Scan 2

 

 

TLC FOR YOUR VOICE

STEAM INHALATIONS

  • Fill a bowl with boiling water – no need to add anything (in fact some substances can be drying e.g. menthol)
  • Sit at a table and lean over the bowl (towel over head: optional!)
  • For the first few breaths, breathe in through your nose but as soon as you can, start breathing in through your open mouth
  • Your breath should be abdominal/central, as if you are breathing under the table (i.e. not shallow breathing – your shoulders shouldn’t be moving)
  • Continue for 2-3 minutes
  • Benefits: the evaporating steam moisturises/lubricates the mucous membrane which covers the whole of the vocal tract and the vocal cords. It relaxes the pharynx (back of throat) and larynx (voicebox), and gives you the sensation of the openness of your vocal tract
  • Contraindications – avoid this if you have asthma, other bronchial conditions (e.g. COPD, bronchiectasis, chest infection/bronchitis), or you have had recent oral, nasal or vocal surgery.

 

TEACHING

Playing the Altered Voice (The Actors Centre, London)

The idea behind this day is for actors to explore their own vocal skills and create voices where basic communication has broken down – we cover the deterioration of parameters in the elderly voice, stuttered/stammered speech, different types of lisp, and the disruption of voice and speech brought about by conditions such as Parkinson’s and stroke. We work through a number of practical exercises, some with text, some improvised to enable versatility with these voices for which the usual actor challenge of being heard, understood and believed is even greater. Because the participants are required to be quite gymnastic with larynx and voice during the day, we go through a thorough warm up, revisit the anatomy briefly and run through a refresher on vocal health and hygiene.  A great day for delving deeper into parts of your own voice you didn’t know were there!

 ‘A class that improves my vocal control and versatility…..I learned about what to consider when deconstructing a condition and…..the voice’.     (Ivana)

 

Voice Module (Feel Hot Yoga Teacher Training Programme, Watford) 

Each year I teach on Feel’s TTP; Nina Sebastiane’s trainees always have a good awareness of their own bodies and each cohort gets into breath work very easily. After a vibrant discussion about voices and accents, we go through a thorough warm-up, and then each student takes a turn to go through one asana in front of their fellow trainees.  Always an open-minded group, happy to discuss their strengths and weaknesses with projection, clarity and flow of explanations necessary to relax yogis into their practice in a yoga session. Thanks everyone!

 

Voice Awareness for Counsellors

I always enjoy running this session for students on The Albany Centre’s Diploma in Counselling programme in the beautiful setting of Green Park Activity Centre, Aston Clinton. We start the session by addressing how the voice works, which involves running through a varied repertoire of vocal exercises and warm ups. My middle session looks at the voice of both therapist and client; in particular, counsellors need to be acquainted with how emotions physically affect the voice, breathing and speech of clients – how blocks occur in posture, speaking and the flow of breath because of feelings, and how these tensions arising in the throat and along the vocal tract manifest themselves and can be worked through. We also look at how counsellors can be aware of their own voices, speech and use of language. The final section covers other communication problems (stammering, deafness, aphasia following stroke, speech/voice problems generally and post surgery), and looking at how the voice ages, finishing with how to look after your voice effectively.

 ‘…..Amazing, interesting, (Pippa) oozed energy and passion – I loved every second’.     (Janet)

PREVIOUS

RELATED NHS EMPLOYMENT

Bedfordshire

  • Voice and Stammering outpatient caseload (October 2001-September 2002 and December 2007-August 2013)
  • Head & Neck cancer caseload, Lead for Oro-Maxillo Facial (December 2007-August 2013)

Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, London

  • Outpatient service for adults with hearing and voice problems following acquired profound hearing loss/cochlear implantation (September 2002-May 2007)

Surrey

  • Co-ordinator of videofluoroscopy clinics and dysphagia service

Hampshire

  • Lead therapist for Voice Clinics (June 1992-July 1994)

 

FURTHER EDUCATION

Speech & Language Therapy Training

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Communication Studies, City University (1988 – 1990)
  • BA Hons Linguistics, Hull University (1984-1988)