Presenters: Rachel Goldenberg, Jessica Demars
According to data from the Center for Disease Control, more than 30 million Americans live with either asthma or COPD, although this number may be higher due to undiagnosed cases. Other conditions that can compromise the respiratory tract include cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, bacterial lung infections, flu, and anxiety. The act of singing itself may be of benefit to people living with lung disease. Singers learn to control their breath both on inhalation and exhalation as they meet the demands of the music. Furthermore, singers learn about alignment and movement, becoming aware of their bodies. In respiratory physiotherapy, patients are taught to breathe deeply and control their exhalation. In this presentation, we will examine the basic tenets of common lung diseases, typical pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, the pedagogical considerations of this population and how singing can benefit people living with lung disease.
Rachel Goldenberg received her Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal pedagogy from Shenandoah University where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Graduate Scholar Award for “exceptional aptitude for research and scholarship” for her dissertation focusing on the use of singing lessons as an adjunctive treatment for cystic fibrosis. She also holds degrees from Westminster Choir College. A winner of numerous awards and scholarships, she has sung with The Banff Summer Arts Festival, Opera Nuova, Westminster Opera Theatre, Cowtown Opera and Chesapeake Concert Opera. She is a frequent recitalist and has given concerts throughout Canada and the U.S. She co-founded “Breathe, Sing, Move!,” a program for respiratory patients combining physiotherapy with singing lessons. Goldenberg teaches voice and pedagogy at Ambrose University, serves as the President of the Southern Alberta NATS chapter, consults on vocal health issues at Breathe Well Physio, and maintains a private teaching studio in Calgary.
Jessica Demars graduated from the University of Alberta in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy (with distinction). She continued her education with numerous post-graduate courses in manual therapy, myofacial release, and acupuncture. In 2006 after attending her first course in breathing biofeedback, she became certified in the BradCliff Method® of breathing retraining. She completed a Master of Science in Applied Breathing Sciences from the Graduate School of Behavioral Health Sciences in 2016, which allows her to focus on the behavioral aspects of dysfunctional breathing. She was the recipient of a grant through the Clinical Research Innovation Fund and is investigating the link between dysfunctional breathing and asthma in children. She has also researched pelvic floor function during inspiratory muscle training. Jessica is the 2016 recipient of the Pinnacle Award of Excellence from Physiotherapy Alberta. Jessica is the Canadian Instructor for the New Zealand based BradCliff Method®.