Holistic Care of the Performing Voice

Practical and Essential Knowledge for Sustainable Careers




A recent article in the journal 'Voice' (Singers' Interest and Knowledge Levels of Vocal Function and Dysfunction: Survey Findings) concluded that knowledge of vocal dysfunction is very patchy, especially among amateur singers, chorus directors and others who make music with them.

We have developed a series of detailed teaching days on the voice, together with practical workshops on voice production and development.

Course Aims1. to improve knowledge of the voice
2. to improve understanding of the causes of vocal dysfunction
3. to create awareness of behaviours and techniques that prevent problems developing.

The series also includes strategies on rehabilitation of the voice after illness and a detailed package of safe treatment and practice. The course would be primarily geared to the needs of singers, choristers and performers, but is also of relevance to school teachers, stage and broadcast performers, speech therapists, vocal trainers and coaches,

We have surveyed and recorded interviews with experienced vocal coaches and singers as part of a wider involvement with professionals in the field.

We include contributions from Speech Therapists, Alexander Technique Specialists, Psychotherapists and practitioners from other disciplines who have experience and a knowledge-base relevant to the voice.

The course has been developed by Dr Russell Malcolm, who is a specialist in holistic health care. He also has an academic background in Music Subjects and twenty years of professional training in voice production allied to considerable performing experience, teaching and multimedia skills.


Outline of The Syllabus

Structure, Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Voice
Adapted Functions of Speech and Singing
Principles of Healthy Development of the Performing Voice
Becoming a vocal athlete - principles of safe speech development and technique
Safe Practice in the Treatment of Acute Inflammatory Problems
Safe Rehabilitation of the Voice after Acute Illnesses
Pros and Cons of available 'Preventative Treatments' - looking at the evidence
Strategies for Sub-acute Problems: Catarrh, Rhinitis, Reflux, Allergies etc.
Strategies for Sustaining Performance in Sub-acute Problems
Avoidance of Progressive Vocal Illness
Recognising and interpreting signs of difficulty
Appropriate practice guidance for drama / singing students
Complementary strategies: Alexander Technique, Speech Therapy,
Acupuncture and Acupressure, Manual medicine, Homeopathy, Psychotherapy
Strategies for addressing Progressive Vocal Illness: Diagnosis, Treatments
, Practice Technique, Psycho-somatic factors and Performance Psychology.



Singers' Interest and Knowledge Levels of Vocal Function and Dysfunction: Survey Findings

Colleen Braun-Janzen  Lina Zeine†
Corresponding Author Information
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lina Zeine, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Western Washington University, 516 High Street, MS 9078, Bellingham, WA 98225.

PII: S0892-1997(08)00002-7