Finding Their Voice and that Old Confidence, Too

A collaboration between the Longy School of Music and the United South End Settlements has resulted in a singing class geared toward older adults.  While most participants use the class as a social outlet and creative expression, 63-year-old Dory Tobias is using the class to help improve her speaking voice.  Joseph Stemple, professor of communication sciences and disorders at the University of Kentucky described presbyphonia, the changing of voice as people age as muscles weaken and vocal cords no longer close completely.  The music class utilizes breathing techniques to help improve singing voices as well as speaking voices.  “I’m not much worried about being a singer,” said Tobias.  “I just want to speak with confidence.” 
Boston Globe, February 27, 2010

Written By: Carolyn Y. Johnson

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