THRISSUR: This just might be the good news the playback singers, actors, anchors, teacher, lawyers and politicians, who earn their livelihood through their voice, in the state have long been waiting for.
In a development that will cheer thousands of voice professionals and voice patients who have developed various voice disorders, the Calicut University has come out with a unique graduate programme in Vocology, the science and practice of voice habilitation and rehabilitation, in collaboration with Chetana National Institute of Vocology, Thrissur.
This is the first time in the country that an Indian university is offering a course in vocology with an aim of producing vocologists who habilitate vocal behaviour - a speech-language pathologist, otolaryngologist, vocalist trainer, or voice coach.
Based on the proposal submitted by the National Institute of Vocology, the University gas given permission (U.O No6304/2014/admn) to the Vocology institute to frame the syllabus and other things related to the launching of the course, said Dr Musthafa, director of SDE, Calicut University.
There are hardly a dozen major vocology institutes across the world mainly in developed countries like NCVS Summer Vocology Institute in USA and institutes in Finland, Japan, Turkey, and UK. “There is a huge dearth of trained vocologists in the country since vocology is not widely taught in academic institutions in the country as an independent discipline. Celebrity voice professionals, including film stars and vocalists, are used to confront with voice disorders and seek rehabilitation and the return of their operational voice or to benefit professionally from vocal habilitation by learning to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of their speaking voices,” said Fr Paul Poovathingal, the first vocologist in the country and the principal of National Institute of Vocology. “This six-semester course will equip a batch of 20 candidates to deal with all kinds of voice professionals and voice patients suffering from puberphonia (male having female sound), vocal cord paralysis, vocal nodule, phonatry gap, patients with wrong voice production, breathing techniques and poor lung pressure, and other voice disorders,” said Poovathingal. “Actor Mohanlal and even the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, who had lost his functional voice suddenly at the peak of a concert, have confronted with voice disorders at one point of time in their careers. Some of the eminent professionals have even vanished from their field for ever after voice disorders developed,” said George S Paul, an academician and a physicist.
The high-level of pollution in lifestyle and surroundings is taking a toll on the voice professionals and they often need the help of professional to overcome the difficulties in their voice production and to discipline their voice. So vocology being a new branch of knowledge, there is great scope for job in this sector, he added.
The syllabus for the course is being prepared by Fr Paul Poovathingal, George S Paul, Dr R Jayakumar, famed laryngologist who performed surgery on Mohanlal, V R Prabodhachandran Nair, a linguist, in consultation with Dr Ingo Titz of USA, who is considered as the father of Vocology.