Investigating attitudes and practices toward vocal health in Irish conservatoires
Citation:Eimear McCarthy Luddy, 'Investigating attitudes and practices toward vocal health in Irish conservatoires'
RIAM MMus Eimear McCarthy Luddy.pdf (Thesis) 2.161Mb
This dissertation will investigate current practices and attitudes relating to vocal health in Irish conservatoires, namely the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). There is a substantial amount of research and a growing international interest in the area of vocal health and vocal health education. This growing interest coupled with the author’s position as a student of an Irish conservatoire and as a private singing teacher, provided an impetus to explore this topic. Full-time singing students are at a high risk of experiencing voice problems given the demanding nature of their studies, as identified by Myint et al., Miller and Verdolini, Lundy et al., and Sapir et al. Further to this established risk, a significant portion of the literature review will consider the potential benefits of vocal health education as a method of injury prevention among students of classical singing. Health promotion as a means of preventing injury was discussed at the World Health Organization’s ‘Global School Initiative: Health-Promoting Schools’ in Geneva in 1995. In 2004, a group based in the University of North Texas consisting of professionals from the performing arts medicine industry and the music industry collaborated to create the Health Promotion in Schools of Music Project (HPSMP) that aimed to address the challenges set forth by the WHO within the context of musicians’ health. The goals recommended by the HPSMP will be discussed throughout this dissertation in relation to the extensive literature examined. Many studies have investigated the merits of vocal health education as a preventive measure to avoid vocal injury such as Broaddus-Lawrence et al. in 2000, Barton and Feinberg in 2008, Zander et al. in 2010, and Ziegler and Johns in 2012. Musicians’ health is also being extensively researched by the Conservatoires of the United Kingdom (CUK) in conjunction with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) as part of a longitudinal study that began in 2013. While there is a wealth of existing and continuing research exploring these issues internationally, there is a distinct lack of literature investigating these issues within an Irish context. The author’s preliminary research into the current curricula and prospectuses of the three Irish conservatoires (RIAM, DIT and CIT) indicated that there are variations in the area of vocal health education and medical support for students, which provided a rationale for further research. This dissertation will investigate the situation further, providing an overview of the current situation and recommendations for future development. In Chapter One the author will discuss current literature outlining the prevalence of voice problems as an occupational risk for singing students. The introduction of health promotion initiatives in schools of music and the concept of health literacy will be discussed, in conjunction with literature exploring students’ attitudes and behaviour toward vocal health and health-promotion. The role of the singing teacher in vocal health education will also be discussed. Chapter Two will address the literature surrounding vocal health education as a potential method of injury prevention. The author will then discuss specific vocal health education programmes that have been introduced internationally, commenting on their structure and the results obtained after their implementation. Chapter Three will investigate the literature surrounding medical support frameworks in the context of vocal health. The author will discuss the potential benefits of vocal health screening in conservatoires, the literature surrounding students’ health information seeking behaviours, and the role of the singing teacher in the context of medical support. Literature addressing a potential gap in the knowledge of health professionals with regard to vocal health will also be addressed. Chapter Four will examine the research methods adopted by the author in order to investigate current practices and attitudes relating to vocal health within an Irish context. The author will present a rationale for the decisions made and acknowledge the limitations of the chosen research method. In Chapter Five the author will present data statements for the two questionnaires used for her investigation. An analysis of the results obtained will outline key themes emerging from the data. Chapter Six will consider the key themes of the research findings in relation to the extensive literature explored in Chapters One, Two and Three. The author will acknowledge the limitations of the research, in addition to providing recommendations for future research into vocal health education internationally and within an Irish context.
Author: McCarthy Luddy , Eimear
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available