It was 1 year ago, it came as the central topic it is, the topic I am successfully pioneering in practice since 15 years.
Here the three abstracts of the Posters I presented at the Voice Foundation 52nd Symposium. Very happy to see that this innovative vision I apply and preach and research about is coming out of the controversial shadow and be in its first steps in the sun.
To have future development and collaborations between voice technical and training specialists as I am and biomechanists and kinesiologist so to build knowledge on the common mechanisms well studied in other fields and voice production and nuances for artistic use. The first steps are here, feel honoured and happy being the pioneering of that and opening at such high science/pedagogy places as The Voice Foundation.
Sitting on Sacro-Iliac and Hips Joint: Effects for Singing, Strategies, Management in Professional Voice Requirements. Biomechanical Tools for Professional Voice Requirements.
For a Biomechanical View on Voice Production.
Lucia Cossu MM
ABSTRACT Singing career is a demanding one on many aspects, minimising the tolls of lifestyle impact can be crucial. One overlooked aspect is the impact of joints biomechanics on voice production: 1. As a disfavourable element directly impacting technique, development and stamina, well sustained by the joint by joint approach and biomechanical research and practices correlated (in its direct translation for voice production my presentation at PEVoC14 2022, on YouTube) 2. The other way around is also true, meaning that we can contribute to voice improvement, maintenance and longevity by using the biomechanical correlations of joints work and actions. Joints present some kind of hierarchy of importance that vary according to frame applied: developmental, biomechanical or fascial. The hips joint is specially high positioned in all those frames: it is the joint to be properly developed to get to upright posture (and maintain it), it is a central, complex and very specific system to all postural activities of the body, it is at the crossline of fascial and skeleton/skeletal muscles system with an anatomical cohabitation of both (and a study from 2020 has assessed the presence of smooth muscle as skeletal muscle in the same muscle of pelvic floor, posing so a more nuanced view of interactions and control of muscle actions). It is well recognised the adverse role of prolonged sitting on hips and lumbar segment on muscles functionality, its effects migrating to the lumbar segment in the form of mobilisation to it. Also sitting in usual chairs interfere with the ligaments of the sacro-lumbar segment of the spine, and as found by Solomonov the lack of proper agonist/antagonist coactivation is a common consequence of ligament deviation from proper norm. I will give some biomechanical rationale, sitting tools easy to implement in daily life, example of exercises to reverse the adverse adaptations and age related changes adapted to singers specificities with a joint by joint approach and research informed logic. Results of this approach on this specific joint are here in some examples on professional voices and general population. https://youtu.be/CLcL_buf9tc https://youtu.be/OUH9sXqKjRw https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program/ https://youtu.be/FOC05-9iYZk
Breath in a Biomechanical View: Breath as an Elastic Springlike Energy into the Eccentric/Concentric Functional Work of Respiratory/Postural Muscles.
For a Biomechanical View on Voice Production.
Lucia Cossu MM
ABSTRACT Biomechanics, training and rehabilitation is showing a complex and opposed system of muscles activations when it comes to skeleton/skeletal muscles systems, valid for the same structures involved in breath management. Research on not relaxed or underused contexts and in functional systems shows system of opposed functions which activate (functionally or dysfunctionally) according to: position of the joint, intensity/speed of the force, state of the ligaments of the joints involved. Attention and understanding of the opposed function is revolutionising the approach to training, development, longevity and injury prevention in athletes and rehabilitation protocols, putting the accent on the specifics of tissues, adaptations and neurologic kind of activations in the contracting states of muscles if concentric, isometric or eccentric. In here I will focus on the eccentric work of breath muscles, giving a rationale of different schools of breath management in this biomechanical view and making an hypothesis on the multifidi muscles action in breathing and strategies to work others than the well established Alexander technique. What does this tell about our breath management? Breath relies on a skeletal muscles and skeleton joints components that can be viewed and trained in their contributions. One of these contributions are the spring like quality of the eccentric action of muscles, the neurological reactivity of this state according to duration/load of the eccentric phase and grade of elongation of the same that makes a great difference in medium/long term adaptations of the soft tissues.Is it all breath an elastic muscles force? Of course not but it is a crucial contribution, style/individual context specific that managed and rationally planned can give tools in making the difference between a medium or high skilled voice and a more pronounced style/individual asset so important in determining the level of success/artistic satisfaction of a career.
In here I will focus on the eccentric work of breath muscles, a rationale of different schools of breath management in this biomechanical view, an hypothesis on the multifidi muscles role in breathing and strategies to train and functionally develop it, other than the well established Alexander Technique
Singing as a Plyometric Activity: Rationale and Utility of this Point of View. For a Biomechanical View on Voice Production.
For a Biomechanical View on Voice Production.
