Here, My Voice
Voice and the ability to create sound that emanates from the body is, for the majority of people, a fundamental aspect of human experience whose power is often overlooked. And yet many people in the hard-of-hearing community lack a relationship to the creative power of their voice and as a result miss out on this rich aspect of human embodiment. The COVID-19 pandemic has additionally affected this community by limiting opportunities for lipreading alongside a deterioration in clear aural communication as a result of masks and social distancing.
Here, My Voice responds to this issue by supporting hard-of-hearing people in (re)discovering embodied ways to experience their voice. Building upon a partnership between a group of USC Vocal Arts students from the Thornton School of Music and the Hearing Loss Association of America LA (HLAA), six specially trained USC vocal coaches are working intimately with six participants to provide a series of individual lessons designed to increase confidence in exploring the creative and expressive possibilities of the voice. Coaches work with participants to devise sustained lesson plans grounded in each individual’s personal goals, and at the conclusion of this process produce performance videos showcasing their work.
- Assists members of the hard-of-hearing community to (re)discover their voice and its potential for creative self-expression
- Creates opportunities for USC Vocal Arts students to gain deeper and more nuanced understandings of the phenomenon of voice and how it can be experienced and exercised by individuals possessing a range of auditory and oral abilities
- Builds a repository of best practices and methods that can be leveraged in future vocal workshops for and with members of the hard-of-hearing community