Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Duke Voice Care Center "Care of the Singing Voice Workshop: How to Make Your Voice Last a Lifetime"


This post is intended to supplement the linked PDF of the Powerpoint presentation used at the “Care of the Singing Voice” Workshop presented by Duke Voice Care Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh on 4.14.12.

The pdf of the presentation was provided to me to share with you by Leda Scearce, MM, MS, CCC-SLP, at the Duke Voice Care Center. It is full of great information on this topic!

I bolded pages to major topics to serve as an index and included highlights, referenced videos which won’t appear on the PDF, and some additional notes and comments [in brackets].

Thanks, Leda! It was a great workshop! Thanks, also,  to Yuri Yamamoto for organizing the event.

I hope you find this useful! Please let me know!

Best always,

Highlights, Additional Notes, Comments and Referenced videos
“Care of the Singing Voice” Workshop presented by Duke Voice Care Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh on 4.14.12

Page 9-17: Normal Voice Production
In human voice production, lungs are the actuators of the power supply.

Page 12
Excess, prolonged pressure on the vocal folds causes damage to the vocal folds.

Page 15
The consistency of healthy vocal folds is like Jello.
Video of healthy vocal folds:

Page 17
Stroboscopy: video of female vocal cords at high and low pitch:

Page 18-30: What Happens When Things Goes Wrong?

Page 21
Caffeine, alcohol, smoking and second hand smoke are all harmful to the singing voice. Drink LOTS of water all day! At least eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day!

Page 31-55:  Management (Behavioral, Medical, Surgical)
Page 33
Vocal Hygiene: The things we do to keep the voice healthy
·      Taking care of the body
·      Using the voice well

Page 56- 68: Vocal Pacing
Page 57
Vocal Pacing Golden Rule!
Warm up your voice before singing, cool down your voice after singing.

Page 67
Special Considerations for Music Directors/Choral Conductors

•Warm up your voice before rehearsal

•Use amplification for your voice during rehearsal

•Use printed signs or hand signals to communicate messages that you say over and over

•Minimize using your voice to teach the music

Recommended use of:
Spokeman Personal Voice Amplifier

Page 69: How will I know if I Have a Voice Injury?

Page 72-81: Singing Styles and Techniques
·      Mechanics of Singing  (General, Classical, and Belting)

Page 82-89: Acoustics of Singing/ Physics of Sound

Page 91:  Speaking and Singing Voice Exercise
Emphasis of proper skeletal alignment and good body use. [I recommend study of the Alexander Technique and/or Feldenkrais to improve ease and quality of singing and playing!]

Page 86
Referenced video: Joseph Callejo: Nessun Dorma

[I prefer this perfermance: Jussi Bjorling "Nessun dorma" Live 1958]

Page 87
Referenced video: Adele: Rolling in the Deep 

Page 90-111: Vocal Exercise for Singing
[Lots of great suggestions. We spent 30 minutes in the workshop practicing these.]


Katherine Posner said...

Most of the advice on the PDF is excellent. I take some issue with a few little points. First is placement. I do not believe that the voice can be placed. Catherine, if one of your teachers had told you to direct the sound of your flute out through the hole at the end, you would have seriously questioned this. The sound of the flute is *present*, as I understand it and, like all sound from its source, goes "off in all directions." This is the nature of sound, to move in all direction until it encounters something that will not carry it, whence it bounces off and goes in another direction. I am not an expert in acoustics by any means but I understand that it is based on positioning of those surfaces which will bounce the sound and thereby focus it where wanted. Now comes singing which we are supposed to believe is different from everything else, that we are to aim the sound with the breath north, at a certain point turn it at a 45 degree angle and then aim it forward. This makes no sense and, in my humble opinion, is not scientific. I do not think it works. I also believe that there is more than ample evidence that the laryngeal pharynx is the principal resonator of the voice so, if one insists on directing sound, the direction should be back, not forward. Also, when we begin to sing, the soft palate - on its own /without/ direction on our part - lifts and closes the opening to the nasal passages. We cannot send the air through a closed space.
Catherine, with your permission, I will save other comments for another post. This is getting way too long. It is a fault of mine that I talk too much. :^)

Catherine said...

Thanks so much for posting your empirical comments here. I've often wondered if "placing the voice forward" or "back" might really mean sensing the air more in that location at that moment...In flute playing doing so creates different results in tone.