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Selected Vocal Exercises and Their Relationship to Specific Laryngeal Conditions: a Description of Seven Case Studies

Description: Good vocal health is a vital concern for those people who use the voice in a professional capacity, such as teachers, singers, actors, clergymen, and lawyers. Research in the area of vocal health reveals the need to determine if specific exercises are beneficial to the voice and if exercises used to train the singing voice might be beneficial to alleviate pathological and/or dysfunctional voice disorders. The purpose of this study was to describe the response of a variety of pathological voices to a selected set of singing exercises. Subjects were selected from the private practice of cooperating physicians who felt that the vocal instruction and exercise program might be helpful to the teachers, students, professional "pop" singers, and housewife-singers who were diagnosed to have muscle tension dysphonia, nodules, recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, or iatrogenic dysphonia. Instrumentation for assessing conditions before, during, and after exercise included a brief case history, subject interviews, attending physicians' medical charts, flexible fiberoptic video nasolaryngoscopy, video cassette recorder and video tape segments, three physician/observers, and a specific diagnostic procedure which provided a method of assessing organic, functional, and perceptual variables. For the exercise program the researcher chose seven vocalises from the routine designed by Allan R. Lindquest, whose techniques combined those of the Italian school with those of Swedish studios which produced such singers as Flagstad and Bjoerling. The seven vocalises included a warm up "massage" and exercises for separation and blending of the registers, vowel clarity and modification, tone focus, vocal attack, and flexibility. Since all the subjects showed improvement after exercise in the vocal conditions observed in this study, these vocalises and technique may be helpful to alleviate pathological conditions and/or dysfunctional behavior in other subjects. The researcher further suggests that the voice profession investigate the efficiency of other techniques, exercises, and musical vocalises ...
Date: May 1990
Creator: Mathis, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries