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See detailVoice use among music theory teachers: A voice dosimetry and self-assessment study
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Remacle, Angélique ULg

in Journal of Voice (in press)

Objectives: (1) To investigate music theory teachers’ professional and extra-professional vocal loading and background noise exposure, (2) to determine the correlation between vocal loading and background ... [more ▼]

Objectives: (1) To investigate music theory teachers’ professional and extra-professional vocal loading and background noise exposure, (2) to determine the correlation between vocal loading and background noise, and (3) to determine the correlation between vocal loading and self-evaluation data. Methods: Using voice dosimetry, 13 music theory teachers were monitored for one workweek. Parameters analysed were voice SPL, F0, phonation time, vocal loading index (VLI) and noise SPL. Spearman’s correlation was used to correlate vocal loading parameters (voice SPL, F0 and phonation time) and noise SPL. Each day, subjects self-assessed their voice using visual analogue scales. VLI and self-evaluation data were correlated using Spearman’s correlation. Results: Vocal loading parameters and noise SPL were significantly higher in the professional than in the extra-professional environment. Voice SPL, phonation time and females’ F0 correlated positively with noise SPL. VLI correlated with self-assessed voice quality, vocal fatigue and amount of singing and speaking voice produced. Conclusions: Teaching music theory is a profession with high vocal demands. More background noise is associated with increased vocal loading and may indirectly increase the risk for voice disorders. Correlations between VLI and self-assessments suggest that these teachers are well-aware of their vocal demands and feel their effect on voice quality and vocal fatigue. Visual analogue scales seem to represent a useful tool for subjective vocal loading assessment and associated symptoms in these professional voice users. [less ▲]

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See detailVoice use among music theory teachers
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Sfez, Lou et al

Conference (2017, August 30)

In Belgium, there is a particular group of music teachers referred to as music theory teachers. Working at music schools, they convey theoretical knowledge and practical musical skills to groups of ... [more ▼]

In Belgium, there is a particular group of music teachers referred to as music theory teachers. Working at music schools, they convey theoretical knowledge and practical musical skills to groups of individuals who learn music during their free-time. Even though music theory teachers use both speaking and singing voice intensively at work, little is known about their voice use profiles. This study investigated the vocal loading among French-speaking music theory teachers. Objectives were (1) to describe their professional and extra-professional vocal loading, (2) to determine the relationship between vocal loading and background noise level and (3) to investigate whether objectively measured vocal loading is reflected in music theory teachers’ auto-evaluation of their voice. Using voice dosimetry, 13 music theory teachers were monitored for one workweek. Parameters analysed were F0, voice sound pressure level (SPL), phonation time, vocal loading index (VLI) and background noise SPL. At the end of each monitoring day, subjects self-assessed their voice use by means of visual analogue scales. Results revealed (1) significantly higher vocal loading in the professional context than in the extra-professional context, (2) significant positive correlations between background noise level and the parameters F0, voice SPL and phonation time and (3) significant correlations between the VLI and auto-evaluation data (e.g. voice quality and vocal fatigue). These results highlight that teaching music theory is a profession with high vocal demands. At work, music theory teachers are exposed to high background noise, which seems to influence their voice use and may potentially contribute to the development of voice problems among this population. Visual analogue scales provide a promising tool to subjectively investigate vocal loading among music theory teachers. [less ▲]

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See detailPrevalence of voice disorders among teachers at the beginning of their career
Schiller, Isabel ULg

Poster (2017, August)

Due to the high vocal demands associated with their profession, teachers face an increased risk of developing voice disorders. Research suggests that up to 50 % of experienced teachers are affected. Even ... [more ▼]

