Event Report: BVA Rock & Pop Day, September 2015

BAPAM Clinician, Dr Shareen Chua, reports from the British Voice Association (BVA) Interactive Rock & Pop Day, London, 13th September 2015. 

A quiet Sunday morning on Chiswick High Street – one man on his morning run, a dog with a tennis ball in its mouth and a woman driving an empty double decker bus. Through the entrance of a pub, empty tables, a smiling bartender, but beyond its courtyard, a large chattering crowd was audible. Vocal coaches, singers, songwriters, voice specialist Speech and Language Therapists, instrumentalists, voice rehabilitation specialists, voice researchers, performance coaches and consultant laryngologists, amongst all present at this event organised by the BVA. Also in attendance from BAPAM were Dr Frances Carter, Dr Miranda Godfrey & I.

At the start of the programme, Canadian singer songwriter, Selena Evangeline  took to stage to demonstrate the range and variety of vocal effects available to a solo live performer, in her case using vocal audio equipment by TC-Helicon.

Kim Chandler (vocal coach & lecturer) got our vocal cords going by getting us to attempt various vocal onsets, characterising them and offering suggestions on alternative ways of achieving particular sounds and reducing glottal stops.

Hearing loss associated with onstage noise was thereafter explored by John Rubin (Consultant ENT Surgeon, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital). He spoke about various sound levels encountered within the music industry, covering a variety of sound monitors and hearing protection.

Two singers were subsequently brought on stage. In a live setting, Dane Chalfin, current President of the BVA, used song interpretation and emotion to offer them solutions that improved their technique and performance.

Tom Harris (Consultant Otolaryngologist) & Sara Harris (Speech and Language Therapist), no strangers to the realms of vocal health, engaged the audience in their talk about vocal nodules, with Sara Harris sharing several strategies and exercises that might be helpful in such an instance.

Applying the Primal Sound Model to an instantly familiar Pharrell Williams number, Craig Lees got everyone on our feet creating various vocal sounds, forming a Pop Choral group thus concluding the day’s programme – on a high note!

Although the BVA holds their Interactive Rock & Pop Day every two years, their Voice Clinics Forum will take place on Friday, 23 October 2015 at St Thomas’ Hospital, London SE1. The October event will cover topics such as the role of Voice Clinics in the NHS, training in laryngology for ENT surgeons, training for singing teachers involved with Voice Clinics and a discussion of ongoing research & audit papers on the aspect of voice or voice care in the UK.

BAPAM and the BVA are actively exploring opportunities to collaborate on future projects. Suggestions are welcome!

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