Lucia Cossu MM
ABSTRACT Singing requires an alternation of dynamics, accents, changes of words, consonants style specific production that translates in a different opposed functions, changes of rhythms and character often in short time, alternating more rhythmically or tessitura demanding pieces to more legato and “on the breath” ones. All those are different from a biomechanical point of view and the firsts present a challenge in voice production and training.The firsts can be translated as plyometric activity (defined as the shortening and lengthening during the same action of a muscle) into a range of motion of the joints involved, into or outside the vocal tract, requiring the coactivation or opposed action of agonist/antagonist muscles involved (laryngeal or not laryngeal) in the biomechanical logic of concentric/eccentric/isometric. Plyometric with its high demanding/high gains quality involved, is one of the most challenging training tasks, especially how to develop it safely and into the favourable adaptations desired. The emerged concept of how agonist and antagonist work in a functional system of constant eccentric/concentric work is of the utmost importance for training and developing systems and apply also to us, not only in the correlation body joints/voice production (see my PEVoC14 presentation on that, on YouTube) but also in the deepening of the understanding of intrinsic/extrinsic larynx muscles that work in this way even if with some specificities to the system due to the small size of the structure and the specific material/structure context of the vocal system. Great steps in training the plyometric’s sports have been made in the functional training movement, those can be paralleled with studies and research on coactivations, gender specifics of ligaments in coactivations, soft tissues adaptations following precise protocols of eccentric, load and periodisation a new door is opening for both:1. working on joints involved in voice production out of the vocal tract; 2. understanding mechanisms or developing strategies of traditional or more contemporary strategies in voice training or rehab. This view can integrate the musical aspect or phrasé and dynamics in a joints/skeletal muscles biomechanical view so to start separating lungs and respiratory system from skeleton/skeletal muscles contributions.
23, 24 & 27: my three Posters for Voice Foundation Symposium, program is out. https://voicefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2023-SYMP-Program.pdf And here the specifics of my view in integrating directly biomechanics into voice production/training for this Symposium. Come say hello or come to the presentation Thursday 1st of June 2023.
voicescience #thevoicefoundation #thevoicefoundationsymposium #voiceandjoints
Here the presentation (the two workshops will not be published) at Pan-European Voice Conference PEVoC14 on the central topic of how body’s joints far from vocal tract are directly implied into voice production and development. Does posture relate to voice? Yes but the how is the conundrum and I am opening since some years a path toward a rationale unifying all the practices with what science and research says about the subject and how to implement it in vocal practices for vocal health, voice development and training, career and artistic research and achievements, for amateurs. For confidentiality reasons the two one hour long workshops will not be published but I will publish some practices and exercises. At the end in the video you find my notes, this is just a path toward a model of voice including the interrelations of overall body (big box) on vocal system (small box into the big box). It does not pretend to be complete or correct in all its sides, just a useful work model that has helped in more than ten years my practice and students and general population and voice teachers and singers and that has a solid scientific background and confirmation. Enjoy.
JOINTS AND VOICE: DOES VOICE PRODUCTION REACTS TO JOINTS DYSFUNCTIONALITY FAR FROM VOCAL TRACT? SOME CASES AND AN HYPOTHESIS
Copyright all rights reserved Lucia Cossu
Vocal system is into the body and into specific segments of the body, it uses muscles and structures having multiple functions, you know better than me probably on those, today we focus on the respiratory and vocal and postural functions with a joint to joint approach, and the questions are HOW THEY correlate in PRECISE terms? In here I would open a path, I hope, to more sophisticated thoughts and directions of researching and getting specific in WHAT HOW WHY WHEN of those correlations, and IF as an effect on the vocal system or a direct contribution SO to be the vocal system thought in a less narrow way (I know it is more precise the more restricted a system is, but if we get specific we can expand). I think of it as a big box and a smaller box, being the smaller the vocal one, the smaller is into the bigger, they are independent in some ways, share some parts and even something more tricky as the cervical segment, as we will see what this can mean in the joint by joint approach.
(I anticipate that I look at posture and overall all body as the environment in which the vocal system can operate and develop, we know it happens also the other way around, but I remain focused on this direction in here).
From static alignment and managing the breath air to compensate for a not naturally gifted voice to a dynamic alignment and an hypothesis on how asymmetries, defensive stiffnesses and joints dysfunctionality or underdevelopement can be directly worked and change directly voice production. Many methods exist to help body connection, relaxation of defensive veto, help alignement. They are useful and sometimes fundamental, what lacks is a systematic and rationale on the precise mechanism related to voice production, and if there is one. This is a presentation with some examples of work on Sacroiliac joint and transversus abdominis, examples that present a discontinuity in voice production, some with medical control of it and a couple with the level of performance achieved. I make an hypothesis of this specific relation using the joint by joint approach of M. Boyle and G. Cook, the functional findings on SI joint of G. Cook and B. Contreras, some insights from C. Weingroff and the fascia system as a suggestion of a worth field to research. I use their work because in physical therapies and athletes training the literature and research is vast and rich; the body is one and the biological rules and muscles kinetics do not change, then the joint by joint approach can give insight on how joints are reciprocally related. The defensive system will be presented as a blocking and braking system, sometimes a veto system and sometimes a decelarating and expressive system, and it is presented with an hypothesis of its muscular structure and gestures with strategies to manage it with positions and exercises. C. Weingroff says citing Dostal, Soderberg and Andrews ‘the hip musculature changes dramatically through various range of motion and some muscles can reverse their function depending on the positioning’, so no surprise that if a muscle reverse role in the SI tract the expiratories will be affected and they will affect the diaphagm etc.
Here some links for a general view of the examples, in the presentation clips not publicly disclosed of the exercises will be presented.
Lucia Cossu Voice teacher online/in person
Rue Charles Morren 9 – 4000 Liège BELGIUM