Voice and the brain: Evolution, Emotion and Learning

We begin by considering the basic question of why we sing. This is investigated from an evolutionary and anthropological perspective, and gives us insights into the benefits of singing for health and wellbeing. Much of this is found ‘hard-wired’ into systems in the brain and leads us to the next questions of how we learn the skills that are involved in singing and voice use. There is a great deal of recent research into the acquisition of motor learning skills in sport; much of this is relevant for voice education, some needs to be adapted. We can also glean from the last 50 years of education research: what are the best models for teaching style and learning environments? Alongside this theoretical information, we will look into the neurological systems governing our responses at a much deeper level: the autonomic nervous system, vagal responses, emotions and primal sound.

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