The Effect of a Singing Protocol on Identified Vocal Inefficiencies of a Post-Menopausal Singer: A Case Study

Kathy Kessler Price

Abstract


The purpose of this case study was to assess over the course of 12 weeks the effect of a researcher-designed singing protocol on the documented vocal inefficiencies of a 63 year old post-menopausal singer, as measured by pre- and post-laryngeal examinations, spectral analyses, and written reports by both participant and voice teacher. At the beginning of the study, the participant displayed laryngeal and pharyngeal muscle tension, and reported difficulty accessing higher frequencies with hoarseness and effortful vocal production. During weeks 2 to 11, the participant attended a weekly voice lesson and practiced five days each week with a vocal exercise tape consisting of seven exercises, with the instruction to sing only the given exercises during this period of time. Post-protocol assessments during week 12 indicated reduced laryngeal and pharyngeal muscle tension, less effortful vocal production, more accurate fundamental frequencies, and more positive self-reports. Though she had previously transitioned to singing the alto part in her choir due to vocal discomfort, following the protocol the participant rejoined the second soprano section of that choir.

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