How music may induce fluency (and dysfluency) in people who stutter
The question how fluency inducing conditions – such as music (e.g., singing) – may inhibit stuttering has remained largely unresolved. A complicating factor in this theoretical issue is that symptoms of stuttering and dysfluency have also been observed in musicians playing wind instruments, sometimes called « musical stuttering ».
In my talk, I will highlight both general and particular characteristics of stuttering as a condition that extends beyond the speech sensorimotor system per se by focusing on evidence from both behavioral and neuroimaging studies, as well as experimental data from my own lab. Additionally, I will address the question how musical therapy may be of potential benefit for those who stutter.
Robert van de Vorst obtained his Bachelor and Master in musicology from the University of Amsterdam and a Master in piano performance from the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
As a person who stutters himself, he developed an interest in how musical practice may shape (non-verbal) stuttering behavior, as well as how cognitive behavioral strategies, mental practice and altered sensory feedback may influence both speech and non-speech sensorimotor learning processes. He is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD) at McGill University and is a member of the Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music (CRBLM).
As a pianist, he played solo concerts in major halls over the world, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He also taught piano and music theory both privately and as a guest professor at several conservatories in The Netherlands. He has published and given lectures about both music and stuttering related topics.