Awareness and Understanding of Stress Velopharyngeal Incompetence amongst Brass Instrumental Teachers
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Objectives/Hypothesis: To establish whether or not teachers of brass instruments at the UK's leading music colleges are aware of the existence and implications of Stress Velopharyngeal Incompetence (SVPI) in brass players, and the potential for speech and language therapy as a method of diagnosis and intervention. Study Design: This project was a self-completion questionnaire study. Methods: Sixty-six questionnaires were sent to the heads of brass at eight music colleges and distributed amongst fifteen members of the brass teaching staff, encompassing a range of different brass instruments. Twenty-five questionnaires were completed and returned for analysis. Results: The majority of brass teachers were aware of the symptoms of SVPI. Contributory factors identified by teachers included age, loud playing and co-existing problems with the embouchure (formation of the lip and facial muscles). Awareness levels appeared to be influenced by the receipt of training in the anatomy and physiology of brass playing. No definitive referral pathway was reported, and there was a general lack of awareness of speech and language therapy as a potential referral route. Conclusions: While general awareness of the symptoms of SVPI was high, implying that SVPI is a widespread phenomenon, awareness of the condition itself was limited. Teachers appeared unaware of the role speech and language therapy might play in both diagnosis and intervention. This is concerning, and suggests a need to raise the profile of speech and language therapy amongst brass instrumentalists.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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