Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The professional female singer and career longevity: Reflections, choices, and challenges
by Richie, Anne Elise, D.M., The Florida State University, 2013, 113; 3564953
Abstract (Summary)

This study seeks to provide female singers and their teachers with insight on achieving career longevity through the collection of data and commentary from seasoned professional female singers. One hundred artists from the United States and Canada, each with a singing career spanning twenty years or longer, were invited to complete the online survey The Professional Female Singer and Career Longevity via SurveyMonkey.com.

Participants, ages 45-75, responded to an array of questions to create an overview of their vocal careers. Each singer provided answers on physical and vocal health challenges they experienced as well as, the impact of menopause, hormone replacement therapy, and the perceived benefits of teaching to maintain the voice. Respondents also shared information on the lifestyle, dietary, and other choices they believe contributed to career longevity.

The sample population, composed of forty-nine mezzo-sopranos and fifty-one sopranos, is predominantly made up of baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964. It is significant to note that none of the one hundred singers reported being "retired" from the profession. All continue to engage in performing, teaching, or a combination thereof.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau life expectancy over the past century for women has nearly doubled from an average of 48.3 years in 1900 to 81.3 years in 2010. Women can now expect to live a considerable portion of their life in a postmenopausal state. This document adds first hand reports by female professional singers to the present voice science research on the benefits of diet, exercise, lifestyle choices and hormone therapy. Singers should be educated to the benefits of maintaining hormonal balance and its direct impact on preserving the voice. Further study is warranted to explore which hormone replacement therapies are proving to have the greatest vocal benefit and to disseminate information on which natural/alternative medicines and modalities female singers and voice teachers feel help maintain their voices and contribute to career longevity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rachwal, Wanda Brister
Commitee: Brewer, Charles E., Hoekman, Timothy, Okerlund, David
School: The Florida State University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Music, Womens studies, Pedagogy, Music education
Keywords: Career, Female, Longevity, Menopause, Singer, Voice teacher, Women musicians
Publication Number: 3564953
ISBN: 9781303142703
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