Displaying items by tag: Vocology

Lynn Maxfield, PhD (Vocology, Music) along with Brian Manternach, DM (Theatre, Vocology), Ben Christensen, PhD (Surgery), and Becky Zarate, PhD (Music Therapy/CFA) were funded a $43,000 combined seed grant by the University of Utah Vice President for Research’s and the College of Fine Arts for their project entitled, “Investigating the Mechanisms Governing the Impact of Voice and Non-Voiced Arts Participation on Biomarkers of Health and Wellbeing.”

In addition to being able to begin data collection this year (the findings on which they hope to publish by Spring 2025), they have been able to hire undergraduate student researchers from the School of Music, providing unique research experiences for these students.

Abstract: The past two decades has seen an increase in research investigating the intersection of art making and health and wellbeing. In the same time, western medicine has increasingly adopted a more integrative approach, accepting an ever-broadening range of interventions for the treatment and prevention of many acute and chronic physical and psychological conditions. While a growing body of research is indicating a positive association between arts-participation – particularly music – and measures of general health and wellbeing, there is an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms by which positive health outcomes are achieved. The project proposed here aims to begin to fill this critical gap by illuminating which elements of arts-based interventions have the strongest effect on health and wellbeing biomarkers. The long-term goal of this work is to provide clinical and community-based arts in health practitioners with critical information to optimize interventions and optimize health outcomes.

Published in Arts Research

Ingo R. Titze, PhD, physicist, acoustician, and research scholar of the human voice, has been named 2024 Gold Medalist of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) for “contributions to understanding human voice production and the development of clinical applications."

Dr. Titze is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah in three departments: Music, Otolaryngology, and Biomedical Engineering. His primary position is Senior Scientist at the Utah Center for Vocology. He is also Founder and current President of the National Center for Voice and Speech. As a retiree, he remains a Distinguished Emeritus Professor at the University of Iowa. He has written over 500 peer-reviewed articles in professional journals, authored five books, and edited two books. He received an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah in 1965 and a PhD in physics from BYU in 1972 under the mentorship of William J. Strong. Titze is known as the Father of Vocology, a word and discipline he helped coin and originate in 1990, encompassing the study of vocalization in humans and animals.

As an avid singer, much of Ingo’s studies have focused on the singing voice. In the years 2000-2009, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts provided large laboratory and voice training spaces for his work with professional actors and singers.

Other major recognitions have been Honoree of the American Speech, Language, Hearing Association (2010), ASA Silver Medalist in Speech Communication (2007), first elected President of the Pan American Vocology Association (2015), and the Sundberg-Titze Award (2020) granted yearly by the Voice Foundation in Philadelphia. He gave a Forum Lecture at BYU in 1998 and the Presidential Lecture at the University of Iowa in 2001.

The ASA, with some 8000 members worldwide, is part of the American Institute of Physics. It covers many areas of acoustics, including architectural acoustics, acoustic oceanography, animal bioacoustics, music acoustics, speech production and perception, noise control, biomedical acoustics, and vibration theory. A Gold Medalist is chosen from these combined areas once a year, the highest recognition of the Society. Titze is the third recipient from the State of Utah, and the first from the state of Iowa, where much of his research originated.

Published in Finer Points Blog

MAGNIFYING is a series dedicated to showcasing the talent of our students, faculty, and staff to help you learn more about the remarkable individuals within our creative community here at the College of Fine Arts.

David Schmidt is an Associate Professor and head of the Voice Area for the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah. His classes include voice lessons, vocal pedagogy, audition technique, and music theory. Prior to his appointment as faculty member with the University of Utah, he was an Adjunct Professor of Voice for both the Musical Theatre and Classical Voice programs at Weber State University. David earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy, and has worked on his Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Utah.

David is the co-founder and past Board President of Salt Lake City’s first high school for talented performing artists, Salt Lake High School for the Performing Arts.  He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Utah Light Opera Company. David has worked with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) as past State Governor, past president of his local chapter, and Program Director for the 2010 NATS National Convention. David has authored numerous articles about singing and the teaching of singing for many national magazines and websites, and is a frequent lecturer for music conventions and symposiums. 

What do you consider the biggest career risk you’ve taken? 

I was a buyer for Nordstrom in San Francisco. I left that job, and my wife left her job as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, and we both came back to Utah to finish our graduate degrees in music. 

We had four little kids at the time. It was pretty risky, but we knew we were following our passion getting back into what we loved.

How did you come to start the Salt Lake High School for the Performing Arts?

I had always been in dance and singing growing up in Buffalo NY, and I always wanted to go to the “Fame” school in New York City, but my family didn’t have the funds to get me there. When I became an adult I thought, “let’s start a Fame school so other kids could have the opportunity.” So in 2006, my wife and I started the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts with the Salt Lake School district. It’s still going strong and we have students who come from that school into our Musical Theatre Program at the U.

The district approached us once they found out we were doing it -- we had just submitted the paperwork for the Charter School. They said they wanted to be known as an arts district. They offered us space and a building, and said if we put the school into their district they would help us. The challenges were really in recruiting students for the school and the paperwork required for the charter. You are starting an entire high school -- it was pretty epic.

Because we were a charter, we didn’t have to be so strict about teaching certificates, which allowed us to hire professionals in the performing arts. Some teachers were people we knew, and we also put out postings for various positions. Each year they have about 200 students. And one of the coolest things is that one of the first students we recruited is now the principal of the school! He was in the first ever summer production we put on at Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts.

What brings you the most joy as a teacher?

The tiny things that bring joy daily are when you are teaching a difficult concept in class and you see the light go off in a student’s eyes and you know they got it. That is why we do what we do, we want to pass on what we know to others. And when I’ve worked with a voice student and on a concept for months or years, and after hard work on their part and me trying to find different ways to access them, they get it and it increases their skill level exponentially -- that brings me a lot of joy.   

The biggest moment is when students that have worked so hard and have the drive actually go out and book jobs in this business. Those are the moments when it is all worth it.

What daily rituals are important to your practice?

I had a vocal injury about 5 years ago and it actually took my singing voice. It was absolutely devastating to be a singer and lose your voice. Before I start teaching now I do some very small straw warm ups, some little things to keep the voice as flexible as it can be. I do use my voice daily and I warm up for that -- but it’s not like it used to be. The great thing is that now I can pass on my love of singing to others. I’ve channeled my energy into that.  In weekly lessons, we have students record their warm up which is the technique part of the lesson. We encourage them to do that daily. Now in online learning, we’ve been having lessons on Zoom and they’re doing all the things they know to do to keep their voices in shape.

What might you tell your younger self? 

My younger self is a lot like my current self -- driven and passionate, and a little too anxious. I think I would tell my younger self to calm down a little bit, and let the pieces fall where they may. Really, the reason why we are where we are is because we pushed, because we were hard working. So,I wouldn’t want my younger self to calm down that much, but just enough.  

Published in Finer Points Blog