Not being heard and ignored is a problem, not only for older people. But it is a common experience that elders have such feeble voices that they often have a hard time to be understood, especially when caregivers have their own ideas about what is the right way to treat them, if the recipient likes it or not. But imagine if you are 95 years old and you can say loudly and clearly what you want others to do! You could maintain your personal power and dignity and not be constraint to what others decide for you.
So, how can you maintain a strong voice when getting older? Or even get a strong voice now if you have never developed one? You might think it is about learning how to shout louder than is easy for you to do. But no, it is absolutely not about forcing your voice, but about BUILDING UP your voice and then MAINTAINING its power. How?
The question has a very easy answer: SING! Building the singing voice is automatically building the voice which you use for speaking. Your breathing gets better, your body muscles get trained and your vocal cords grow stronger, If you already sing or if you used to sing, this advice will be easy for you to follow.
What if you have never sung before and if you believe you can’t sing at all? Well, yes, this is mainly a question of belief and lack of training. There are voice therapists and compassionate singing coaches who can help you build your HEARING capacities and then your abilities to sing on pitch. There are communal choirs which don’t insist that you can already sing well and are patient with you – and as last resource there is always the running shower where even the most shy people enjoy singing.
If you are a man and if you believe that singing is only for women: Be reminded that in past centuries women were not allowed to sing in public and the roles of women in musical representations were done by men. In classical music the major parts are for men and even in modern music, the groups are most frequently composed of men. So don’t be shy. Sing, as often as you can!
The guest in our show today, Pascale Tremblay, has studied scientifically the benefit for people of singing. She found out that regular singing allows older people to maintain a stable and strong voice, with all the benefits connected with it. And, by the way, singing is an activity which connects body, mind and spirit best. It keeps your brain active and gives you great joy when you allow yourself to just do it without expecting to be perfect!
Some of the publications of Pascale Tremblay’s work: