BAPAM Healthy Practice Series
Looking After Your Voice – A Guide to Vocal Health
BAPAM’s purpose is to improve health in the performing arts and support enhanced performance excellence through wellbeing and good practice.
As the largest provider of career-specific healthcare to performers in the UK, we are uniquely positioned to bring together expert clinicians, educators, researchers, artists and creators to deliver innovative training to empower the arts community to improve and maintain health throughout our creative work and learning spaces.
This introductory 2-hour session is designed for performing arts professionals and students and outlines risk factors and key strategies to maintain good vocal health throughout a sustainable career.
The session focuses on evidence-based practical skills and draws from performance experience, research findings, psychology, and proven vocal health clinical pathways. Participants will learn how to avoid vocal problems and identify the signs and symptoms if they do occur, how to manage issues, promote good health, and where to go for help.
Tutor: Sarah Wright-Owens BSc (hons) SLT, GBSM
Sarah works as a Vocal Rehabilitation Coach and Singing Teacher and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Sarah is a registered practitioner with the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine and the Vocal Consultant at the Professional Voice Users Clinic for the University Hospital, Birmingham. She has been running a Singing for Lung Health group supported by the British Lung Foundation for several years and also performs with an early music ensemble. She is currently researching Muscle Tension Dysphonia in singers.
Research looking at health issues within the performing arts workforce consistently finds that 70-75% of our population report both mental and physical health problems, which is much higher than the national average. We are lucky to be working with a number of health and wellbeing experts who can offer training to performers across the UK, with the aim of reducing the levels of poor health and supporting performers to have a sustainable career. Working with our partners in Equity, Musicians’ Union, Help Musicians UK and Performing Arts Education Providers – who are very kindly giving us free use of training venues – we are expanding our national training programme supporting healthy performance in the UK.