Thursday, August 22, 2013

Latest News: Singing can decrease snoring

But it is not quite as simple as that.
Research in the UK has resulted in exercises that strengthen the throat and mouth muscles, so that they do not get slack, and then vibrate, causing snoring.

The singing comes in, as it is much easier to sing the exercises than just speak them, and therefore the repetition is easier and more interesting to do.

Here is the website that will tell you more about this new finding

Here is a link to an interview with Alise Ojay

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just returned from ICVT conference July 10 - 15 at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music

The ICVT conference in Brisbane, Australia was stimulating. Known as the International Conference of Voice Teachers, it was for singing teachers, not speech therapists.

There were over 500  people in attendance, but only two presentations about working with seniors and their voices.

At the same time, there were many interesting presentations given on voice, different styles of singing, the science of voice, in many different forms.

Professor Ingo Titze  is an expert in this field, and he produced one of the images that I found most useful in talking to my own students about where the vowels are placed in the mouth and throat, which I have reproduced below.  I have in the past drawn it in a circle, with  the 'i' vowel and the 'u' vowel close to each other. The formant frequency mentioned is the harmonic of the note that is being sung. Fascinating stuff!!

Diversional Therapist's Conference

I was pleased to be able to present the Singing for Seniors programme to the attendees at my workshop on Music Therapy at this conference, held in Hamilton, my home city. The biggest barrier that we have found, for people implementing the programme, is that people with no confidence in their own singing just can't get started. So the presentation took them through the steps, which are reproduced here.

There are 8 steps to implementing the programme
1.     Visit the and read (especially) the frequently asked questions. You will find out all about me,  about the company, and the programme.
2.     Order the discs, after discussion with your manager. The Do-It-Yourself plan comes with no support. If you want phone support to get your programme off the ground, go for the $11 per week programme. (How much do you pay someone to come in and entertain, without any guarantee of audience involvement?)
3.     Duplicate the lyrics, either A4 or A3 depending on the sight capabilities of your residents.
4.     Talk to residents & find people who want to sing. Get them to talk it up among their fellow residents.
5.     Find a time and space where you can play CDs (or order the DVD programme, which is now available, where lyric are on the screen in large font).
6.     Publicise your first event, with posters at appropriate places in your facility.
7.     Listen to (or view the DVD) to familarise yourself with the products.
8.     Run your first session.

It was interesting to be able to help one participant find her upper voice, and she is going to be meeting me in Skype for some singing lessons, so that her residents do not criticise her singing any more.
At the dinner that evening, with a wine or two under their belts, the whole conference were happy to join in singing the chorus of the song that I always use in workshops: the Happy Wanderer. I use it because there is always laughter "Val de ri, Val de ra, Val de ri, Val de ra ha ha ha ha ha Val de ri Val de ra, my knapsack on my back"

Go to my Facebook site: Harmonic Health, to see the images from the conference.