the british voice association


Choice for Voice 2021: Crossing boundaries in voice – poster

Choice for Voice: Crossing boundaries in voice

Virtual 3-day conference: 3-5th September 2021


This event carries a total of 25 CPD points, awarded by ENTUK. See certificate for more information.

The British Voice Association (BVA) is delighted to announce, 'Choice For Voice' Online; its first 3-day voice conference in 10 years. The theme of the conference is 'Crossing Boundaries in Voice', with an emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches to health, performance, and research in the field of voice. In particular we are keen to shine a light on research and practice that acknowledges the holistic nature of voice use, as well as on those who draw upon other fields of practice in order to inform and enhance their own. Key areas for discussion include; physical and mental wellbeing for voice users, voice and the workplace, and crossing genre boundaries in pedagogy and performance.

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This exclusively online event will be delivered in partnership with award winning UK based events company **Worldspan** (https://www.worldspan.co.uk), using their bespoke virtual conferencing and online meeting platform **VIRTUS LIVE** (https://virt-us.live).

The event will feature over 40 hours of lectures, workshops and masterclasses from some of the world’s top practitioners, working in the field of voice. Delegates will also be able to network and schedule meetings with one another from within the platform and meet virtually with exhibitors from around the world.

Furthermore, we are also pleased to say that the vast majority of conference content will be available to registered delegates in recorded format for a period of two months after the live conference has closed.


Booking & Registration:

  • BVA Member: £225
  • Non-member: £265
  • Student: £185*

academic Programme

May be subject to change.


Friday 3rd September

09:00 - 11:00
Workshop Sessions & Paper Presentations

11:30 - 13:00
Keynote: Markus Hess MD
Part I: Refined endoscopic diagnostics and non-sedated interventions in the office.
Part II: Diagnosing and treating patients with heart, brain and hands – The missing links (with Jacob Lieberman).

14:00 - 15:30
British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)
A cross-disciplinary approach of voice care for performing artists.

Workshop Sessions

16:00 - 18:30
Performing Arts Medicine (PAMA)
Novel Insights to Enhance Performance and Prevent Injury

Workshop Sessions & Paper Presentations


Saturday 4th September

09:00 - 10:00
Workshop Sessions & Paper Presentations

10:00 - 11:00
Workshop Sessions & Paper Presentations

11:30 - 12:30
Workshop Sessions & Paper Presentations

12:30 - 13:30
Master Session with Steven Zeitels MD
From Garcia and Mackenzie to the 21st Century: Building & Developing a Laryngeal Commune

14:00 - 15:30
Masterclass with Dr Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher
The Singer in The Room

Paper Presentations

16:00 - 17:30
Keynote: Professor Kenneth Bozeman

Motivating Acoustic Efficiency: the Necessary Migrations of Sound and Sensation Across Range


Sunday 5 September

09:00 - 10:00
Keynote: Christina Shewell MA, FRCSLT ADVS
Integrative Voice Work

10:00 - 11:00
BVA Annual General Meeting

Workshop Sessions

11:30 - 13:00
Workshop - Christina Shewell MA, FRCSLT ADVS

Van Lawrence Presentations

Workshop Session & Paper Presentations

13:00 - 14:00
Lunch with Dame Sarah Connolly

Poster Review & Awards Ceremony

14:00 - 15:30
Keynote: Professor Janice Chapman

Not Your Usual Masterclass

15:30 - 16:00
Closing Ceremony & Van Lawrence Award


Keynotes & Masterclasses

Click/tap on a presenter's name to read a short biography.


Part I: Refined endoscopic diagnostics and non-sedated interventions in the office
Markus Hess, MD

New diagnostic procedures and interventions for treatment of (professional) voice users have become available. Due to submillimeter image resolution technology with premium camera chips in the tip of thin flexible endoscopes, over 95% of all causes of hoarseness can be detected within an entirely pain-free and un-sedated office laryngoscopy. The combination of high-resolution imaging with expert manual skills enables office-based interventions including injections, biopsies and laser procedures. State-of-art voice clinics can now offer a wider spectrum of refined diagnostics and well tolerable interventions next to traditional direct micro laryngoscopy and phono microsurgery in general anesthesia.

Part II:
Markus Hess, MD
Jacob Lieberman, DO

A wide range of voice-related complaints are only partially and vaguely diagnosed, in particular when there are no positive findings of vocal fold lesions. This interdisciplinary presentation from an ENT doctor (MH) and an osteopath / psychotherapist (JL) focuses on selected challenging cases and ‘difficult’ patients – represented from two different professional perspectives. Each case will have a ‘take-home-message’. Furthermore, systematic targeted osteopathic techniques will be demonstrated and commented with their relevance to MTD and voice diagnostics. Finally, therapeutic aspects will be touched on.


Title to be Announced
More information available shortly


Not Your Usual Masterclass
Prof. Janice Chapman
James Platt

Janice Chapman with the assistance of James Platt and singers at different stages of their development will demonstrate her holistic and incremental style of teaching and learning based on her teaching model. This is described in "Singing and Teaching Singing, A Holistic Approach to Classical Voice" (Plural Publishing) soon to be released in its 4th updated edition. Functional and evidence-based teaching has been recognised as very important during the Covid lockdowns. Questions from delegates are welcome.


Motivating Acoustic Efficiency:  the Necessary Migrations of Sound and Sensation Across Range 

This presentation will explore at an introductory level how humans experience and process sound in general, and motivate and experience voicing in particular, especially sung phonation.  It will overview the internal acoustic landscape we each inhabit, with its inherent, predictable transitions across range, and will elaborate our innate behavioural responses to that landscape. A strong case will be made for the existence of acoustic registers, and indeed, for acoustic interactions as the actual, underlying cause of most perceived register transitions. It will describe the necessary passive and active migrations of timbre, vowel, and somatosense that inevitably occur across range. Knowledge, anticipation, and allowance of these migrations together facilitate functional efficiency and, paradoxically, timbral continuity. Lastly, strategies for improving one’s aural and kinaesthetic awareness of the first two resonances of the vocal tract and of how one is tuning them will be introduced with the goal of increasing skill in adjusting their proportions for best balance.


