Nothing beats a study day when it’s diverse (sometimes challenging, sometimes mind changing) never boring – on a subject that absorbs you – and – there’s no exam afterwards!
These are the sort of study days that the British Voice Association run.
If you’ve ever marvelled at the strength of a singer’s voice above the music – as true for songwriter singers like Adele as well as opera singers like Lenneke Ruiten then you understand why the BVA gave the study day: “Glottal Start – Laryngeal science into practice”. There were presentations on “Advances in the Understanding of Laryngeal Anatomy” by Prof Jose R Sanudo, “New Insights in the reinnervation of the larynx” by Prof Teresa Vazquez, “Laryngeal physiology – truths and untruths” by Prof Stephen McHanwell, “Pathology of the larynx; how should this affect treatment?” by Dr Justin Weir
and “Modern techniques in Laryngeal Examination: optical ‘biopsy’ by Dr Taran Tatla. All of this, while technically and medically centred will feed into a collective knowledge of the voice and speech exercises that you give for recovering voices and for healthy voice maintenance. The added benefits of a BVA day include knowing who to refer clients to if you detect any sign of something irregular, like a polyp or cyst on the vocal folds.
The final submissions for the Van Lawrence prize included a look at vocal tract resonance with Dean Adams. Dean gave examples of how ‘tube’ length from larynx position to lip potrusion affects resonance and voice classification – “sometimes vocal folds and resonance fight each other”. A great presentation from an independent, highly skilled music practitioner, who clearly enjoys hearing great tone. Anna White, who’s specialist area is “Pre and Post Operative Voice Therapy”, showed what a massive difference voice therapy can make to a patient’s confidence and vocal recovery. I have helped clients with pre and post operative exercises. Very occasionally, actor trained clients get impatient to use their voice to the full again after an operation and pre-operative exercises also help them to recognise and work with the healing process.