Scholarly article on topic 'Drawing Development of Hearing and Voice, Recovery Methods of Hearing and Intonation Impairments'

Drawing Development of Hearing and Voice, Recovery Methods of Hearing and Intonation Impairments Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Ioan Oarcea

Abstract The human voice is the most complete, complex and expressive communication instrument of musical language. The artistic qualities of the human voice can be affected by hearing and intonation dysfunctions that have a negative effect on musical intelligibility and expressivity. Hearing and voice training is a component of the musical education, as the didactic mission of music teachers does not only address gifted students, but all, to the extent of their ability for musical communication. The methods used for correcting false singing pursue an improvement in sound production, in perception and memory.

Academic research paper on topic "Drawing Development of Hearing and Voice, Recovery Methods of Hearing and Intonation Impairments"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 187 (2015) 464 - 469

PSIWORLD 2014

Drawing development of hearing and voice, recovery methods of hearing and intonation impairments

Ioan Oarcea*

Transilvania University of Bra§ov, Faculty of Music, Eroilor Street, no. 29, Bra§ov, Romania

Abstract

The human voice is the most complete, complex and expressive communication instrument of musical language. The artistic qualities of the human voice can be affected by hearing and intonation dysfunctions that have a negative effect on musical intelligibility and expressivity. Hearing and voice training is a component of the musical education, as the didactic mission of music teachers does not only address gifted students, but all, to the extent of their ability for musical communication. The methods used for correcting false singing pursue an improvement in sound production, in perception and memory.

© 2015 Publishedby ElsevierLtd. Thisisan openaccess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Scientific Committee of PSIWORLD 2014.

Keywords: art, communication dysfunctions, vocal recovery, education, training

1. Introduction

Correct musical intonation is conditioned by three determining factors: hearing (good functioning of the nerve system), sound emission (intonation) and musical memory.

The conclusions of this synopsis are based on analysing the phenomenon and successfully experimenting vocal recovery methods within the following types of groups where I worked as a music teacher: middle school pupils in the general culture education system and middle and high school pupils in the vocational education system.

The first ascertainment highlighted the fact that all pupils who have had a practical musical experience in their family, church, school or various artistic groups (choirs, vocal groups ...) manifest obvious musical skills, as parents, educators from pre-school education, primary school teachers and music teachers play a decisive part in the activity

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +040-722-257 034; fax: +040-68-367 723. E-mail address:ioan_oarcea@yahoo.fr

1877-0428 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Scientific Committee of PSIWORLD 2014. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.03.087

of rendering children more musical. By contrast, pupils who did not benefit from musical education in their family, church or school became unformed, timid, and unable to use their own voice (Oarcea, I., 2010).

2. Factors determining hearing, intonation and rhythm impairments

A non-musical individual, defined as tone deaf, is a person deprived of voice, deprived of the possibility to accurately sing a tune. The wording is partly correct, because any individual who has intonation inflexions in the spoken voice towards high or low has a voice, but due to physiological vocal impairments and due to the existing neurological and psychological dysfunctions, the individual does not have the ability to complexly model and align the spoken towards the singing voice. Awareness and understanding of the causes of physiological, neurological and psychological dysfunctions of the child represent the starting point in the recovery from singing out of tune, which can be determined by hereditary, medical or educational factors. From a medical point of view, we can encounter innate hereditary anomalies, such as deformations of the larynx, mouth or throat, which affect the respiratory system and which can be observed in the sound of the voice, whereas the neurological anomalies cause dysfunctions in the area of perception and artistic expression, of the neuro-psychology of music.

Out of tune singing at children can be caused by dysfunctions of the intonation and hearing due to inhibition, cancellation or lateness of mental processes, which affect the creativity of singing. It can be caused by psychological factors (shyness, fear, constraint) and temperament structure (hyperactive or calm child, with intense speaking, or hypotonic with a dead voice, without timbre), which can determine the lack of attention and focusing regarding the height of the sound, lack of motivation and interest to sing, to make music.