Integrative Voice Work
In both voice development and voice healing, the work of the speech/language therapist, and the spoken or singing voice teacher is inevitably integrative. We combine factual knowledge and a multitude of skills and exercises with experience and intuition, so that many aspects become a unified whole – the mechanical, musical, muscular and mysterious process of voice work with another person.

The choices of approaches available to voice practitioners are indeed so multifarious as to sometimes be bewildering. This talk will draw on research literature, and long practical experience in voice training and therapy, to consider four integrated cornerstones of voice work: Brain, Body, Heart and Society. Loosely grouped under these headings, several principles and techniques will be described. These will include the application of neuroscience research findings relevant to imagery, words and repetition, the importance of simple perceptual voice analysis, the validity of whole-body work in stillness or movement, and the relevance of mindfulness, interpersonal skills and social considerations in voice work.  These aspects interweave to create the eclectic art and science mix that is the voice worker’s toolbox.

This lecture will be accompanied by a practical session in the afternoon, which will offer an opportunity to experience exercises that are linked to the morning keynote presentation, and which are considered central to the author’s own work in mending and extending voices.


The Singer in the Room
This masterclass is a snapshot of the singer, the teacher and the coach.

To give the singer the best experience we use an online format that combines recording and live coaching. For the audience it allows a unique insight into both the singer’s process and ours. We’ll be coaching three singers from different performance backgrounds over 90 minutes. There will be time for questions from viewers on what we did and why. Join us.


Following on from the BVA’s highly successful “Keynote Conversation” with Dame Sarah Connolly, we are delighted that our newest patron has agreed to a further discussion of all things singing with our Treasurer Richard Edgar-Wilson.

Born in County Durham, Sarah Connolly studied piano and singing at the Royal College of Music, where she is now a Fellow. Her career has seen her sing at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Salzburg and Tanglewood festivals and at the BBC Proms where, in 2009, she was soloist at the Last Night. Opera engagements have taken her around the world from the Metropolitan Opera to the Royal Opera House, the Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, the Munich State Opera and the Bayreuth, Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence festivals.

Sarah was made a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours, having previously been given a CBE in 2010. In 2011 she was honoured by the Incorporated Society of Musicians and presented with the Distinguished Musician Award. She was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2012 Singer Award and was made an Honorary Member of the RPS in 2020.

Delegates will be encouraged to submit questions to Dame Sarah, and this is a rare opportunity to discover how one of the greatest singers of our era has made the right “choice for her voice” – or not – throughout her distinguished career.


Special Sessions

The BVA are delighted to bring you a number of exciting sessions in partership with other vocal health organisations.

  • Novel Insights to Enhance Performance and Prevent Injury
    Performing Arts Medicine (PAMA)

Athletes and the arts: applying research in sports medicine to the arts
Randy Dick, MS

Occupational exposures and performing arts management of vocalists in professional venues
Orietta Calcinoni, MD

Management of Performance Anxiety
Bonnie Robson, MD

Neurological basis of performance / Injury and the emotional impact of injury
Eckart Altenmüller, MD

  • A cross-disciplinary approach of voice care for performing artists
    The British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)
    Declan Costello, Consultant ENT Surgeon, will chair a session featuring BAPAM registered practitioners and medical professionals, describing their roles and approaches as part of the care pathway for performers with vocal health problems across the UK.


Collegium Medicorum Theatri (CoMeT)

In addition to all content being provided as part of “Choice For Voice”, the BVA are thrilled to offer all registered delegates complimentary access to the Collegium Medicorum Theatri (CoMeT) annual conference, which is to be running simultaneously to “Choice For Voice”.

Collegium Medicorum Theatri (CoMeT) is composed of voice professionals from different cities of the world, connected with major theatres, operas, or conservatoires. The organization seeks to encourage scientific investigation, further clinical studies, exchange knowledge and ideas and develop educational activities in the field of professional voice care medicine.

CoMeT was founded in 1969 and its founding members included representatives from the USA, England, Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Mexico and France. 

The organisation has slowly grown over the years but still maintains its initial focus as an organization of physicians, scientists, voice coaches, and voice pathologists with a special interest in the voice of singers and actors.

CoMeT celebrated its 50th Anniversary year with a special session in Philadelphia in association with the Voice Foundation meeting and with a sessional meeting in Copenhagen in association with PEVoC. Its next planned meeting is due to be held in virtually in September 2021 in association with the British Voice Association’s Choice for Voice conference.

Download the CoMet Conference programme


Van Lawrence Prize

The British Voice Association (BVA) is calling for submissions for this prestigious award to be presented at the Choice for Voice 2021 meeting to be held between 3rd – 5th September.

Van L. Lawrence was an outstanding American Otolaryngologist who was known and admired by all those specialising in voice. His death in 1990 was a great loss to everyone in the field. Perhaps his greatest contribution was to the advancement of interdisciplinary education among physicians and voice teachers. He is justly famous as one of the first doctors who could write and speak in such comprehensible English that he was actually fun to read and listen to! To honour his contribution to the voice world, he has a Fellowship in his name in the United States through the joint sponsorship of the Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In the UK, the BVA has instituted an award in his name to be offered every other year provided there are sufficient applicants of a suitable standard. The Prize is open to members and non-members of the BVA, including students, and carries a cash prize of £500.

More information available here (Call for papers download).



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