Biofeedback in Vocal Pedagogy:
Real-time success using mobile application technology
Heidi Moss Erickson, B.A.Bio, B.Mus.Voice, M.Sci.
Advancements in mobile technology have revolutionized nearly every sector of our lives. Like a virtual fingerprint of our individual preferences, the seemingly endless array of mobile apps can define and enhance our interests. Music applications are a large part of this industry, and new generations of singers use their mobile devices to listen to songs, record their lessons, read, and annotate scores. Newer analysis and recording applications geared towards advanced musicians also include various forms of spectrograms for acoustic visualization.
However, spectrographic technology used by voice scientists and pedagogues has not fully crossed over into the mainstream population of students and teachers. One reason for the lack of pedagogical use is that acoustic computer software has been geared primarily towards research and academic-oriented pursuits. Acoustic software can be complicated to learn and tedious to analyze. In addition, the traditional teacher/student paradigm, proven successful for centuries, is a very effective way of teaching voice. Thus, there can be resistance to introduce new forms of pedagogic analysis in an already well-functioning studio.
However, the integration of technology for targeted purposes can aid both the student and the teacher in many important ways. In most instances it leads to increased accuracy in a shorter amount of time. It also allows the student to self-check particular directives in their own individual practice. Identifying beneficial areas of biofeedback is critical in determining where these tools can have maximum effectiveness.
‘How we practice efficiently and effectively’ is fast becoming one of the holy grails in our field. Visual biofeedback not only complements all of these processes, it also enhances both the speed and the output of targeted motor coordination.
The most critical element of introducing this technology is to identify relevant pedagogical questions that can easily be solved via visual biofeedback. Ideally, these approaches would supplement traditional methods (i.e. teacher/student; auditory/ kinesthetic feedback), but allow progress to happen faster and enhance understanding of processes.
This lecture will teach the science of biofeedback, how it relates to singing, and demonstrate the value of biofeedback for specific pedagogical aims.
Sample biofeedback mobile app readout:
Monday 4th December 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Compassion Focused Training (CFT) for Singers, Singing Teachers and Other Music Professionals (2-week course)
Dr David Juncos
In this two-part course, you will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of Gilbert’s CFT model and Neff & Germer’s model of self-compassion. You’ll also learn about the three emotion regulation systems, and specifically how to increase activity in the Soothing & Contentment system, which is known to create feelings of safeness within oneself & with others, when activated. Specifically, you’ll learn compassion-enhancing strategies to help manage common sources of stress for musicians.
Tuesday 5th December 2023
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Developing Inclusive Praxis & Safe Spaces for Global Majority Vocal Students
This workshop considers what it means to provide a safe learning space for all students; engages in self-reflection and wider reflection; challenges, where necessary, some of the frameworks and systems that dominate vocal theory and praxis; and seeks to make visible some of the many issues Global Majority students and teachers face that remain largely invisible in mainstream vocal rhetoric.
Thursday 7th December 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Vocal Warm-ups For Children; why, how, what?
This talk will cover both the importance of vocal warm-ups for children and the best approaches for different ages. We will look at working one-to-one as well as great ways to engage classrooms of children and choirs.