Accuracy of intonation, with implications on the health of the vocal chords, can be affected by inadequate breathing and faulty impostation. As a biological process, breathing has beneficial effects on the blood circulation and on the nervous system. In vocal singing, the musical sound is produced with the help of the air column, and correct breathing offers the performer the possibility to support the music phrase (Lamboley, D., 2001). By impostation we understand the position of the mouth during singing that is how the lips, teeth, palate, tongue and larynx act together for the sound sonority to have expressiveness and homogeneity. There is a clear difference between the mouth's breathing and position in current speech and breathing and impostation during vocal singing (Cegolea, G., 1995).

Concerning the melodic flow, non-musical individuals - without a musical sense - lack the ability to differentiate between the musical height; they are aware of the ascendant or descendant flow of sounds, but imprecisely so; their ambitus is restricted and they have the tendency to sing in the same register as the spoken voice. This dysfunction can be of temperamental nature, and passive children make the most mistakes in differentiating height. The sense of rhythm is a movement factor. Singing with rhythm implies the flow of sound pulsations in a measured sequence of impulses (Danielou, A., 1978). The sounds are more easily imprinted in memory if they have rhythm, because the sense of rhythm is tributary to physiological and dynamic laws, as well as to those of tempo (of agogics).

The lack of rhythmical synchronisation, unequalisation of durations as well as the growth or acceleration of the tempo can have several causes: inaccurate knowledge of the part, incomplete memorising of certain fragments, the dense structure of the rhythm and distances of the melodic line, the prosodic structure of the text, a difficult melodic texture, extended dimension of the musical phrases, insufficient physical and vocal preparation for singing, the acoustics of the hall, etc.The inability to sing accurately can be determined by the lack of a proper environment and of a musical practice within the family, by an erroneous academic education, by an improper education system, or by lack of teaching experience. From this point of view, one of the frequent errors of the present musical education is to employ parts from the repertory of adults while working with children, with insurmountable difficulties of melody and rhythm and with a theme which exceeds the understanding ability of their age. Sometimes, exotic repertories are favoured, avoiding parts accessible to their age from the community cultural heritage. The difficult, approximate intonation in an ambitus that is inaccessible for the age causes the deformation of intonation with effects on audio acuity. The phenomenon is sometimes worsened by the non-musical vocal pattern of the trainer.

Noise constitutes the main disruptive factor of the auditory and vocal ability, alongside viral infections, chemical pollution, and the humidity of the environment, continuous speaking or everyday stress.

This is the percentage graph of the factors that determined dysfunctions of hearing, intonation and rhythm in middle school pupils from four middle schools in Brasov and Sacele (11 - 14 years): genetic and congenital

anomalies (2 %), neurological and mental anomalies (3 %), attention, concentration, memorising (8 %), voice mutation in boys (9 %), temperament structure(10%), inhibition, timidity, fear (13 %), inefficient breathing (17 %), faulty impostation (21 %), lack of musical education in the family 64 %;

■ genetic and congenital anomalies neurological and mental anomalies attention, concentration, memorising

■ voice mutation in boys

■ temperament structure

■ inhibition, timidity, fear

■ inefficient breathing

■ faulty impostation

■ lack of musical education in the family

Fig. 1

In the same school groups it was noticed that pupils who activated in ensembles and music bands within or outside the school (church, clubs...) had singing dexterities already formed (to a greater or lesser extent), as well as the intonational and expressive operation ability with the musical language elements specific of the approached repertory. Within vocational education, the most frequent cases of hearing and intonation dysfunctions are caused by inhibition (3%), timidity (9%), temperament structure (7%), attention (4%) and the voice mutation phenomenon in boys (5%).

I encountered a particular situation amongst the pupils of the Popular Art School, mostly teenagers, in the most sensitive manifestation period of their interest towards the concept of personal and artistic beauty. The most frequent cases of musical dysfunctionality were manifest by the existence of a vigorous, sometimes impressive vocal tonus, but without being able to integrate it to a tonal centre - the melodic line was in a continuous modulation (Sachs, O., 2009). Another aspect is related to the singer's sequential memory, who, starting from a known musical theme, continues the melody in its succession with thematic motifs from other works, also changing the tonal centres at the same time. Interesting to note was the fact that the approached fragments were part of the performer's memory stock, but without him being able to integrate them to the initial melody type; it was all an enchainment of melodic motifs from different works, performed on the most bizarre tonal centres. The most obvious examples is that of Tansanu Mirel.

