Working with singers with Down Syndrome
Date: October 27, 2015
I have a 10 year old choir member with Down Syndrome. I'm usually pretty good at getting my 10 year old singers to either improve at matching pitch or getting them to use their head voice, but I'm a little stuck on how to help this boy. In doing a very minimal amount of research, I've learned that it takes twice as much energy for a person with Down Syndrome to produce vocal sound as it does for a person who does not have Down Syndrome. I also learned that very little attention has been paid to developing therapies that improve vocal technique in people with Down Syndrome. The lest post on ChoralNet on this subject was 10 years ago and got one response. I'm hopeful that time has given us more collective knowledge or wisdom in this area.
Here are some questions I have that I hope some of you may be able to answer.
1. I'm trying to see if this student can sing a mi re do pattern. He has an unchanged voice. Can anyone recommend a good starting key?
2. I wonder how I can get this student to use his head voice in some kind of simple exercise (ie vocal siren). Any thoughts?
3. Any other tips?