Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Vocology, Habilitation and Vocal Hazards of Our Jobs

The Wonders of the Voice

The science and study of the voice isn’t just for the benefit of professional singers and speakers. It provides useful information for everyone in their vocal endeavors. Wish you had a voice that projected across a room without straining? Would you like to have a strong, healthy voice throughout your lifetime?

In 1989, Ingo Titze, distinguished professor of Speech Science and Voice at the University of Iowa, coined the term “vocology”. In its most broad sense, it means the science of vocalization, especially in regards to vocal habilitation. Titze’s definition of habilitation – to enable, equip for or capacitate – is at the center of its main goal, to build and strengthen the voice to meet specific vocal needs.

The four main objectives of vocology are:     1) to find the ideal voice for an individual for          a specific use or need; 2) to tap into the healing effects of sound-making, capitalizing on the “feel good” sensation of vocalization; 3) to feel in control of ones voice, to be able    to monitor pitch, dynamics and vocal color for expressive purposes; 4) to maintain good vocal hygiene, and support vocal longevity.

Did You Know….

that approximately 30 million workers (25%) in the United States rely heavily on their voice to carry out their professional duties?  that 50% or so of voice patients feel their vocal problems have a negative effect on their work and also on their social life (76%)? that 65% suffer from depression and 61% have decreased self-esteem as a result of vocal issues?  So learning how to use and care for your voice is not such a far-fetched idea after all! Vocal training and habilitating can prevent vocal impairments through a combination of an evaluation of vocal use and a system of intervention practices.

Some examples of vocally hazardous occupations  are: court lawyers, ministers, aerobic instructors, stock traders, broad-casters, salespeople – just to name a few. Teachers, especially those who teach young children whose voices are high pitched, are at great risk for vocal fatigue and injury. During a regular teaching day, most teachers spend 6-7 hours speaking with little recovery time in-between. Since there is little evidence that human tissue was meant to be exposed to vibration and phonation for such long periods of time, it is no wonder that many teachers suffer from a variety of vocal problems.

Vocology: The Science and Practice of Voice Habilitation. Ingo Re & Katherine Verdolini Abbott. National Center for Voice and Speech.  2012.

Things To Do -Tips for Talking

Don’t  scream, shout , force or strain the voice to compete with background noise.

Be careful not to tense facial, throat or neck muscles.

Use adequate breath flow and energy.

Use your natural, optimal pitch.

Use pitch and dynamic variations in your speech patterns.

Maintain upright posture for easy respiration.

Avoid excessive coughing and throat clearing

Natural Center for Voice and Speech

What’s New? – Women’s Voices

In celebration of Women’s Month, Riva Capellari and Claudette Schiratti will be performing another Women’s Voices concert, Sunday, March 10th at 2pm at Village Presbyterian Church. This is a scholarship fund-raising event for the KC Chapter of the American Association of University Women. Tickets are $10, available at the door. Please mark your calendars!

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