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CPD & research

8.2.16

SR Research Published

In January 2016, a special issue of the Journal of Building Acoustics was published focusing on Classroom Acoustics.

Sharps Redmore’s Nick Durup and Rory Sullivan have written a research paper included in the edition entitled, "An investigation into Relationships between Classroom Acoustic Measurements and Voice Parameters of Teachers".

The paper was written in collaboration with Professor Bridget Shield and Dr Stephen Dance of London South Bank University and is based on Nick’s PhD research project.

The abstract is reproduced below and the full text in pdf format can be viewed at:  http://bua.sagepub.com/content/current

Abstract

School teachers appear to have a greater prevalence of voice problems than the general population, yet classrooms are not designed with the safe use of teachers' voices in mind. In an effort to better understand the influence of classroom acoustic design on teachers' voice parameters measurements of teachers' voices in different classroom types have been made. An Ambulatory Phonation Monitor (APM) has been used to measure voice parameters (including the average voice sound pressure level, fundamental frequency and phonation time) directly from the skin vibrations in the neck, thus eliminating the effects of other noise sources in the environment. The rooms involved were acoustically benchmarked individually to enable relationships between the voice data and acoustic parameters, such as unoccupied ambient noise levels and reverberation times, to be investigated. The study data shows a positive correlation between unoccupied ambient noise levels and the average voice levels of the teachers, as well as between voice level and phonation time. There was no significant correlation in the study data between classroom reverberation times and voice levels or between voice level and fundamental frequency.