Today Alexa is joined by the wonderful Joanne Bozeman who has been a voice teacher for almost 50 years. Joanne is a singer herself and was a faculty member at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music in the state of Wisconsin. She is a frequent presenter for organisations such as the BVA, NATS, and PAVA and is a coauthor of Singing Through Change: Women’s Voices in Midlife, Menopause, and Beyond. Joanne is on Singing Teachers Talk to share her expertise on singing through the stages of menopause.
- Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. You reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.
- Perimenopause is when you have symptoms before your periods have stopped. Menopause and perimenopause can cause anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flashes and irregular periods. These symptoms can start years before your periods stop and carry on afterward.
- About 80% of women complain of some kind of symptom, usually hot flashes, but there are some who are almost disabled by the severity of symptoms. Also, our bodies react differently to different hormones and hormone levels so responses are individualistic.
- Smears of the larynx and the cervix stained for oestrogen throughout the menstrual cycle were indistinguishable from microscopy. Both types of tissues have been shown to have oestrogen, progesterone and androgen receptors. This means the menstrual cycle and pubertal development both have an effect on the female larynx.
- Oestrogen contributes thickness, smoothness and pliability to the epithelium and mucosal layer of the vocal folds. This means when oestrogen is higher, there are more cellular layers in this tissue and oestrogen increases oxygenation to the vocal folds.
‘Menopause is not an old age situation, it’s a mid-life one’
‘Some bodies are just more sensitive to oestrogen’
‘Our bodies’ responses to hormones are individualistic, so it’s not a one size fits all’
‘Sometimes we have to get back to basics and address this tiny trauma’
Guest Website: singingthroughchange.com
Social Media: Instagram: @singingthruchange
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- The Effect of Hormones on the Voice by Same Kadakia, Dave Carlson and Robert T. Sataloff; Care of the Professional Voice; 2013: vocapedia.info/_Library/JOS_files_Vocapedia/JOS-069-5-2013-571.pdf
- BAST Blog – Singing and the Premenstrual Voice: basttraining.com/singing-and-the-premenstrual-voice
- The work of Dr Jean Abitbol (referenced in The Effect of Hormones on the Voice article noted above)
- Singing Through Menopause: Reactions and Responses Survey by Martha Elliott: marthaelliott.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Menopause-articleWP.pdf
- Vocal Function work by Joe Stemple
- The work of Rebecca Moseley-Morgan: inspectorvoice.co.uk
- Chadley Ballantyne: chadleyballantyne.com
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep. 52 Getting to Grips with Vocal Acoustics with Chadley Ballantyne: linktr.ee/basttraining?utm_source
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep. 84 The Benefits of Cross-Genre Training with The Voice Collective: linktr.ee/basttraining?utm_source
- Co-authors: Cait Frazier-Neely & Nancy Bos
- Journal of Voice: jvoice.org
ABOUT THE GUEST
Joanne Bozeman, co-author of Singing Through Change: Women’s Voices in Midlife, Menopause, and Beyond, has been a voice teacher for nearly 50 years, beginning when she was completing her music training at the University of Arizona. She was a faculty member at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music in the state of Wisconsin for 26 years, where she taught singing and a number of voice and music education courses. Along with her teaching career, Joanne was an actively performing soprano, specializing in recital repertoire, oratorio, and chamber music.
Link to podcast presenter’s bios