Perhaps because of my own vocal fold issues I have lately run into many people who are having similar ones. My own vocal fold is responding quite well to the exercises I am doing to help it get stronger and more able to make louder, clearer sounds. I can’t promise that they would work equally well on everyone but it’s better than accepting the idea that there isn’t any way to get better and that I’m stuck with gradually losing my ability to sing. I am performing on Sunday evening, in fact.
I just used my voice continuously and in many different ways for the past 10 days at Shenandoah at my CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute. I did not get hoarse, tired, or lose any of my high notes. I had only mild weakness in mid pitches. I sang both classically and in a couple of other styles and made all kinds of sounds for the entire time I was teaching.
It would seem then, that there are vocal exercises that could help others who have similar diagnoses. It the interventions I am doing are helping me keep my singing at a baseline level of function, wouldn’t it be worth sharing those exercises with others to see if they can get similar results? That’s what I did at Shenandoah, but that is a very limited audience (even though we were buldging at the seems with attendants.) It would be great if we could expect both the medical profession and the Speech Language Pathologists to know about exercises that could help their patients, but many do not have any idea that they exist. Isn’t it a shame that we can’t easily and directly share what we discover across the professions?
And, we need to acknowledge that time and age are not necessarily factors in working with singers who have vocal problems. Just because the issue is long-standing and just because the vocalist is “older” doesn’t mean that the symptoms will not be improved through intervention. It may take longer, it might not produce dramatic results, just small improvements, but sometimes even that a real relief.
We need easier, simpler ways to interact. I am not a computer techno person, but if anyone who reads this is, we need an interactive website, with otolaryngologists, SLPs and singing experts to exchange information about techniques and approaches.