Talking, Teaching, and Listening: Teachers’ response to acoustic environments

Invited paper

Eric Hunter

Michigan State University

Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 11:00 - 11:20

0.9 Athens (118)

School teachers have an elevated risk of voice problems due to the vocal demands in the workplace. Presented will be an amalgamation of two studies investigating teachers’ voice use in the school setting. In the first study, 57 teachers were observed for 2 weeks (waking hours) to compare how they used their voice in the school environment and in non-school environments. In a second study, 45 participants performed a short vocal task in two different rooms, a variable acoustic room and an anechoic chamber. Subjects were taken back and forth between the two rooms using a deception protocol. Each time they entered the variable acoustics room, the room characteristics had been changed using two background noise conditions and two reverberation conditions. In this latter study, subjects responded to questions about their comfort and perception of changes in the acoustic environment. Objective acoustic metrics were compared to subjective perception of a room, as well as to metrics calculated from their vocal output. Several significant differences between male and females subjects were found. Most of the differences hold for each room condition (at school vs. not at school, varying reverberation times, varying noise levels, and levels of early reflections).

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