Breakout Session

Singing Seniors: Restoring the Aging Singer to Vocal Success!

Monday, July 11 • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Presenters: Lucinda Halstead and Deanna McBroom
Introduced by: Barbara Peters
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon I - 7th Floor

The population of the United States is aging. However, the emotional and intellectual vibrancy and “joie de vivre” of many of seniors continues despite a gradual physical decline. As a result, many aging singers continue singing in a variety of vocal venues well into the 8th and 9th decades of life and wish to perform at a high avocational or professional level. In past decades, the vocal concerns of these singers were dismissed as just a normal part of aging and no effort was put forth to remediate vocal problems, especially in the singing voice. Happily today, this has changed. Emphasis on restoring/improving vocal function in seniors has become a major topic for singing teachers, voice specialists, and laryngologists.

There are multiple challenges confronting these singers – the general physical decline of aging, the effect of medications on the vocal folds, neurological problems and effects of cancer on the voice.

In this presentation, a multidisciplinary approach to voice issues resulting from problems including deconditioning, bad habits, vocal fold atrophy and neurological problems will be elucidated through video and demonstration. Diagnostic and treatment approaches, medical and surgical, that are utilized by the laryngologist and speech language pathologist, will be detailed for deconditioning, atrophy, vocal fold paresis/paralysis, neurological conditions. Post-cancer voice rehabilitation will also be addressed. Happily, the vast majority of seniors suffer from age related deconditioning that can respond to a habilitation regimen with the voice teacher or singing voice specialist. Strategies will be detailed.

About Lucinda Halstead

LHalstead-05_RET_copy.jpgLucinda Halstead, MD is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery and the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Halstead’s interests in laryngology, voice, performing arts medicine, swallowing and pediatric otolaryngology led her to found the MUSC Voice Center in 1987. In 2000, the Voice Center expanded and she became the Medical Director of the MUSC Evelyn Trammell Institute for Voice and Swallowing. Dr. Halstead is the laryngologist for the internationally renowned Spoleto Festival USA. She lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of vocal health, disorders of the singing voice, laryngopharyngeal reflux disorders and pediatric voice and swallowing disorders. She serves on the Board of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, and is a member of The Voice Foundation, Collegium Medicorum Theatri, and the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, amongst others.

About Deanna McBroom

McBroom-DHM_8x10_300dpi_-_option_2_copy.jpgSoprano Deanna McBroom has appeared throughout the US and in Europe with symphony orchestras in over 40 solo and oratorio roles, in leading roles in over 30 operas, and in concert series and chamber music. She recently premiered new works with the Charleston Symphony’s Magnetic South Series and has presented concerts for the International League of Women Composers, Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto, and American Music Center. Director of the Voice Program/Professor of Music at College of Charleston, and Singing Voice Specialist at Medical University of South Carolina’s Voice Institute, her students have attained successful national and international careers and are winners in national singing competitions. She lectures nationally and internationally on habilitation of the singing voice and treatment/health-and-wellness for injured singers, most recently for the Voice Foundation’s symposium, Performing Arts Medicine Association, the 2014 NATS convention, the British Voice Association’s “Choice for Voice”, and the Austrian Voice Institute.

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