Previous World Voice Days:
World Voice Day 2017
The British Voice Association's contribution to World Voice Day 2017
Each year for World Voice Day we produce a new voice information leaflet to add to our growing series of free voice care resources – 2017's focussed on 'The Voice and Ageing'. We hope the information it contains will be valuable for both voice clinic teams and our membership to distribute to patients or clients who are concerned about the effects of ageing on their voices. Some may have been diagnosed with age-related vocal fold changes while others may simply want advice on how to keep their voices working well for as long as possible.
Our colourful World Voice Day posters will be sent out as usual along with other World Voice Day materials.
This leaflet is also available in printed form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Vocal warm-up video
As part of the Association's contribution to World Voice Day 2017, Rebecca Moseley-Morgan MA; professional singer, teacher, director and conductor and Chair of the Association’s Education Committee has produced this short video in which she explains why a warm-up is essential for any singer and particularly for the older singer. She also demonstrates her own warm-up exercises with the help of some of her students. (Video editing by Benjamin Edmonds).
World Voice Day around the UK
Newham General Hospital Dementia Department, East London, UK
Christine Radjabou celebrated the world voice day by sharing her voice volunteering at her local hospital. Christine sang to patients in a ward for 50 minutes inspiring a deeply emotional response from an elderly patient when she sang an operatic aria.
Sarah Wright-Owens, a Singing Teacher and Clinical Vocal Consultant at University Hospital, Birmingham, promoted 'singing for health' and World Voice Day on her website www.singertrain.com and in her Community Centre attached to the church in the days leading up to World Voice Day and Easter Sunday. Sara writes: "I created a display of British Voice Association 'Singing is good for you' and 'The voice and ageing' information leaflets in the community café and talked to the customers who showed interest in my display about how singing can increase physical and mental health. I also promoted a new Breathe Easy singing group I am starting up in May for people with breathing difficulties due to suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). I conducted singing/breathing workshops in the church for children based around the story of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' and finally, I performed the soprano part of Pergolesi’s duet 'Stabat Mater' in the church; primarily to get myself back into vocal shape as I had not performed anything challenging for a couple of years due to heavy work commitments and was worried that if I didn’t do it, I would lose it! I am glad to say it was all well worth the effort personally and I am pretty sure that I raised awareness of the benefits singing in my promotional activities. However, it was particularly illuminating and sobering to find out during my conversations in the church café, how many people just don’t sing at all.
Voice Work’s Facebook page
Kelly Anne Sharp, founder of Voice Work invited followers to an online ‘Share Your Voice’ event. On and around World Voice Day, I invited people to share the great things they were doing with their voices. It was Easter weekend and people are often away on holiday or simply talking and catching up with friends and family around this day, so I decided to keep it very simple with a small event to encourage people to just share and appreciate their voices. I asked followers to please write a little and share how they would be using their speaking voices on that day. I also invited singers to feel free to share videos of your singing, via Soundcloud etc. And they did! So pleased, some lovely comments about sharing their voices with friends and family and a couple of singing videos too! If you'd like to visit the page to have a listen to songs, or read the full shares, feel free to visit the event, Share Your Voice.
'After spending last night belting out a few 60s classics, I'll probably give my voice a rest today. But I will be using it to catch up with my nan, mum and sister.'
'Here Kelly Anne Sharp... I only just learnt it yesterday so the timing is a bit off still but it's such a fun song...friend's suggestion... this is All About That Bass on the day after World Voice Day cos I'm just not very punctual and time is relative anyway' (song)
'Just thought I’d share one of my songs called to support the event' Christian
'On Easter Sunday I'll be using my voice to talk with my mum. She's 85 and rarely goes out so she loves the time we spend together. I expect we'll also have some chocolate and maybe a small G&T'
Kent Community NHS Trust
Annie Elias wrote a blog for the Kent Community NHS Trust Staff News.