3. Methods of recovery for singing out of tune

The singing / music teacher's complex activity for recovering and improving intonation, hearing and rhythm dysfunctions envisages both the approach of the most adequate singing techniques for each individual case, and particularly the psychological side of an active communication between teacher and pupil.

Training of the vocal-auditory abilities implies giving up on a priori labelling of children that do not meet the expected requirements, as being tone deaf, and considering this stage as a development stage. The labelling of pupils by the educational structures can have strong social and psychological effect on the child, and neglecting or ignoring this factor can deprive the child from his musical-cultural development, leaving him at the will of hazard or leaving him to assimilate harmful patterns.

The communicative atmosphere from the educational environment, based on truthfulness and mutual trust, eliminates conflicts and counter-balances negative emotions, ensuring the inner equilibrium and self-restraint. A delicate smile and a positive attitude are ways by which openness is created for personal and collective expression.

The methods used to correct out of tune singing pursue the improvement of sound production, of perception and memory starting from the group approach to the individual approach. When selecting the practical exercises of recovery one must take into account the fact that musical learning is achieved in an auditory, visual, kinaesthetic or mixed manner (Danielou, A., 1978). When correcting intonation errors, individual performance is to be preferred in

younger children, as it ensures individual focusing which gives them the chance to correct themselves, whereas collective interpretation is more efficient in the case of older children.

A work session may comprise, in its progressive succession, the following sequences in a temporal development that differs from one individual to another, from one group to another and from one study level to another:

• exercises for physical training and breathing - for preparing the body and rendering it more flexible;

• exercises for diction - expressive recitation of texts from the pupils' lectures or the songs studied;

• exercises for vocal training - in a light manner of sound emission through correct voice impostation.

According to the group's structure and the goals pursued, the work techniques are different from those at the

choir ensemble classes. The scholastic manner is replaced with a ludic one, where the teacher chooses the type of exercises as to their technique and difficulty level, adapting them to each individual or work group.

Here are some approach and work techniques used, described in detail:

Sung speaking, which evidences the specific sound of the mother tongue, can represent the first stage of musical education. It can be continued later, progressively, with musical examples from children's folklore, with a limited ambitus of intonation, with a simple but trained melody.

At high school groups, rhythmic and melodic fragments from the entertainment repertory (folk, light music and jazz) of well-known performers can be used. At this time, the proposals can also come from the pupils.

Staccato singing is one of the efficient methods in the case of children with intonation difficulties, since it implies the training of the body and diaphragm, and by the approach method, it provides the passage from sung speaking to singing per se.

Interpretation of sounds with increased difficulty is easier to achieve within rhythmical-melodic motives, rather than individually, as the musical texture - that is, the intelligent manner of combining distances of various dimensions within rhythmical-melodic formulas - represents an important factor in the accurate interpretation of intonation. Sometimes, difficult rhythmic and melodic fragments are encountered even in the repertory proposed by the participants.

Engaging the performers in a form of sung dialogue offers surprising observations regarding the creative manner of structuring the configuration of the melody, sometimes of great difficulty. The interpersonal musical dialogue implies a psychological involvement, of attitude of the individual within the collective.

As complementary methodology suggestions regarding the development of auditory acuity, as well as the increase of the ability to emit and perceive sounds and melodies within the vocal development, one can employ: body movements, use of rhythm instruments or use of hand signals, drafts, diagrams and melody contours.

For the development of musical sense, of sound emission and memory, the child must be continuously subject to singing experiences as varied as possible: echo singing, onomatopoeia singing, in staccato or legato, on mute sound - by causing the vibration of the facial resonators.

Unfolding the activity's moments can be supported by rhythmic (bells, small drums, triangle, etc...) or rhythmic and melodic accompaniment (piano, guitar,...). The rhythmic and melodic background of the accompaniment has a multiple role; to train, conduct as well as correct, because while the work session moments are unfolding there is permanent, unconscious relating of the participants to the model the accompaniment background proposes - leading to correct intonational and rhythmic memorising of the models learned. At an advanced work stage, the accompaniment may even be supported by the pupils - groupwise or individually.

