In the process, I reviewed over 60 scholarly articles and came across quite a few that I think are valuable, and I imagine I'll be sharing many of these studies with you over the next few years. Today, I’d like to share a study I found entitled, “The Effect of Vocal Function Exercises on the Voices of Aging Community Choral Singers” (linked – full citation below)
In short, community singers with aging voices either did 5 weeks of Stemple Vocal Function Exercises or were part of the control group. The results summary reads:
After VFE training, significant improvements in perceived roughness, maximum phonation time, jitter, shimmer, and noise-to-harmonics ratio were found for participants in the VFE group. However, evaluations of perceived breathiness and strain and phonational frequency range did not reveal significant changes. The VFE program was also generally perceived by the participants to have a positive effect on their voices.
What are the Stemple Vocal Function Exercises?
These exercises, often used by speech language pathologists, are designed to strengthen and balance speaking and singing muscles, improve vocal fold efficiency (adduction), and coordinate systems used in speaking and singing.
Stemple Vocal Function Exercises Video
How else can I strengthen my voice as I age?
Use it! And use it wisely. Full body health is important, as is speaking and singing with the right tension/relaxation balance. While the Stemple Vocal Function Exercises are great, it is important to note that we crave variety and are more likely to stick with a program we like and can have fun with. I encourage you to use the Stemple Vocal Function Exercises, but also mix things up with some other vocal exercises and warmups! Here are some additional videos I would recommend.
Gentle and Rehabilitative Warmups
Strengthening the Aging Voice Through Menopause*
*note: these exercises are great for singers of all genders!
Vocal Warmup for Efficient Singing
“Mixed Voice” Exercises and Warmups for Singers
Daily practice will help keep your vocal mechanism
Kathleen is a conductor and vocal coach based out of San Diego, CA