West Midlands, UK
Rebecca Schwarz appeared on a local radio station to talk about voice care and the British Voice Association. Rebecca is pictured above with the show's presenter (...although she doesn't explain the ears!)
Neath Port Talbot Hospital, Wales, UK
Gina Rooke (pictured here leading her event's vocal warm-up exercises) writes: 'I am an Adult Speech and Language Therapist working for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board for NHS Wales. As part of my caseload I see adult voice clients in outpatient clinics at Neath Port Talbot Hospital'.
'We celebrated World Voice Day 2017 on Friday 21st April (due to the Easter holiday). We held a Workshop at Neath Port Talbot Hospital entitled: The Ageing Voice and The Importance of the Vocal Warm-Up. 15 local choirs across the health board were contacted and invited to attend the event.'
The Workshop lasted for approximately one hour and included:
- a short talk explaining how the voice works, the effects ageing can have on the voice and general advice to help maintain a healthy voice.
- a screening of the vocal warm-up video made by the British Voice Association (BVA)
- an opportunity to practice some warm-up exercises
- an opportunity to ask questions.
The Nestlé representative from the hospital provided free bottled water for attendees, to emphasise the importance of hydration for a healthy voice. Colour copies of The Ageing Voice leaflets were provided by the British Voice Association and these were available for people to take home. Attendees were encouraged to pass on what they had learned at the event to other members of their community. The Communications officer for the hospital trust attended the event and wrote an article for the local paper and ABMU's website (also featured on Wales Online). He also created a video about the event.
33 people attended the workshop from 6 different choirs. Evaluation forms from the event show 97% of attendees rated their satisfaction with the workshop as very satisfied (5/5).
The event was well received and one attendee commented that the workshop was "informative, interesting and easy to engage with". One chorister specifically commented that they enjoyed learning about "how the vocal cords work and how to breathe properly when singing". People assured us that they would pass the information on to others in their community; one lady stated "I will encourage my husband to do these exercises as he speaks publicly".
Staying young through singing – Veronica’s story
Frith Trezevant, Bristol-based singing teacher and past member of the BVA Council and Educational Working Party, contacted us about Veronica, a student of hers. We are most grateful to Veronica for allowing us to include her success story in our World Voice Day section to show how singing can keep your voice healthy in later life and to inspire others to try it.
Veronica is now 74 years old and she did not have singing lessons until the age of 63. On the weekend of 11th/12th March, she sang ‘Les Berceaux’ by Faure at the Southampton Festival of Music and Drama and won the French Art Song Class with 89 marks and a Distinction! The adjudicator was an Assistant Chief Examiner for Trinity Guildhall and used to a high standard of singing so these marks were not given lightly.
Veronica began working with Frith just over a year ago and Frith was immediately impressed with the freshness of her upper range. However, Veronica still needed to work on getting the rest of her range to the same high standard, which was a good challenge for both her and Frith.
Over the last year, they have worked together on vocal technique which Veronica has practiced diligently between lessons. Veronica also has lessons with Kate Gannon, a local singer and pianist who helps her with her repertoire. Her work has definitely paid off: she had achieved 86 marks (Commended) and 88 Marks (Distinction) in her last Federation of British and International Festivals competition. However, she was determined she could do better and in Southampton she did, and won! As she told Frith: “The adjudicator said that I didn’t sound like a 74 year old. I beat a singing teacher and the Bournemouth Adult Singer or the Year from 2015, and they were both really good!”
Understandably Frith is very proud of Veronica and all she has achieved. She commented “It proves that you are never too old to learn, and that we can all be better singers. But more, I am impressed with her energy, enthusiasm and open mindedness. Well done Veronica, you are a star!”Veronica’s story: an update
The British Voice Association was very happy to learn that Veronica took her Associate of the Royal Schools of Music diploma in the summer and passed with distinction (46 marks out of 50) at the grand age of 75 year! She is a real inspiration to us all.