The progressive elimination or attenuation of the psychical (inhibition, timidity, fear) or temperamental disturbing factors (hyperactivity, hypotonia or passivity) can be achieved through breathing exercises for psychical detensioning and relaxation (Lamboley, D., 2001).

Another method is the individual's active integration and objective valorisation within the group by involving him in cultural projects and programmes where he can manifest his artistic and human potential.

Improvisation may constitute another moment of the workshop. The moment must be chosen carefully by the teacher, when he notices in the participants' gestures and experiences manifestations of personal creativity, when they externalise their feelings in an artistic manner - musically, verbally or bodily.

The individual, soloist evolution may constitute a peak moment of the activity, which crowns an obvious progress.

Very important in the working sessions is to obtain a state of inner unleashing/relaxation; starting from this moment, the teacher can intervene, model and progressively correct the intonation, rhythm and memory

dysfunctions he has noticed, with intelligence and patience, to a smaller or greater extent. The entire arsenal of methods and procedures used - physical training and breathing exercises, intonation exercises, vocalises, diction and singing techniques, verbal language, the demonstrative vocal pattern - are conditioned by the empathic dialogue between teacher and pupils.

4. Conclusion - result assessment, reward and appreciation

The continuous assessment of the activities of development and/or recovery of the musical voice and hearing is very important in order to induce a feeling of trust and personal motivation of the pupils. Appreciation must be objective, expressed in a positive, tonic form, in order to be efficient in correcting erroneous interpretations. If the pupils only encounter failures in interpretation, then the musical examples selected and the exercises/studies performed were not adequate. Each moment of the pupil's or pupil group's evolution must be completed through a corrective or approving attitude related to the manner they reacted to the teacher's guiding.

In most educational processes for remedying dysfunctions in hearing, intonation and rhythm, the periodic and final evaluation stressed that, as a consequence of the activities undertaken, there is obvious progress in the pupil's attitude and ability to operate with musical language. Evolution and progress are individual traits; at some, they are obvious and are manifested instantaneously, at others they are noticed later. The momentary reaction and impression are not defining, as they can be superficial, mimetic.

Compared to the indicators of the graph above, through a positive, open and active attitude of the teacher, the pupils succeeded in improving their dysfunctions determined by inhibition, timidity, fear and temperament structure. By activating the inner resources, the ability to memorise, attention and concentration were improved, and by consciously applying singing techniques, the quality of breathing and impostation was improved (Lamboley, D., 2001). The lack of musical educationin the family was also compensated by involving the pupils in cultural activities of the school community. As for genetic, innate, neurological and mental anomalies, the results were minimal, but they can be attenuated much more easily during teenage and maturity (Danielou, A., 1978).

This is how the percentage graph of the progress noticed in remedying the dysfunctions of hearing, intonation and rhythm looks like, a year later, determined by the following factors: compensating the lack of musical education in the family (40 %), inhibition, timidity, fear, temperament structure (30 %), attention, concentration, memorising (25 %), breathing and impostation (20 %), genetic, innate, neurological and mental anomalies (5 %).

30% I 25% ■ ■ ■ compensating the lack of musical education in the family ■ ■ inhibition, timidity, fear, temperament structure 20% ■■ attention, concentration, memorising, 5% ■■ breathing and impostation ^^^^ ■■ genetic, innate, neurological and mental anomalies

Fig. 2

A positive attitude in the family and a communicative atmosphere in the educational environment are decisive in activating the individual's inner musical readiness and recovering from hearing and intonation dysfunctions.

According to the seriousness of genetic, medical or psychological affections, the recovery of dysfunctions may reach certain operational performances, determined by the pupil's emotional intelligence and particularly by the educator's mastery. Being aware of the complexity and diversity of the causes of the auditory dysfunctions and of the techniques of educational training, we consider that it is necessary to add to the university curriculum of future trainers, music teachers, of a discipline which should cover both objective ways, individual and collective, of educating the hearing and voice, and the recovery of non-singing children.

The ability to communicate through the musical language brings a positive attitude, psychological comfort and a rich cultural horizon to the individual.

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