Recently I worked with three singers who experience excessive saliva while they sing. They need to constantly stop to swallow and regroup before resuming phonation. Getting to the bottom of the issue was different for each one! What a puzzle.
In this first of a 2-part “Saliva Series,” I’ll describe one possible reason and my solutions/recommendations solutions for one singer. The next post will be on another reason and possible solution.
“Steven” is a bass with a church job who also sings with an established men’s a cappella ensemble with the name “The Suspicious Cheese Lords.” This organization is paying for each singer to have a private lesson with either Elizabeth Daniels or myself, as we have been their ensemble’s vocal clinicians for the past 7 years. When Steven came in, I asked him to tell me what he wanted to work on and he mentioned the saliva issue, among…
I’m developing a 5-month digestible program for singing teachers who haven’t had the opportunity to develop a hands-on understanding of what “evidence-based” teaching of singing means in the 21st century.
Dr. Kari Ragan has written her thoughts on this topic in a Journal of Singing article. You do have to be a NATS member to access it on line. However, you can always contact Kari, tell her you are interested in her work, and ask if she will forward you her article.
I’ve been able to work privately with many masters-in-pedagogy and performance graduates, in classical, jazz and contemporary genres, after they graduate with their degrees. I’m seeing a strange trend that has developed over the past 10-15 years, of voice teachers not understanding what to do with the information they have learned. They aren’t sure how to make it useful or fit it in with their world of experience. So the next summer, they go to another pedagogy intensive, hoping to learn what they still do not understand.
There are many fine voice pedagogues who teach in useful ways, and are able to distinguish between voice science, vocal pedagogy, what is true and what is useful. But if you want to be the best teacher you can be, and are not in their programs, how to you begin to make the same distinctions?
That’s what my program is for. I am collaborating with Dr. Patrick L’Espoir Decosta (Australian National University School of Business) to lay the infrastructure for the course.
In Part II I give you a little quiz on what you might think “evidence-based” means in the field of Adult Learning. Especially interesting if you teach adults!
As some of you know, I am co-authoring a book with Nancy Bos and Joanne Hayes Bozeman on the topic of women singing through midlife biological changes and menopause.
Research has been pretty fascinating and we are digging into areas not usually associated with The Change. (ooooo, suspense!) Our interviews include 52 female singers during 1) various stages of peri-menopause and menopause, 2) a large variety of genres and musical styles 3) many skill levels and cultural experiences.
We are speaking with colleagues and experts in a wide variety of disciplines and will reference many top-notch resources. We are grateful for those who’ve researched and written about hormonal effects on the female singing voice.
But the REAL experts are the women themselves. Their stories, their solutions, their journeys: sometimes easy and breezing on through, some devastatingly difficult.
Statistics are important but their purpose is not to reveal how individual the mid-life journey is for EACH woman. Data can be used to influence public health policy and obtaining grants for important research. Stories save individuals and pass on wisdom not found in data.
Both are needed!
Western medical science & academic learning must become equal partners with honed intuition, and listening to the Wisdom of the Body to create health, wellness and experience singing in new ways.
This is an “angle” of our book. We are writing for singers and teachers who may not have access to the information that has been gathered over the past 30 years. We are also writing for women who are willing to do the work of rebirthing themselves during these years and need extra support.
I’ll report on our progress so join me here for peeks and perks!