Due to the high vocal demands associated with their profession, teachers face an increased risk of developing voice disorders. Research suggests that up to 50 % of experienced teachers are affected. Even student teachers, whose vocal load is still relatively low, report voice problems with a frequency of 20 % (Simberg, Laine, Sala, & Rönnemaa, 2000). Little is known about the prevalence of voice disorders among teachers at the very beginning of their career. In Germany, teachers must complete a two-year teaching practice as part of their professional training after they graduate from university, consisting of attending specialized courses and giving lessons. The aim of this symptom-based study was to determine the prevalence of voice problems among this population. A self-administered questionnaire was answered by 73 German teachers in teaching practice. The prevalence of a voice problem was defined based on the presence of two symptoms that persisted for a minimum of two weeks. Results revealed that 37 % of teachers had voice problems during their teaching practice. Among the most frequent symptoms were hoarseness, an urge to clear one’s throat and problems speaking at a loud voice. Considering that the participants had not even begun teaching full-time, the prevalence of reported voice problems is worrisome. It could be associated with their lacking experience in how to use their voice effectively. The findings highlight the necessity of early intervention programs focusing on vocal hygiene and effective voice use in classroom situations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 42 (7 ULg)
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See detailVoice use among music theory teachers
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Sfez, Lou et al

Conference (2017, August)

In Belgium, there is a particular group of music teachers referred to as music theory teachers. Working at music schools, they convey theoretical knowledge and practical musical skills to groups of ... [more ▼]

In Belgium, there is a particular group of music teachers referred to as music theory teachers. Working at music schools, they convey theoretical knowledge and practical musical skills to groups of individuals who learn music during their free-time. Even though music theory teachers use both speaking and singing voice intensively at work, little is known about their voice use profiles. This study investigated the vocal loading among French-speaking music theory teachers. Objectives were (1) to describe their professional and extra-professional vocal loading, (2) to determine the relationship between vocal loading and background noise level and (3) to investigate whether objectively measured vocal loading is reflected in music theory teachers’ auto-evaluation of their voice. Using voice dosimetry, 13 music theory teachers were monitored for one workweek. Parameters analysed were F0, voice sound pressure level (SPL), phonation time, vocal loading index (VLI) and background noise SPL. At the end of each monitoring day, subjects self-assessed their voice use by means of visual analogue scales. Results revealed (1) significantly higher vocal loading in the professional context than in the extra-professional context, (2) significant positive correlations between background noise level and the parameters F0, voice SPL and phonation time and (3) significant correlations between the VLI and auto-evaluation data (e.g. voice quality and vocal fatigue). These results highlight that teaching music theory is a profession with high vocal demands. At work, music theory teachers are exposed to high background noise, which seems to influence their voice use and may potentially contribute to the development of voice problems among this population. Visual analogue scales provide a promising tool to subjectively investigate vocal loading among music theory teachers. [less ▲]

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See detailL’usage vocal des professeurs de formation musicale
Remacle, Angélique ULg; Schiller, Isabel ULg; Sfez, Lou et al

Conference (2017, June 29)

Introduction : En Belgique, les professeurs de formation musicale, ou professeurs de solfège, dispensent une éducation à la musique par un enseignement du langage musical. Plus précisément, ils enseignent ... [more ▼]

