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Welcome to singershealth.com, a comprehensive source of health information for singers and other professional voice users. Here you will find timely references regarding all aspects of vocal wellness, as well as onsite and online wellness, therapy and instruction services for singers, corporate speakers, actors, lawyers, teachers and other professional voice users.

 

Karen Wicklund

wicklund@singershealth.com

NATS Convention Poster Papers

July 2000 and July 2006 Poster Papers

Menstrual Cycle Dysphonia July 2, 2000

Singers and Abdominal Surgery July 3, 2000

Stress Management for Singers July 4, 2000

THE FOLLOWING WERE POSTER PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE NATIONAL ASSOCATION OF TEACHERS OF SINGING CONVENTION, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 2006

THERAPEUTIC PROTOCOLS FOR THE VOCALLY INJURED UNIVERSITY SINGER: REHABILITATION THROUGH COLLABORATION

BY:
HEIDI VOGLEY, M.S., SLP-CCC AND KAREN WICKLUND, D.M., M.S. Candidate in SLP

All new vocal music students to WMU are encouraged to schedule a voice baseline screening, at the University Speech and Hearing Clinic, which includes laryngeal imaging. This is necessary to comprehensively assess laryngeal structures and functions at the onset of vocal training. This baseline information will be helpful for comparison purposes should future vocal problems present. Upon suspicion of vocal concerns, the student vocalist is encouraged to seek appropriate intervention through his/her vocal music teacher, a certified speech-language pathologist experienced in working with the needs of singers, and/or an otolaryngologist. Referrals are typically coordinated between the Schools of Fine Arts and Health and Human Services, through direct contact between the vocal music teacher and speech-language pathologist/voice laboratory. An appropriate consultation is then arranged, based on communication between the student vocalist, music teacher, physician and the speech and hearing clinic.

After a diagnosis is made, voice teacher, speech pathologist and physician carry out a collaborative treatment plan. The voice teacher assesses the current abilities of the student’s injured voice. The voice teacher’s assessment of the student should include but is not limited to technical exercises emphasizing middle range, reduced intensity levels, messa di voce and vowel equalization; evaluation of upper and lower range quality and technique, and student-provided feedback regarding proprioception while vocalizing. Student also demonstrates two songs (one which student performs well, and another in which problems are observed). The vocal teacher should then suggest strategies for rehabilitation, which proceed from the assessment exercises, which, in collaboration with speech pathology sessions and medical intervention aid in restoring the voice. Weekly or biweekly speech pathology sessions emphasize breathing and tension-releasing techniques, resonance balancing and vocal hygiene documentation. Medical intervention can include pharmaceutical treatment, further laryngeal imaging, EMG assessments if paresis is suspected, and surgery, when necessary.

The process of voice rehabilitation can take from as little as four weeks to several months or longer. The university music department cooperates in this process by allowing the injured student to follow an alternate plan of vocal study during the semester of injury. This plan of study allows the student to use the vocalizes and technical exercises, as well as songs with reduced ranges as part of his/her required repertoire for the semester, as long as all regularly required repertoire is learned and performed upon the singer’s return to vocal health. This presentation will contain information on how to modify repertoire requirements of a typical undergraduate semester applied voice program of study for injured singers, and will be presented by a speech-language pathologist, and voice teacher with a speech-language pathology degree.

VOCAL “SWITCH-HITTING”: HEALTHY CROSS-OVER SINGING

By:
KAREN WICKLUND, D.M.


Many of today’s opera companies include productions from Music Theater in their seasons in order to boost subscription sales. Additionally, legitimate musical revivals and works such as The Light in the Piazza and Sweeney Todd produce a demand for more versatily trained singers. Voice teachers may encounter singers who use only belt voice, some who use only head/loft voice, and others who want to know how to cross over and sing in multiple styles. Finding the right mix and choosing the right technique appropriate for the style of singing, then becomes essential. This paper will discuss the technical similarities and differences among belt, mix and legitimate singing styles, with anatomical illustrations of the vocal fold behavior of each. Also, the differences in supra- and subglottal pressure as well as vocal tract shape and vowel shape posture will be discussed. Finally, exercises for strengthening the belt, mix, and loft voice, as well as specific developmental repertoire examples for each style will be presented. Paper author is degreed in speech pathology, and teaches Music Theater, classical and cross-trained singers.

CURRENT PEDAGOGICAL METHODS IN SINGING VOICE REHABILITATION

By:
KAREN WICKLUND, D.M., MHS Cand. in SLP


In the collaboration team of voice teacher, speech-language pathologist and physician, the voice teacher is perhaps the most critical collaborator due to the ongoing nature of the relationship with his/her student. The teacher and student who have built a relationship of trust and respect should be able to continue working together when and if vocal injury occurs, especially if the voice teacher is prepared with adequate rehabilitative pedagogical methods. Because rehabilitative techniques are not always a part of voice pedagogy courses in most university training, a teacher may seek out workshops, courses in speech pathology, and/or collaborative rehabilitative training internships to bolster his/her knowledge of therapeutic techniques.

The presenter of this presentation possesses a doctoral degree in voice and is also degreed in speech pathology. She will describe her work with a University of Illinois at Chicago otolaryngologist in the rehabilitation of several professional singers. The singers had various disorders such as spasmodic dysphonia, vocal cord paresis from recurrent and superior nerve damage, vocal cord nodules, polyps, GERD, and muscular tension dysphonia. A single-subject study format will be used to present methods and results. Vocal recovery schedules and specific vocalizes for each type of disorder will be discussed and demonstrated. In addition, specific therapeutic song repertoire choices and vocal hygiene recommendations for the injured singer will be discussed.

For more information on Dr. Wicklund's programs, go to
Wicklund's Wellness Offerings

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Important: The information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. The authors, publisher, printer(s), and distributor(s)/website provider(s) accept no responsibility for such use. Those individuals suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult their physician.

Last updated November 8, 2014

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