What Does Science Say About TVS Training Techniques?

belt benefits doctor endurance healthy muscle science strong Dec 01, 2020

From right to left - Dr. Sundberg, Dr. Scherer & Robert Lunte at The Voice Foundation Symposium.

 

I recently had the pleasure of conversing with Dr. Ronald Callaway Scherer of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he teaches classes on: 

  • Speech Science
  • Voice Disorders
  • Acoustic Phonetics
  • Physiological Phonetics
  • Laryngeal Modeling

In this session, we looked primarily samples of the Dampen & Release and Attack & Release Onsets, and a mention of the Wind & Release Onset.

Here is a video from The Four Pillars of Singing Course that briefly explains what TVS Specialized Onsets are.

This video from our newest course, Belting in the Head Voice, explains the Attack & Release Onset.

 

 Here are Dr. Scherer's findings:

Robert, I have listened to all of the files you have sent. Obviously they are meant to build the adductory system into an extraordinarily strong and enduring system. You must have the strongest interarytenoid and lateral cricoarytenoid muscles of anyone currently breathing.

The exercises involve training the entire body to produce the sounds correctly, otherwise there would be little success with the exercises. I can see why the wind & release onset was popular with you colleagues – since the glottis tends to be more open at first, avoiding initial contact forces, since this is quite typical in much of voice therapy. 

Most of the questions of change and improvement could be answered with the right measuring tools – a sound level meter to measure intensity (SPL, sound pressure level), the measurement of oral air pressure during /p/ lip occlusions to estimate subglottal pressures used in the exercises (by using the /bap bap bap/ technique), the use of the electroglottograph (EGG) to measure contact time of the vocal folds, etc.

How do we measure success?

Most of the questions of change and improvement could be answered with the right measuring tools – a sound level meter to measure intensity (SPL, sound pressure level), the measurement of oral air pressure during /p/ lip occlusions to estimate subglottal pressures used in the exercises (by using the /bap bap bap/ technique), the use of the electroglottograph (EGG) to measure contact time of the vocal folds, etc.

If you wanted to describe the exercises acoustically, you would use microphone and spectrographic displays like I show, and measure things like (1) rise time [the faster the rise time, the more abrupt the onset], (2) spectra for specific sounds, (3) intensity, (4) harmonic-formant matching, etc. For example, because you use such strong glottal adduction and high subglottal pressures, your harmonics go past 15,000 Hz for your loud sounds, which is remarkable. Also, you might be able to differentiate the different types of onset by the rise time used. 

Endurance would be measured by how long a person can use the voice. There is little doubt that your adductory training would increase endurance due to great strength development, but the measure would be one of using the voice over time. For example, does the person become fatigued after one hour of use whereas it was only after 15 minutes before (for someone in training)? This assumes that the training does not damage the mucosa of the vocal folds.

Can we measure the ability to Bridge and Connect?

This would be quantifiable, of course. One would record and measure the passaggi control at some point, apply the exercises over a period of time, and record and measure passaggi control once again. The nature of the passaggi may change with your type of training – that is, does your training emphasize the retaining of the lower register (mode 1 perhaps in your current language) to higher notes before any transition to a headier mode, or perhaps does it change the acoustics and production of the headier higher notes, etc.? 

Are our Belting methods effective?

This seems to be the highlight of your training here – the improvement of the robustness of the chest-like sounds, especially for belting-like sounds (at any pitch, essentially). Your recordings that I heard often emphasize the match between the second harmonic and the first formant, which is a strong belt-oriented acoustic characteristic.

Again, this is certainly a highlight, in the sense of stability of the robust sound due to increased but highly stable adductory forces.

How would you describe the effects of TVS Onsets?

These exercises appear to be best suited to those with healthy vocal fold tissues and normal neurological development so that practicing the exercises leads to a healthy improvement in muscle strength, glottal adduction, vocal fold length, and lung pressure coordination.

From a clinical point of view, the exercises would be excellent especially to strengthen and realign the hypoadducted larynx that has normal vocal fold tissue but has some muscle weakness or a habit of inadequate closure. Also the exercises would be good for a larynx with some instabilities due to discoordination of muscles, so they may actually help with some neurological cases. For example, the vocal therapy for Parkinson’s patients is akin to these exercises, and yours would work exceptionally well with that population, I would think.

 

 

 

 

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