A presentation on Vocal Health, with Dr. Thomas Carroll and Chandler Thompson DMA, MS, CCC-SLP of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital Voice Program.
The Voice Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is led by laryngologist, Dr. Thomas Carroll, and speech pathologist Chandler Thompson DMA, MS, CCC-SLP. Coordinated care and innovative voice therapies are provided for patients with all types of voice and laryngeal disorders.
Bio and contact information can be found at the bottom of this web page.
This vocal workshop Sponsored by The Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus,
First Parish Church, 349 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA
Vocal Health Information from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Voice Program:
Comments about the workshop by the attendees:
In my opinion, the vocal workshop with Thomas Carol and Chandler Thompson was superb.
As you would expect, a physician who specializes in vocal diagnosis and treatment can and did provide a more accurate and detailed explanation of the anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism then we may have heard before. The videos of direct laryngoscopy and information about the anatomy and function of the vocal chords and adjacent structures is information that you could not expect an excellent vocalist to provide. How many of us were aware that we have no direct control over our diaphragm or the damaging effect of coughing? What about the side effects of gastric reflux on the larynx and vocal chords and the drying effect of medications such as antihistamines, alcohol coffee and chocolate and menthol eucalyptus? Wasn’t it interesting to see the thickening of the vocal cords caused by smoking?
Chandler Thompson is a very expert and knowledgeable professional who shared with us techniques for keeping our voices in shape including an 8-10 minute daily practice routine and maintaining proper humidification, offering specific recommendations. Good discussion of the three vocal components of respiration, phonation, and resonance.
I believe that the take away here is that these presentations are complementary and additive to the information we learn at practice and from guest vocalists and instructors. Perhaps it’s like driving a car…. It is important to learn how to control the steering wheel and brakes and it is also valuable to understand how the brakes and engine work so that we can use them properly and prevent damage to the component parts.
As someone who uses his voice for work and pleasure, I found the session informative, helpful and enjoyable. Chandler’s nine minute warm-up and the ‘whoop-boom’ exercise was worth the price of entry alone – as in priceless!
I think the evening was a great success.
I have been singing for over 60 years and have never experienced explanations for so many important facts. For example. they listed all the drinks we should not have before singing, I had come to the same conclusions but wish I had heard the list and reasons 60 years ago.
I have never been in a group with warm-ups until ten years ago. I had never heard why we have the individual exercises until two weeks ago when Tom explained them and until the Monday presentation. I like to know why I am doing something.
I want to be able to sing for at least ten more years and the Workshop should help.
Drs Carroll and Thompson explained, as I see it, the “science of good vocal health”—which in turn helped me better understand … our warmups, and why vocal warm-ups are so important. Following the presentation, I was a lot more conscious of what I was doing vocally, listening to myself making sounds (in addition to trying to be in tune), and not “singing too hard.” This is something that has to be practiced again and again, not just used once in a while. I look forward to seeing whatever helpful exercises and/or vocal “tips” they might send us.
I found the workshop very useful, especially the reminders on good breathing technique—“the soundless inhale” esp. I find making a discernible in my audiobook narration. I look forward to the promised material on warm ups, moisturizing appliances, and so forth.
I found it very interesting and educational. The doctors presented it well and everyone seemed entranced – well at least were paying attention. I look forward to getting the info on the small humidifier as the dryness is a problem for me. In fact, I have not stopped drinking water all week !! and no alcohol, at least this week ! Thanks to everyone who arranged this special treat.
I found it extremely worthwhile. I believe the follow up will be more important as we continue to tune our presentation…
Invaluable evening, superb presenters and presentations! I won’t comment on the derogation of Coffee. . . .
Bing Crosby ate chocolate and drank milk before every recording session. I like his example, but I am no Bing Crosby—as most of you would be more than willing to admit.
…the session has evoked more articulate discourse on a substantive topic than any other topic so far- on a positive note… (pun acknowledged).
No doubt a success and a display of BSMC’s leadership in deeper singing appreciation and excellence in our next 25 years. Would love to have Chandler’s written tips…
I have moved the humidifier, and have already noticed the improvement. I have trouble with the 8 glasses of water, but am up to six the past few days, and that helps as well, not only with the voice but with convalescence from recent surgery.
The presentation was excellent. I suffer from Reflux and while on medication for it, my own physician has advised similarly. Yet, I have a built in “forgetter” and love chocolate and coffee and all the other no-nos….and am especially addicted to bedtime snacking! However, the illustrations will stick in my mind and help keep me on the straight and narrow. Also, keeping a humidifier by the bedside during the dry winter months….how simply practical! We can use all the help to provide a better instrument to our hobby and I believe these sessions are very useful.
It WAS useful, informative and inspiring. One of the best things was it was a complete story that fit the time very well. I’ll find the visuals and other attachments useful. Hard to find the time to exercise aptly, so the more…
…I’d find it hard to give up some favorites: Mine would include Blueberries, Lemons and other Citrus fruits.