Untitled document

    Winter 2012          


Contract to Study Source-Filter Interaction

The NCVS at the University of Utah recently won a four-year contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a project entitled, “Source-Filter Interaction in Speech”.  The project studying normally speaking adults and normally aging adults, is lead by NCVS Director Dr. Ingo R. Titze.

Speech production involves both creation of sound and reinforcement of sound. The larynx is the primary sound producing organ, and the airway (vocal tract) is the resonator. It has traditionally been assumed that the two function (and are controlled) independently, one producing pitch, loudness, and voice quality while the other produces vowels and consonants. It is investigated in this research whether or not this independence always exists. Our previous research indicates that the airway structures (shape) may influence the production of sound in the larynx, creating loudness and pitch changes, as well as instabilities that are perceived as roughness and uncertainty in control. Some of these instabilities are observed in aging voices.  Understanding these instabilities may lead to more accurate diagnosis of vocal health as well as identifying normal aging of the voice.

Understanding Aging: A 50-year longitudinal study of Speeches

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, led by Dr. Eric Hunter , examines 36 recordings of the former leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, spanning the years 1958 to 2007. These recordings provide a rare opportunity to track a single individual’s age-related voice and speech mechanism changes.

The results of this study have been discussed in the news both in paper and TV, including the New York Times.  Generally speaking, the aging of the voice and speech mechanism affects breathing, swallowing, and communication. Thus, indication of speech aging would also imply aging of the breathing and swallowing mechanism and potential health risks. Those of the world’s population over fifty are the fastest growing segment, affecting society by its sheer number as well as by historically high life spans. Healthcare practitioners must understand and accommodate the needs of this population.




(April 25-26, 2013)

This symposium will provide a forum to discuss the need for professional training programs in performance voice health.

The National Center for Voice and Speech is excited to host the Proposed Specialty Training in Vocal Health: Why, Who, What & How Symposium. The format of this event will include: multiple open sessions developed from abstracts, correlations from other fields and talks on current training practices, with additional break out sessions to help determine common ground and goals. This forum will also play host to multiple structured talks as well as round tables from all stakeholders.




Planning for the 2013 Phonosurgery Symposium is well underway, and we couldn’t be more excited to host this event! The Symposium will focus on ways in which behavioral therapy can enhance surgical outcomes. Topics include the role of pre- and post-surgical voice therapy, voice rest, wound healing, multidisciplinary collaboration, and surgery and the performing voice. Our highly esteemed featured speakers include Julie Barkmeier-Kramer, PhD, CCC-SLP, Robert Bastian, MD, Jackie Gartner-Schmidt, PhD, CCC-SLP, Albert Merati, MD, and Eric Hunter, PhD. If you are interested in being a speaker, please submit an abstract no later than February 15, 2013.


The Symposium will be held in Salt Lake City on July 18-20, 2013. Registration for this event is now open. Visit www.ncvs.org/svi_phonosurgery.html for more information, to register, or to submit abstracts for consideration.



The Summer Vocology Institute(SVI) will begin June 10 and run through August 2, 2013. We are currently accepting applications for the 2013 season.

SVI is a intensive program to
learn VOCOLOGY the study and practice of voice habilitation. This unique program combines speech science, vocal pedagogy, medicine, and theater training. SVI gives real world experience in applying these concepts to laboratory, performance, and health services settings.



(August 6-9, 2013)

Although we are starting into winter here at NCVS we are already planning our Summer Singing Workshop.

Join the NCVS , along with renowned voice scientists and vocal trainers, for a 4-day singing workshop with "wired" master classes. Melding professional voice and technology, these enhanced techniques will explore in-depth singing instruction, using technology in studio.



The NEW Vocal Studio at NCVS

In August, we opened the doors to our brand new teaching, coaching and research space we’re calling The Vocal Studio at NCVS.  Dr. Lynn Maxfield is currently teaching singing lessons to singers of all ages, skill levels, and music styles and we have plans to add coaching for public speaking and accent modification, which will be taught by Mara Kapsner-Smith, MS, CCC-SLP.  The mission of the Vocal Studio is to provide its students with first class, evidence-based vocal instruction in the heart of Salt Lake City’s thriving downtown arts scene.  Instructional focus is placed on artistic expression and flexibility of technique, balanced with healthy voice production and habilitation. 

Because we recognize that advances in technology are providing new and exciting supplements to traditional teaching methods, the Vocal Studio is equipped with state of the art recording and voice analysis technology.  VoceVista, Madde, Sing & See, and MultiVoice are among the tools available in our studio to provide valuable biofeedback to our clients.  There are still vacancies in the studio and all singers in the Salt Lake City area are encouraged to contact us for a free introductory lesson!




  Lynn Maxfield will be a guest contributor to the Mindful Voice column in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Singing.  His article “Improve Their Learning by Improving Your Feedback” will appear in the March/April edition of the journal and provides background, rationale, and direction to help teachers of singing evaluate the types and amount of feedback that they are providing to their students.

A New York Times article just published, is a follow up to the paper Dr. Eric Hunter wrote about the Aging Voice.

Just published in Science MagaZine: How Low Can You Go - Physical Production Mechanism of Elephant Infrasonic Vocalizations by Christian Herbs with the Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, and contributing author, Ingo Titze.
spacer (1K)
Dr. Eric Hunter's paper on Understanding Aging: A 50-year longitudinal study of Speeches Understanding Aging: A 50-year longitudinal study of Speeches Blog and published in the Salt Lake Tribune LDS Living





STAFF - National Center for Voice and Speech

Ingo R. Titze, Ph.D. - Executive Director

Eric Hunter, Ph.D. - Deputy Executive Director

Carrie L. Pymm - Program Manager

Kent Montgomery - Administrative Assistant

Katelyn King - SVI Coordinator

Mara Kapsner-Smith - Research Associate

Lynn Maxfield - Teaching and Research Associate 

Anil Kumar Palaparthi - Research Engineer

Megan Engar - Research Assistant

Russell Banks - Research Assistant

Austin Messervey  - Research Assistant

Help the NCVS
Become an
Advocate & Educator to the Public

We are looking to raise support for our current outreach programs at NCVS.  The goal of these programs is to help people around the world enjoy healthy and effective vocal communications. If you are interested in helping or would like more information contact: Carrie Pymm @ carrie.pymm@ncvs.org or DONATE online go to: http://ncvs.org/donate.htm

In This Issue

- Vocal Health Symposium

- 2013 Phonosurgery Conference

- 2013 Summer Vocology Institute
- 2013 Singers Workshop
- The NEW Vocal Studio at NCVS

Letter from the Director

Ingo R. Titze
NCVS Executive Director

Much has been happening to bring more voice awareness to our neighbors North and South on the American Continent. A major voice conference was held in Santiago, Chile, in October, 2012. It was organized by our colleague and Summer Vocology graduate Marco Guzman. Marco and his partner Matias Zañartu, a Purdue graduate who is now on the faculty of Santa Maria University in the neighboring city Valparaiso, are furthering voice science, professional voice, and clinical voice in Chile and all over South America. Marco has also translated “Fascinations with the Human Voice” into Spanish. We expect to see many more SVI attendees from South America in the future.
For connections to the North, several NCVS consortium members are attending the International Congress of Acoustics combined with the Spring meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Montreal, Canada, in June 2013. Dr. Scott Thomson is organizing a major session.

spacer (1K)

© 2012 National Center for Voice and Speech at University of Utah