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October 2021

The effect of clarinet lessons on the voice quality of hearing impaired children

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if clarinet lessons would increase breath support thereby improving voice quality of hearing impaired children. Subjects were 11 children, ages 8 to 12 years, diagnosed as having severe to profound hearing losses. A Wright respirometer was used to measure vital lung capacity. Analyses of fundamental frequency, range of fundamental frequency and intensity of the voice were analyzed from tape recorded pre and post-tests by computer using the Kay Visi-Pitch (M) software package and an Apple IIe computer. Subjects received 10 clarinet lessons with exercises designed to maximize breath support while learning to read music and play the instrument. Results indicated a significant increase in vital capacity only. Vocal duration, range of fundamental frequency as assessed by computer analysis did not significantly improve, though all areas did improve over baseline conditions. Subjective analysis of randomized samples for voice quality conducted by speech pathology graduate students revealed no significant difference between pre and post-tests. Data indicated enough improvement to warrant further study over a longer treatment period.

Keyword(s): children, clarinet, music-instruction, voice, hearing-impaired, hearing-loss, hearing-disorder, lung-volumes.


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