the british voice association


World Voice Day 2014

World Voie Day (branding)


The British Voice Association's contribution to World Voice Day 2014


Muscle Tension Dysphonia - leaflet
Singing and Wellbeing - leaflet

In 2014 the Association produced two new voice information leaflets, the first covered Muscle Tension Dysphonia, its effect on the voice and how it is diagnosed and treated.

The second leaflet was titled 'It's official, singing is good for you'. There is increasing scientific evidence to support the long held clinical impression that singing has positive effects both physically and emotionally on everyone. It has been shown to help people with severe breathing difficulties, Parkinson’s Disease and those with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Over recent years Gareth Malone has demonstrated the benefits of singing for everyone in his TV series on workplace choirs and, of course, the Military Wives.


Both leaflets are available to download from our 'Free Resources' section


World Voice Day 2014 News – UK and around the world

UK, Canterbury: Kent Community Health NHS Trust
Ms Annie Elias, Head of the Adult Speech and Language Therapy Department for Kent Community Health NHS Trust in Canterbury did a live interview on BBC Radio Kent on World Voice Day (16.4.14) during the Julia George morning programme. She was interviewed with a voice patient who had agreed to take part and the interviews were followed by a phone in. Ms Elias also recorded an interview for radio KMFM and produced an article for the Whitstable Times.


UK, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex: Outloud Productions Ltd. Voice and Drama Company
Outloud Productions Ltd is a Voice and Drama company that works with people of all ages. For World Voice Day 2014 they ran a voice workshop that began with vocal warm-ups and continued to cover exploration of the spoken word and both group and individual work. The workshop culminated in a poetry recital in the afternoon. The audience loved it and the participant’s feedback was positive. They enjoyed the use of the vocal warm ups as well and the exercises for volume and annunciation and discovering more poems. www.outloudproductions.co.uk


UK, London: Tower Hamlets
The Voice Department at Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets are planning to celebrate World Voice Day by running a "Voice Week" during the last week of their Easter school term. Workshops will be given by eminent speakers in the world of voice including Barbara Houseman, Jessica Chambers and Nick Trumble. There will be a communication skills workshop from the company Craft of Communication as well as viewings of an 'Introduction to Rhetoric' film, created especially for the school by Professor Gary Watt, Warwick University. Other activities throughout the week include:

  • 'Poetry Day', with a recital from the SEN department during the day and then a professional recital, after school, with Zena Edwards, Jasmine Ann Cooray, and Katie Bonna.
  • Recordings will be played of teachers reading their favourite poem – giving students a chance to 'guess the teacher'!
  • There will be craft areas available throughout the week where students can make and decorate paper model larynxes which will be displayed around the school. A prize will be awarded by the Head Teacher for her favourite!
  • There will be a voting system for the school's favourite poem, as well as questionnaire cards for students regarding how they feel about their voice etc.

The school also have an innovative longer term research project underway that will help their pupils become more aware of the importance of voice and communication skills to their personal, social, educational and career growth. They are devising a pilot programme of vocal and communication skills development which all the girls in the school will take part in throughout their time at Mulberry. More information about the school can be found at www.mulberry.towerhamlets.sch.uk


UK, London: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Greenwich
The Old Royal Naval College Chapel Choir is formed from choral scholars from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and a number of experienced and outstanding local singers. Two of the choral scholars are sponsored by the Dame Susan Morden Charitable Trust. All members of the choir are accomplished musicians, trained singers with the ability to both blend and also take significant solo roles. The Chapel Choir is unique in that it has ready access to the wide range of musical resources at the Conservatoire. Collaboration with orchestral and jazz musicians, historical performers and composers is therefore a particular feature of music in worship at the Chapel.

For World Voice Day 2014 the choir celebrated with a performance of JS Bach's Mass in B Minor in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich, London; accompanied by the Southern Sinfonia orchestra and directed by Ralph Allwood MBE. We performed the Mass at baroque pitch as part of a devotional concert during Holy Week with soloists from the choir. The concert was a big success, and we had a full chapel in attendance (about 230 people).


UK, Scotland: Galloway and Dumfries Speech and Language Therapy Adult Service for NHS
The Speech and Language Therapy Adult Service team for Dumfries and Galloway celebrated World Voice Day by creating a blog and a video to raise awareness of the importance of our voices at work, school and in society. This included information from the BVA 'Dealing with Dysphonia' leaflet with advice on voice care and when and how to seek help. The video was then uploaded onto YouTube and shared, together with the blog, with followers on Facebook and Twitter. They found the really exciting part came when posting and tweeting to invite other relevant local, national and world organisations, such as world-voice-day.org, to then like, share and re-tweet to their followers, who could then like, share, re-tweet with their followers and so on...

Over 600 people have taken the time to engage in their World Voice Day social media campaign so far and this number still continues to grow daily. As they commented "It is difficult to think of any other more effective way to spread information to so many people in such a short space of time".

Speech and Language Therapy Adult Service for NHS Dumfries and Galloway also teamed up with Fairy Bod Mother Fitness Academy to create a social media video highlighting the importance of voice for work on World Voice Day, April 16th.


