Voice source changes of child and adolescent subjects undergoing singing training—a preliminary study

C A Barlow, D M Howard
Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology 2002, 27 (2): 66-73
Many vocal practitioners have strong beliefs regarding the age at which singing training of a child should begin, and the different ways in which male and female children should be treated. These beliefs are not substantiated by any scientific research, leading to considerable dispute between vocal coaches and choral directors. The singing voices of over 127 child singers and non-singers aged 8-18 were analysed using electrolaryngographic measures. Analysis particularly concentrated on the laryngographically derived vocal fold closed quotient (CQ). Results indicated that the voice source characteristics of subjects could be divided into groups according to age, gender and the level of vocal training received. Female subjects in particular exhibited a marked development of voice source production according to the length of training received, while male subjects exhibited patterning according to both age (and related pubertal development), and training received. It was concluded that the process of training a young voice has a quantifiable effect upon the singing voice production of the child, and in particular on the female voice, while pubertal development also creates measurable effects on the voice source production of the male child.


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