Introduction : En Belgique, les professeurs de formation musicale, ou professeurs de solfège, dispensent une éducation à la musique par un enseignement du langage musical. Plus précisément, ils enseignent l’apprentissage de la rythmique, de la lecture et de l’écriture de partitions, la pratique du chant, le développement de l’oreille musicale, ou encore la constitution d’un répertoire de référence. Ces enseignements sont dispensés dans des académies de musique ou des conservatoires. En tant que professionnels de la voix, ces professeurs font partie des travailleurs les plus à risque de consulter un phoniatre pour leur voix (1). Cependant, leur usage vocal reste peu décrit. Cette étude a pour objectif 1) de mesurer la charge vocale de professeurs de formation musicale en contexte professionnel et extra-professionnel, 2) de décrire l’influence du bruit ambiant sur leur voix et 3) d’identifier l’impact de la charge vocale sur leur qualité et leur fatigue vocale. Méthode : 13 professeurs de formation musicale (9 femmes, 4 hommes) ont été enregistrés pendant une semaine complète à l’aide d’un dosimètre vocal (VoxLog) porté du lever au coucher. Le dosimètre mesure la durée de phonation et la fréquence vocale (F0) avec un accéléromètre, ainsi que l’intensité de la voix et du bruit ambiant avec un microphone positionné au niveau du cou. L’analyse du signal est réalisée avec le logiciel VoxLog Discovery. Ce logiciel calcule notamment le nombre d’oscillations des plis vocaux par jour. A la fin de chaque journée, les professeurs ont auto-évalué leur qualité et leur fatigue vocale à l’aide d’échelles visuelles analogiques. Résultats : Les paramètres vocaux et le bruit ambiant sont significativement plus élevés en contexte professionnel qu’extra-professionnel (p<.001). L’élévation du bruit ambiant est accompagnée d’une élévation de l’intensité vocale pour les 13 professeurs (r=.61, p<.001), ainsi que d’une augmentation de F0 pour les femmes (r=.41, p=.002) mais non pour les hommes (r=.39, p=.055). Enfin, le bruit ambiant élevé est associé à une augmentation de la durée de phonation (r=.05, p<.001). L’augmentation du nombre d’oscillations journalier des plis vocaux est associée à une augmentation de la fatigue (r=0.438, p<.001) et à une diminution de la qualité vocale (r=-0.538, p<.001). Conclusion : De façon similaire aux professeurs d’école (2), les paramètres vocaux ainsi que le bruit ambiant sont significativement plus élevés en contexte professionnel. Sur leur lieu de travail, les professeurs d’éducation musicale sont confrontés à un bruit ambiant dépassant la limite recommandée par l’OMS (3). En accord avec l’effet Lombard, ce bruit élevé est associé à une augmentation de l’intensité vocale. Chez les femmes, une voix plus aigüe est observée en environnement bruyant. Comme dans l’étude de Ternström, Södersten et Bohman (4), un bruit ambiant élevé est associé à une durée de phonation plus importante, potentiellement dû à une prolongation des segments voisés par souci d’intelligibilité. En conclusion, les professeurs de formation musicale utilisent leur voix de manière intensive dans le cadre de leur travail, alternant voix parlée et voix chantée. Les corrélations entre le nombre d’oscillations journalier et les auto-évaluations montrent que la quantité de voix utilisée a un impact sur le ressenti des participants. De plus, l’élévation du bruit est corrélée à une augmentation des paramètres de charge vocale. Bibliographie 1. Remacle, A., Petitfils, C., Lejeune, L., Finck, C., & Morsomme, D. (2015, April 10). What is the professional profile of patients in phoniatrics? Oral communication presented at the 4th International Occupational Voice Symposium, London, UK. 2. Remacle, A., Morsomme, D., & Finck, C. (2014). Comparison of vocal loading parameters in kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57, 406-415. 3. Inserm. (2006). La voix : Ses troubles chez les enseignants (Expertise collective). Paris : Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche médicale. 4. Ternström, S., Södersten, M., & Bohman, M. (2002). Correlation of simulated environmental noise as a tool for measuring vocal performance during noise exposure. Journal of Voice, 16(2), 195-206. [less ▲]

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See detailVoice dosimetry in music theory teachers
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Sfez, Lou et al

Conference (2017, March 28)

BACKGROUND: In Belgium, music theory teachers teach theoretical aspects of rhythm, singing and other music-related skills (such as pitch accuracy or singing in harmony) outside the regular school setting ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: In Belgium, music theory teachers teach theoretical aspects of rhythm, singing and other music-related skills (such as pitch accuracy or singing in harmony) outside the regular school setting. To date, their voice use and how it may be affected by background noise have hardly been studied. OBJECTIVES: 1) to determine the relationship between music theory teachers’ vocal loading and background noise and 2) to examine if the daily number of vocal fold vibration cycles (vocal loading index, VLI) is reflected in the teachers’ auto-evaluation of their voice. METHODS: A VoxLog voice dosimeter (Sonvox) was used to monitor 13 music theory teachers for one 6-day workweek from the early morning until late evening. Parameters analysed were fundamental frequency (F0, Hz), voice sound pressure level (SPL, dB), time dose (%), noise SPL (dB), and VLI. At the end of each monitoring day, subjects evaluated their voice quality, vocal fatigue, and amount of speaking and singing voice used by means of a visual analogue scale. RESULTS: Statistical analysis revealed positive correlations between noise SPL and F0, voice SPL and time dose. Correlations were also found between VLI and auto-evaluation data: a rise in VLI accompanied a decrease in self-perceived voice quality, an increase in vocal fatigue and an increase in the perceived amount of singing and speaking voice used. CONCLUSION: Three conclusions were drawn from the results. Firstly, vocal loading measured in music theory teachers is connected to the background noise level. Secondly, a great number of vibration cycles is associated with a self-reported increase in vocal fatigue and a lower general voice quality at the end of the day. Finally, correlations between the number of vibration cycles and the self-reported amount of voice use suggest that visual analogue scales are a reliable method to evaluate daily voice use. [less ▲]