UK, Slough, Berkshire: Wexham Park Hospital

Slough Speech Therapy Team

To celebrate World Voice Day on 16th April 2014, the Wexham Park Hospital speech and language therapy team set up an information stand in the ENT outpatient department. The aim was to attract staff, patients and visitors to learn more about their voices and celebrate the importance of voice. With the slogan 'Protect it, don't neglect it' we wanted to convey the message that knowing how to protect your throat and preventing voice disorders is important for everyone, particularly those that rely on their voices for their work, hobbies, social and family life.

A vocal health advice leaflet was provided and people were invited to take part in a voice quiz. From all the correct quiz sheets, a winner was chosen at random and a prize was generously awarded by Hibiscus Beauty Clinic in Stoke Poges.


UK, Winchester: The 5678 Choir, Sutton Scotney
Lisa Faye Broadhead is a singer and vocal teacher who set up the 5678 Choir in the village of Sutton Scotney near Winchester in 2013. The choir now has 30+ members who come along every week to sing pop, soul, film and musical theatre songs.

Lisa does a lot to spread the word about vocal health and well being so for World Voice Day 2014 she decided to put on a special choir session in aid of World Voice Day to celebrate healthy voices. The choir had fun learning a little about World Voice Day, voice care and singing a song together as opposed to parts for a change. They learned the Commonwealth Song Sing written for the Queen's Jubilee by Gary Barlow and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. It seemed very appropriate and they loved it. Lisa also handed out the BVA flyers on 'Singing and Wellbeing' to the choir. The choir fed back that they had really enjoyed the additional session and being part of a world singing event. They also liked the flyer as Lisa had often told them about the benefits of singing and now they had it confirmed in writing. www.5678music.co.uk/choir


UK, Winchester, Hants

Heidi de Quincey's window display

Heidi de Quincey is a voice specialist Speech and Language Therapist, who after 28 years working in the NHS, is now working independently with a case load of voice /ENT clients. For World Voice Day 2014 Heidi prepared a display of voice information for the window of her local theatre to catch the attention of the general public and those attending the theatre. Heidi also managed to be present with her display for short sessions during the day in order to answer questions from the public and to hand out BVA leaflets to those wanting them. During the rest of the day she was involved in running a busy multidisciplinary team teaching session. The response was enthusiastic and Heidi tells us: "I find people are almost always interested in their voice – or the voice of others they know. I received questions about sore throats; sucking pastilles; rough quality voice and singing as a good exercise"



Around the world

Austria: Stimme.at, Salzburg
For World Voice Day 2014 the European Network of Voice Experts (www.stimmer.at) joined forces with a group of other voice experts, therapists, voice coaches and singers under the supervision of Dr Josef Schlömicher-Thier from the Austrian Voice Institute. They offered free advice on voice care to members of the public and Dr Schlömicher-Thier also provided leaflets on voice care. The public were given the opportunity to test how loudly they could produce their voices by shouting "Jeckermann" into a microphone. Those with the loudest voices were given a certificate. The drop-in session was well attended by people of all ages who found it fun and informative.


Ireland, Galway City
Galway Parkinson's Association (GPA) is a voluntary organisation for people with Parkinson's disease and we have approximately 250 members. We provide support, advice, education, workshops, physiotherapy and speech, language & voice therapy to members, families and carers. We now have a singing group and the members sung on our first ever Christmas CD which we produced last Christmas to raise funds to keep our services on-going. This was a great success and hence we hope to continue our singing endeavours as it is important for the mental health of our members.

For World Voice Day 2014 the GPA created a very short video of our members singing the choruses of two very well known ballads. Hopefully the video clip will demonstrate a very positive and sociable approach to voice for people with progressive neurological diseases. The film was very impromptu but well-received! We may do a singing flash mob next year! The video can be viewed on the Galway Parkinson's Association Facebook page.


Mexico: Centro de Foniatrica Y Audiologica, Mexico City
World Voice Day has been celebrated in Mexico since 2001 and this year there were 2 special events. The first took place on 24th April in the form of a presentation about 'Voice in Mexico' followed by a free concert for piano and voices. This project was sponsored by the Science Museum.

The second event took place on 29th April and was entitled 'Open Forum on Voice'. It was also free and aimed to educate the general public about topics such as voice and aging, occupational voice, singing, vocal health and smoking and its effects on voice and health. The event was run by the Mexican Ministry for Health in conjunction with the Centro de Foniatrica Y Audiologia.


Nigeria: Port Harcourt University
The Music Department from Port Harcourt University have put together their contribution to World Voice Day on YouTube, it is entitled Voices for Peace.


Turkey: Izmir University Otolaryngology Department
Dr Ilter Denizoglu, MD is Director of Clinical Vocology in Izmir University Otolaryngology Department and a Lecturer in Pedagogical Vocology at Ege University Turkish State Music Conservatory, Dokus Eylül University State Conservatory (Main Division of Opera) and Yasar University (Main Division of Vocal Arts).

The Vocal Training Department at Ege University State Turkish Music Conservatory, Izmir, celebrated World Voice Day with a Voice Conference and a concert. Dr Denizoglu gave a paper about issues that can affect the singing voice.

On 21st April in a different city Afyon Kocatepe University organized a meeting for World Voice Day which included concert performances, conference papers and discussion panels. Dr Denizoglu also attended this meeting to give a paper and to sing in the concert.


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