Music, School of


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Kevin G. Hanrahan

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Grives, Julie R. (2019). The Impact of Training Aids on Aerodynamic and Acoustic Measures in Singing (doctoral dissertation). The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Kevin G. Hanrahan. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2019.

Copyright (c) 2019 Julie Kaldor Grives


This research investigated whether exercise equipment serving as training aids for singers changes aerodynamic and acoustic measures and, if so, whether any of the changes persist or increase with regular training. Nineteen subjects, eleven women and eight men, in their first two years of voice study at the collegiate level and between nineteen and twenty-two years old, participated in the studies. Seven subjects tested an exercise band. Three subjects tested an exercise ball. Two subjects tested a balance ball. Each study asked subjects to participate in three testing sessions that included a baseline, a training aid and a post-training aid phase. The researcher followed the same protocol in each, gathering aerodynamic and acoustic data through the Glottal Enterprises Aeroview system and the Kay-Pentax Computerized Speech Lab (CSL 4500). The five subjects of the case study participated in a testing session before a month-long training period with the exercise band. They were tested again immediately after the training period and once more one month later during which time subjects did not use the exercise band. Case study subjects also recorded their perceptions of change during the month-long training period.

Paired samples t-tests revealed significant changes in aerodynamic and acoustic measures when comparing averaged baseline, training and post-training phases for all three preliminary studies. The exercise band showed the most significant changes from the baseline with moderate and large effect sizes to both aerodynamic and acoustic measures. Both the exercise ball and balance ball showed significant changes in fewer measures, but with moderate and large effect sizes, as well. In the case study, paired samples t-tests compared all subjects averaged aerodynamic and acoustic measures. The analysis revealed that while no significant differences occurred in aerodynamic measures, in acoustic measures significant differences from the baseline phases occurred with large effect sizes. In the case study, subjects, who regularly practiced with the exercise band, showed persisting, consistent change. Future study will better define why and how training aids affect singers’ aerodynamic and acoustic measures. The three training aids and the specific methods tested show potential to be an effective training tool for singers.

Advisor: Kevin G. Hanrahan

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