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See detailStimmstörungen bei Lehrkräften im Vorbereitungsdienst
Schiller, Isabel ULg

in Hannken-Illjes, Kati (Ed.) Stimme Medien Sprechkunst (2017)

Lehrer weisen ein erhöhtes Risiko auf, Stimmstörungen zu entwickeln. Sogar Lehramtsstudierende sind bereits zu etwa 20% betroffen, obwohl die stimmlichen Anforderungen während des Studiums noch gering ... [more ▼]

Lehrer weisen ein erhöhtes Risiko auf, Stimmstörungen zu entwickeln. Sogar Lehramtsstudierende sind bereits zu etwa 20% betroffen, obwohl die stimmlichen Anforderungen während des Studiums noch gering ausfallen (vgl. Ettehad 2004). Nur unzureichend wurde bislang die Stimme von Lehrkräften im Vorbereitungsdienst (LiV) untersucht. Gleichwohl ist der Vorbereitungsdienst ein kritischer Zeitraum. LiV unterrichten etwa 12 Stunden pro Woche und stehen unter hohem Leistungsdruck. Dies kann sich potentiell negativ auf die Stimme auswirken. Ziel der Studie war es demnach, die Prävalenz und Art von Stimmstörungen bei Lehrkräften im Vorbereitungsdienst zu bestimmen. Weiterhin sollten Zusammenhänge zwischen subjektiven und objektiven stimmbezogenen Daten untersucht werden. 73 LiV nahmen an der Studie teil, die sich aus einem selbstkonzipierten Fragebogen und der Erhebung objektiver Daten zusammensetzt. Probanden, die im Fragebogen angaben, während des Vorbereitungsdienstes bereits zwei oder mehr Symptome einer Stimmstörung wahrgenommen zu haben, wurden als stimmgestört klassifiziert. Anhand objektiver Messungen wurden zudem die Variablen maximale Tonhaltedauer (THD), Jitter und Shimmer erhoben und mit den subjektiven Daten in Beziehung gesetzt. Bei 37% der Probanden ergaben sich Hinweise auf das Vorliegen einer Stimmstörung. Besonders häufig wurden die Symptome Rauigkeit, Räusperzwang oder Lautstärkeprobleme genannt. Es bestand kein signifikanter Zusammenhang zwischen den subjektiven und den objektiven Daten. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass angehende Lehrkräfte im Zeitraum des Vorbereitungsdienstes vermehrt zu Stimmproblemen neigen. Dies unterstreicht die Notwendigkeit von interventiven Maßnahmen, die bereits im Studium zum Tragen kommen sollten. [less ▲]

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See detailNormative data on teachers’ voice use in real-life situations
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Alcoulombre, Anaëlle et al

Conference (2016, August 25)

Background As part of their working routine, teachers use their voice for extended periods of time. To compensate for adverse acoustic conditions and background noise, they are also required to speak at ... [more ▼]

