third Edition
  • Panelists: Johnson, Stemple, Petermann, Echternach

6:15 – 7:00 pm

CLINICAL VOICE MEASUREMENT TOOLS – HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE

  • Chair: Linda Carroll

The Westin Philadelphia Hotel: Salon II

6:15 pm Voice Lab: Nuts and Bolts

 

Friday, May 31

WORKSHOP: TECHNOLOGY AND THE VOICE STUDIO

Technology in the 21st Century Voice Studio

 

Saturday, June 1

MEDICAL SESSION

Westin Philadelphia Hotel: Grand Ballroom, Salon I

9:15 am Spectral Analysis of Digital Kymography in Normal Adult Vocal Folds

10:00 am Degree of Dysplasia Based on Virus Typing in Patients with Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Treated with Cidofovir

11:10 am G. Paul Moore Lecture by Thomas Murry, Plural author and consulting editor.

12:45 pm Development of the Voice Catastrophization Index: A Preliminary Investigation

1:00 pm Development and Preliminary Validation of a Tool to Measure Perceived Singing Voice Function (EASE)

  • Debbie Phyland, Michael S. Benninger author of The Singer’s Voice, Susan Thibeault, Julie Pallant, Neil Vallance, Julian Smith

3:00 pm New Treatment Option for Phonotraumatic Voice Disorders: Skin Surface Stimulation of Acupoints

  • Edwin M.L. Yiu author of Handbook of Voice Assessments, K.M.-K. Chan, E. Kwong, W. Tse, S. Wong, R. Tsang, Katherine Verdolini Abbott author of Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy
  • Package, Z.X. Lin, W. Wei

4:00 pm Examination of Vocal Hygiene and Adherence to Home-Practice on Therapy Outcomes in Children with Bilateral Vocal Fold Lesions

  • Susan Baker Brehm, Barbara Weinrich and Lisa Kelchner authors of the upcoming Pediatric Voice, Stephanie Zacharias, Janet Middendorf, Janet Beckmeyer, Meredith Tabangin, Alessandro de Alarcon

4:15 pm Contemporary Management Approaches in Pediatric Vocal Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

6:00 pm PEDIATRIC VOICE THERAPY: THE 21ST CENTURY

The Franklin Room (Upstairs)

 

Sunday, June 2

9:00 am Comparison of Parent-Reported Vocal Symptoms with Pediatric Voice Handicap Index Scores in Children with Vocal Fold Lesions

  • Barbara Weinrich, Susan Baker Brehm, Stephanie Zacharias, Janet Middendorf, Janet Beckmeyer, Lisa Kelchner, Meredith Tabangin, Alessandro de Alarcon

9:15 am Arytenoid Chondroma

  • Jaime Eaglin Moore, Amanda Hu, Robert T. Sataloff

9:30 am Office-based Pulse-dye Laser Surgery for Laryngeal Lesions: A Retrospective Review

  • Amanda Hu, Aaron Centric, Yolanda, Heman-Ackah, Venu Divi, Robert T.Sataloff

3:45 pm The Low-Mandible Maneuver and its Resonential Implications for Singers of International Rank

  • Garyth Nair, Angelika Nair

VF

 

Voice Disorders

Voice Disorders was described in Doody’s as “… an exceptionally informative book…. An excellent resource of current information on the assessment and management of patients with dysphonia… A must read for graduate students in speech-language pathology.” this book captures the science and art of clinical voice.

Supplemented by numerous case studies and illuminated with video examples on a free accompanying DVD, this text is a global bestseller. Find out why; Please read on for more information and order your desk copy right now.

References for the Voice Clinic Team

Plural has great new clinical references for the voice clinic team! One of which is Respiratory Muscle Strength Training by Christine Sapienza, PhD, and Michelle Troche, PhD.

Respiratory muscle strength training programs are increasingly used in clinic, but too little is known of the specific parameters that can be manipulated to change training effects, as well as studying issues of training length and the consequences of detraining.

Christine Sapienza and Michelle Troche detail all you and your therapy team needs to know about the topic, supported by illuminating illustrations, and demonstrations of the step-by-step processes on how to manipulate the device and finish training. Additionally, details are given of the various devices on the market. Pocket-sized and designed as a daily ‘dip-in’ reference, this is the only book available on the topic.

Click here for similar titles and more information!

Plural’s Top Ten Best-Selling Voice and Singing Books!

We are thrilled to bring you details of the some of the very best resources in voice and singing. These bestselling books work alone as teaching and training resources, or combine brilliantly in clinical scenarios for successful outcomes. Also included or available separately are companion resources, including workbooks, case studies and multimedia for a more thorough understanding of the subject. Click here for the list of titles and for more information!

 

 

One of our best- sellers is Voice Disorders by Christine Sapienza, PhD, and Bari Hoffman Ruddy, PhD. Written by leading specialists in voice, this book captures the science and art of clinical voice. A necessary book for every graduate student in the field of speech-language pathology, this text provides a level of detail needed to assess and treat those with voice disorders. Supplemented with case studies and video examples relevant to the study of clinical voice pathology, this edition provides supplemental material for the educator as well as pragmatic tools for the student and clinician.