Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati
Assistant Professor of Voice
Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati, assistant professor of voice in Augustana's music department, realizes the dividends of her research every day in her work at Augustana. After learning about a piano class for retirees at the University of Texas at Austin, Rayapati was inspired to join community service with research through her study of the benefits of class voice instruction for aging singers. With referrals from senior service agencies and her own church choir connections, Rayapati brought together nine subjects -ranging in age from 63 to 79 -who, though they have basic musical knowledge, have not had formal voice instruction. Working with colleagues in biology, communication sciences and disorders, and psychology, Rayapati established baseline data on the subjects' lung and laryngeal function, and -using a questionnaire -even on their life-satisfaction.
"With Baby Boomers hitting retirement age, there is a clear need to develop recreational activities with both physical and psycho-social benefits. It is our hope that this research could be a great service toward that end," Dr. Rayapati says.