Background As part of their working routine, teachers use their voice for extended periods of time. To compensate for adverse acoustic conditions and background noise, they are also required to speak at high intensities. Since teaching is acknowledged to be vocally demanding, several studies have investigated teachers’ vocal load, that is, the stress inflicted on the larynx during vocalization, which is thought to be influenced by duration, intensity and frequency of phonation. A promising method for analyzing teachers’ phonatory behavior in real-life situations is the use of a portable voice dosimeter that objectively documents vocal parameters. Depending on several factors, those parameters may vary within the teaching profession (Masuda et al., 1993; Morrow and Connor, 2011; Remacle, Morsomme, and Finck, 2014). With the aim of quantifying their vocal parameters and identifying the most at-risk teaching conditions, we have established a large database of French-speaking teachers. Based on this database, this study analyzed vocal loading differences with regard to gender, teaching level, and environment (professional versus extra-professional). Methods Seventy-six French-speaking teachers (15 males and 61 females) were monitored during one workweek using the Ambulatory Phonation Monitor voice dosimeter (KayPENTAX). The subjects included 21 kindergarten, 20 primary and 35 secondary school teachers. All male subjects were in the latter group. The vocal parameters analyzed were phonation time, intensity and fundamental frequency (F0). Results The statistical analysis revealed that, irrespective of gender, phonation time, F0 and intensity level were significantly higher in the professional environment than the extra-professional environment (p<.01). Among female subjects, the F0 of kindergarten teachers was significantly higher than that of primary school teachers, which in turn was higher than that of secondary school teachers (p<.01). The phonation time and intensity were also higher in female kindergarten teachers than other female teachers, but this difference did not reach significance. As expected, regarding gender differences, we found that female secondary school teachers spoke with significantly higher F0 than their male colleagues (p<.001). In the extra-professional setting, they also spoke with a significantly higher intensity (p<.05), but no such effect was found in the professional environment. Conclusion Overall, our subjects showed an increase in vocal loading parameters when they were at work compared to their free time. This confirms the results of earlier studies and demonstrates that teaching is an occupation with remarkably high vocal demands. The analysis of mean frequency showed that lower school levels were associated with higher-pitched voice. It can be assumed that kindergarten teachers adapt to the higher F0 of their young pupils and that their effort to maintain the pupils’ attention results in greater frequency variations. References Masuda, T., Ikeda, Y., Manako, H., & Komiyama, S. (1993). Analysis of vocal abuse: Fluctuations in phonation time and intensity in 4 groups of speakers. Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 113(3), 547–552. Morrow, S. L., & Connor, N. P. (2011). Comparison of voice-use profiles between elementary classroom and music teachers. Journal of Voice, 25(3), 367–372. Remacle, A., Morsomme, D., & Finck, C. (2014). Comparison of vocal loading parameters in kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(2), 406–415. [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of background noise on vocal loading parameters in music theory teachers
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Sfez, Lou et al

Poster (2016, August 23)

Background: Music theory teachers, who teach rhythm, singing and other music-related skills and topics, depend greatly on a well-functioning voice. Unlike other schoolteachers, who primarily use their ... [more ▼]

Background: Music theory teachers, who teach rhythm, singing and other music-related skills and topics, depend greatly on a well-functioning voice. Unlike other schoolteachers, who primarily use their voice as a pedagogic tool, music theory teachers also use it as an instrument. Furthermore, they often engage in vocally demanding free-time activities requiring a singing voice. To date, few studies have specifically looked at the voice use of music theory teachers. This study aims (1) to measure the background noise level and the amount of vocal loading affecting this specific population, and (2) to describe the influence of background noise on vocal loading parameters. Methods: Thirteen French-speaking music theory teachers (9 females and 4 males) working in a music school were monitored for one workweek, using the VoxLog voice dosimeter (Sonvox). To investigate the professional and extra-professional environments, all subjects wore the dosimeter from early morning until the end of the day. The parameters analysed were background noise level, duration of phonation, sound pressure level (SPL) and fundamental frequency (F0) of voice. Results: Overall, the mean background noise level was 75.2 dB (SD=5.4). We measured higher background noise level at work (mean=78.2 dB, SD=5.8) than in the extra-professional environment (mean=72.2 dB, SD=5.2). As expected, a rise in background noise was accompanied by a significant rise in voice SPL in both males and females (r=.61, p<.001). A significant correlation between background noise and F0 was found in females (r=.41, p=.002), but not in males (r=.39, p=.055). Furthermore, our data exhibit a significant correlation between background noise and duration of phonation (r=.05, p<.001). Conclusion: Our data suggest, that in class, music theory teachers must cope with background noise levels that dramatically exceed the limit of 35 dB recommended by the WHO (Inserm, 2006). High background noise levels lead to an increase in voice SPL, a phenomenon known as the Lombard effect (Inserm, 2006). In female subjects, we also observed a rise in F0 further to high background noise. Like Ternström, Södersten, and Bohman’s (2002) study, our data indicate that high background noise levels increase the duration of phonation. In a noisy environment, subjects seem to prolong the voiced segments of speech to make themselves understood. In other words, high background noise levels result in higher vocal loading. In the long run, this may increase the risk of voice disorders such as hyperfunctional dysphonia or vocal fold pathologies consecutive to repeated microtrauma in music theory teachers. [less ▲]

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