Event Title

Leading Adult Singers toward a Lifetime of Fulfilling Choral Participation

Start Date

31-5-2011 1:30 PM

End Date

31-5-2011 2:30 PM

Description

As the fastest growing age group in North America has surpassed the 85 and older cohort, it is not surprising that the average adult choir is maturing. Not only is choral singing an aesthetic, artistic expression, it serves as an important social connection for singers. Choristers frequently describe “the choir as family” and that their closest friends are people they first met in a choir. People who sing in choirs generally want to continue their choral involvement for as long as possible. With the advancing age of so many singers, choristers and conductors are presented with new challenges associated with age-related changes that tend to take place in voices and bodies. It is to the advantage of conductors of adult choirs to understand these changes and to have a working knowledge of how to help their choristers sing as well as possible for as long as possible. At the same time that singers are dealing with newly emerging vocal difficulties, frequently leading them to consider discontinuing choral participation altogether because they feel that they no longer sing well enough to contribute meaningfully to the ensemble, the social and aesthetic aspects of choral ensemble membership become increasingly significant. The voice follows the same Principles of Exercise Physiology that dictate the function of the rest of the body. Through an understanding of these principles, coupled with a working knowledge of the types of physical and vocal changes that aging singers tend to experience, leaders of adult choirs can use vocal and rehearsal techniques to delay, minimize, and even reverse the negative aspects of vocal aging. In this way, a knowledgeable choral conductor is in a position to help keep aging adults singing well and at a level that is fulfilling to them as singers while also making a meaningful musical contribution to the ensemble. This workshop session is divided into three parts. Part One establishes a context for adult choral participation as it identifies some of the benefits that individual adult singers report that they gain from their choral involvement. This information has been gathered by survey over a period of five years and is based upon input from approximately eight hundred adult singers, aged 29 to 88, from across Canada and the United States. Research from the medical field that intersects with the study of the aging singing voice is also considered. Part Two identifies types of physical and vocal changes that adult singers tend to experience and relates these to musical considerations such as rehearsal techniques and repertoire characteristics. In Part Three, participants will have the opportunity to experience first-hand vocal conditioning exercises designed not only to help adults deal with vocal changes but to improve vocal ability regardless of age. The specific function of each exercise will be explained as it applies to the aging voice, as participants work through a comprehensive vocal conditioning routine.

Comments

This was a workshop.

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May 31st, 1:30 PM May 31st, 2:30 PM

Leading Adult Singers toward a Lifetime of Fulfilling Choral Participation

As the fastest growing age group in North America has surpassed the 85 and older cohort, it is not surprising that the average adult choir is maturing. Not only is choral singing an aesthetic, artistic expression, it serves as an important social connection for singers. Choristers frequently describe “the choir as family” and that their closest friends are people they first met in a choir. People who sing in choirs generally want to continue their choral involvement for as long as possible. With the advancing age of so many singers, choristers and conductors are presented with new challenges associated with age-related changes that tend to take place in voices and bodies. It is to the advantage of conductors of adult choirs to understand these changes and to have a working knowledge of how to help their choristers sing as well as possible for as long as possible. At the same time that singers are dealing with newly emerging vocal difficulties, frequently leading them to consider discontinuing choral participation altogether because they feel that they no longer sing well enough to contribute meaningfully to the ensemble, the social and aesthetic aspects of choral ensemble membership become increasingly significant. The voice follows the same Principles of Exercise Physiology that dictate the function of the rest of the body. Through an understanding of these principles, coupled with a working knowledge of the types of physical and vocal changes that aging singers tend to experience, leaders of adult choirs can use vocal and rehearsal techniques to delay, minimize, and even reverse the negative aspects of vocal aging. In this way, a knowledgeable choral conductor is in a position to help keep aging adults singing well and at a level that is fulfilling to them as singers while also making a meaningful musical contribution to the ensemble. This workshop session is divided into three parts. Part One establishes a context for adult choral participation as it identifies some of the benefits that individual adult singers report that they gain from their choral involvement. This information has been gathered by survey over a period of five years and is based upon input from approximately eight hundred adult singers, aged 29 to 88, from across Canada and the United States. Research from the medical field that intersects with the study of the aging singing voice is also considered. Part Two identifies types of physical and vocal changes that adult singers tend to experience and relates these to musical considerations such as rehearsal techniques and repertoire characteristics. In Part Three, participants will have the opportunity to experience first-hand vocal conditioning exercises designed not only to help adults deal with vocal changes but to improve vocal ability regardless of age. The specific function of each exercise will be explained as it applies to the aging voice, as participants work through a comprehensive vocal conditioning routine.