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Futurecade exhibit
Temporary Category for 2022

Voice Works

  • Talk
  • Workshop
Fri 23 September, 2:00pm 60 minutes Spiegeltent, Barker's Pool

An interactive talk and workshop resulting from a collaboration between singer/vocal coach Dr Michael Bonshor, speech/language therapist Karen Esposito and people with Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction. Facilitated by Mir Jansen with research by Professor Renee Timmers, Department of Music. The workshop will show that singing and breathing techniques can address vocal impairment, highlighting the effect of Arts in Health and informing future speech therapy practice.

About the project

Voice problems like Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction (ILO) offer great challenges to individuals, affecting confidence to speak leading to a decrease in social interaction, self-expression, self-esteem and loss of identity. 

ILO has increased since Covid-19. Speech & Language therapy in the NHS is used to rebuild confidence. Music and singing-related therapy are not established practices for voice problems but may in fact offer a supportive basis for confidence building and adaptable context to foster varied use of the voice.  

To trial marrying of Speech & Language therapy with singing, a collaboration was set up between Arts in Health, Speech & Language Therapy at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and University of Sheffield’s Department of Music. Twenty workshops for participants with ILO are organised and will be documented to evidence: 

  • how this collaboration informs the workshop activities
  • the beneficial impact it has on the workshop participants 
  • progress of participants in the use of their voice

We aim to improve understanding of ILO and evidence the potential for creative voice use as an empowering activity for people with ILO. Collaboration between singing and Speech & Language therapy will be promoted and pathways for those with voice problems to enter choirs or join singing activities explored. The creative legacy will take the form of an audio documentary created by sound engineer and composer Christopher Bevan using recordings from workshops and interviews, demonstrating the development of individuals and the collective over the course of the workshops. 

Further dissemination is planned to influence Speech & Language therapy practice. 

This project is part of the In & Out of Hospital Arts Programme delivered by Arts in Health at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  It is funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and Arts Council England.  

Further support received from the Knowledge Exchange funding at University of Sheffield. 

Feedback from participants

“Really fun, I liked singing through the kazoo as an alternative to using our voice”

“I find it very supportive”

“All the exercises are really useful tools to have, I learned to call for my dog using my tummy muscles”