Help with voice problems


#1
I'm glad this is written because I know I'd have a job making you hear me !
In common with many , I have a very quiet voice and my difficulty is that at the end of the day , it sounds so hoarse that people struggle to hear me .
It's not too bad ,one to one but in a social setting , it's a bit nightmarish.
My job involves contact with the public and I have to go into a large waiting area containing about 40 -50 people sometimes , and call a name!
I've developed a strategy now where I don't call the name from the doorway, but move into the body of the room before I speak.
I wish I knew some sort of strategy , perhaps with breath control, to help me. Anyone have any knowledge on this ?
I've asked my P.D. nurse if I could see a speech therapist , and she has referred me , but warned me the wait will be very, very long.
I've got the P.society fact sheet on speech problems. It helps a bit , but no substitute for an actual human being with practical help.
In this quarter's 'The Parkinsons', there's a good piece about the value of singing, and in some areas , choirs have been set up.
Anyone have experience of one such venture ?
I've also asked my P.D. nurse about it and she said there had been one such singing group running, but no more funding available to continue! Depressing, isn't it.
I think I read somewhere, grants may be given for such ventures -- must explore that possibility.
On a lighter note I can always put on my well worn Abba C.D. and sing along with them ! Lucky my neighbour's deaf . Ironically tho - I'd love it if she had to complain I was making a loud noise !
Happy w/end all.

#2
Hi Lorna,

I have a friend who is a speech therapist with the NHS. She recommends the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment programme as being the very best for PWPs. Therapists have to undergo special training before they can use the programme. It is very intensive - 1 hour per day for 4 days a week over 4 weeks.

I spoke with my friend unofficially about therapy because I have lost my singing voice (for me that is perhaps the worst part of having Parkinson's so far). And as for shouting, that's absolutely impossible but I don't hear my family complaining about that.

I hope you don't have to wait a long time for your appointment. Please let us know how you get on.

Best wishes.

#3
Hi Lorna

Instead of trying to set up your own singing group, have you thought about joining an existing one? Being a member of a choir or chorus is great therapy - not only physically, but mentally too. After two to three hours of rehearsals, which require a very high level of concentration, you forget all about 'IT'.

I happen to be secretary of my city's opera group and the work keeps me very, very busy. Also, it's great to meet up with 50 or so people each week - none of whom know anything about 'IT'. They have probably noticed my tremor and formed their own opinions, but I'm not ready to 'come out' yet - not by a long way.

When I view the recording of our last show, I can see that I am moving stiffly and my left arm is bent, but other people probably haven't notice that anything is wrong. It just looks as though I'm a useless actress, which I probably am! I don't know how much longer I will be able to hide it, but a lot of people have asked me how all my tests went, and I just tell them "fine" and blame it on a virus. I hate it when they ask me.

I would recommend being a member of a group to anyone with 'IT' - especially a singing group. By the way, I'm probably a useless singer too due to the soft voice thing, although I CAN hit all the notes accurately, which is the main thing.

#4
Hi Jeanine and Lily,
Thanks for your thoughts on my soft voice problem.
I'm trying to find out about the Lee Silverman voice treatment. There's a very interesting letter about it in this quarter's Parkinsons mag. The writer found it very good. I'm in touch with the British Voice Assoc. and they are trying to find out if there is a therapist in my area.
Apparently there are only a tiny few in the U.K. The one who helped the author of the letter was based in Stirling ! I'ts rather a long way for me to go 4x a week for 4 weeks ! Where's that Abba C.D. !
Ironically , my neighbour is a speech therapist ! She's a young Mum with very small children. Maybe trade some baby sitting sessions for some practical help ?
Trouble is, I'd have to tell her why. Oh dear, life gets complicated, don't it.

#5
Dear all!
Have just read my 2 posts and realise it looks as if my deaf neighbour is a speech therapist ! No , she is one side of me and the speech therapist is the other ! With me in the middle, looks like the basis for a half decent sitcom doesn't it ?
G.night folks.

#6
hello , Lorna
I also have speech problems, mainly that of a very soft voice and make it quieter I also tend to mumble that doesn't seem apparent to many because they can't actually hear the mumbling. Ha ha my friends are very understanding and patient, my children are not unfortunately. When they can't hear me they tell me, but I repeat of the same volume as the first time.
I have actually done the Silverman voice therapy and yes it was very very good I have the paper work so, if you can't get it from the Internet or any of the sourcesavailable to you let me know and I'll them copyed for you. It is very intensive, and when I hadspeech therapy. I was much better than I am now and I was actually thinking about getting to speak with her again, but I found out that she's leavingher name is vaal steadman . I'll try and find out where she's going to ,you never know your luck heh,
I found the speech therapy helped my singing the local church choir to improve on th this.
Made me smile, When you said about writing makes for an easier chats for you, but I actually speak these words in my computer types from what I say, which is why I'm able to put so much down, but I do think it also helps my speak, because I need to speak clearly for the computer system.

Anyway that's all for tonight, this morning. See you later on, Nicky