Vocologist Rajasree Menon opens up the science behind singing

The study also assumes significance as very little research has been carried out in the country in this domain.

Published: 16th September 2022 06:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2022 02:19 PM   |  A+A-

Rajasree P Menon

Rajasree P Menon

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what could offer immense help to singers facing voice-related issues and also aid budding vocalists improve their rendition, a researcher has come out with a study on the ‘most efficient and healthy technique of singing voice’ backed by extensive clinical findings. The study also assumes significance as very little research has been carried out in the country in this domain.

Rajasree P Menon, a vocologist and musician, carried out the study on 100 singers using flexible laryngoscopy. She was awarded PhD by the University of Kerala recently for the research. The assistance for clinical studies was provided by noted laryngologist and phono-surgeon Dr Jayakumar R Menon.
“Right from childhood and also while doing my degree and PG in music, I was curious to know more about the vocal mechanism behind singing,” Rajasree told TNIE. After working as a music teacher for a few years, she relocated to the Gulf where she did concerts and imparted music lessons. She returned to Kerala in 2014 to pursue research supervised by Saji S of the Department of Music, Maharaja’s College, Kochi. Though the research centre was the Government College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram, a considerable period of the research was spent on clinical studies with Dr Jayakumar.

Rajasree had earlier conducted laryngoscopy and fluroscopy of her own singing and presented a paper titled ‘The classification of singing voice -- a new approach’ at an international seminar in association with Dr Jayakumar. The duo expanded the research by doing flexible laryngoscopy for as many as 100 singers in the clinic as a protocol. Singers from Swathi Thirunal College of Music and Government College for Women in the capital volunteered for the research.

The researcher was able to infer that faulty technique was the single most important cause of voice strain and voice-related complaints in singers. “The study also showed that employing the correct singing voice techniques leads to an efficient and healthy singing voice,” she added. Rajasree’s thesis deals elaborately on the efficient and healthy techniques of singing.

Good breathing, controlled exhalation technique, usage of two or more registers, avoidance of forcing the voice production at the level of voice box and shunning of extreme tongue retraction were listed as some of the healthy techniques of singing. “Good diction, proper open oral resonance and even the position of the spine has major role in efficient singing,” she said.


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