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Pregnancy and postpartum: a guide for singers

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The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes

The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the pregnancy and postpartum periods. The voice may be altered positively or negatively by the release of hormones. The body undergoes many changes that affect the posture and breathing required for singing. Most notably, the abdominal muscles are greatly impacted by the pregnancy. They are stretched by the growing uterus, and this affects their function. In addition, the linea alba (the connective tissue between the halves of the rectus abdominis) is softened by hormonal increases and subject to stretching as the uterus grows, predisposing it to weakness. Since the other abdominal muscles attach to the linea alba via connective tissue, maintaining the integrity of the linea alba during pregnancy and postpartum is vital to the operational function of the abdominal muscles. Protecting the vulnerable linea alba must be deliberately undertaken in two parts. First, conscious exercise is needed to preserve the linea alba during pregnancy and to rehabilitate it after pregnancy. Targeted exercises strengthen the transverse abdominis and shorten and approximate the two halves of the rectus abdominis. Second, modifications in daily movement are necessary to protect the linea alba while performing routine activities. Cesarean sections present additional surgical concerns for singers, including abdominal incisions, use of medication, and the rare need for general anesthesia via intubation. Recovery from a cesarean can be difficult due to abdominal pain, yet steps may be taken to speed healing at the hospital and at home. This paper provides an overview of how pregnancy affects the singer, discusses the effects of pregnancy and cesarean section, and provides a plan to protect the abdominal muscles during pregnancy and rehabilitate them in the postpartum period. It combines information from the fields of physical therapy, medicine, and surgery into a guide for the singer and voice teacher.

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  • 2013

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Art songs of Charles Ives: accessible to beginning singers

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The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century aspects as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones. However, Ives used previously existing material, often familiar hymn tunes, as the foundation for many of his art songs. If beginning students first are exposed to this borrowed material, such as a simple hymn tune, which should be well within even the most experienced singer's comfort range, they can then learn this tune first, as a more simplistic reference point, and then focus on how Ives altered the tunes, rather then having to learn what seems like an entirely new melody. In this way, Ives's art songs can become more accessible to less-experienced singers. This paper outlines a method for researching and learning the borrowed materials in Ives's songs that utilize them, and reviews materials already commonly used by voice teachers to help beginning students learn their music. By combining this method, which focuses on the borrowed materials, with standard practices teachers can then help their beginning students more easily learn and perform Ives's art songs. Four songs, from the set "Four Hymn Tune Settings" by Charles Ives are used to illustrate this method.

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  • 2012

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Singers and sound: an introduction to Tomatis-based listening training for singers

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ABSTRACT This document introduces singers and voice teachers to Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis's listening training method with a particular emphasis on its relevance to singers. After presenting an overview of

ABSTRACT This document introduces singers and voice teachers to Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis's listening training method with a particular emphasis on its relevance to singers. After presenting an overview of Tomatis's work in the field of audio-psycho-phonology (circa 1947 through the 1990s) and specific ways that aspects of his theory are relevant to singers' performance skills, this project investigates the impact of listening training on singers by examining published research. The studies described in this document have investigated the impact of listening training on elements of the singer's skill set, including but not limited to measures of vocal quality such as intonation, vocal control, intensity, and sonority, as well as language pronunciation and general musicianship. Anecdotal evidence, presented by performers and their observers, is also considered. The evidence generated by research studies and anecdotal reports strongly favors Tomatis-based listening training as a valid way to improve singers' performance abilities.

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  • 2012

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The role of extraversion and introversion on a singer's voice

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The notion that a singer’s voice is an expression of their personality serves as the catalyst for an examination of the relationship between the continuum of introversion and extraversion, and

The notion that a singer’s voice is an expression of their personality serves as the catalyst for an examination of the relationship between the continuum of introversion and extraversion, and the pathologies of muscle tension dysphonia, vocal nodules, and performance anxiety. This paper begins with a brief introduction defining extraversion and introversion, followed by a review of personality studies identifying opera singers as primarily extraverted. Definitions of vocal nodules and muscle tension dysphonia are then given along with a list of recommended therapies. These elements tie in with two studies in speech pathology that suggest that behaviors of extraversion contribute to the development of vocal nodules, and behaviors of introversion contribute to muscle tension dysphonia and a higher laryngeal placement. Performance anxiety is shown to compound the behaviors that lead to vocal pathologies in singers. Additional therapies are recommended to address anxiety management in vocal lessons. Finally, since personality factors that contribute to vocal pathology are psychological, it is recommended that voice teachers refer their students to a psychotherapist for proper treatment.

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  • 2017

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Social media, marketing, and the opera singer

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ABSTRACT

This research is focused on technology in the arts, social media, and the opera singer. Topics include recent performance trends, social media, marketing techniques, and creating a successful brand. This

ABSTRACT

This research is focused on technology in the arts, social media, and the opera singer. Topics include recent performance trends, social media, marketing techniques, and creating a successful brand. This paper also focuses on how to leverage social media platforms build a digital persona, and create an engaged audience. The same techniques used by corporations and opera companies for their social media and marketing strategy can be leveraged to increase brand awareness, build a strong network, and may aid in generating new opportunities for the opera singer.

Key Words: Social Media, Opera Singer, Branding, Marketing, Technology

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Date Created
  • 2016