Health & Wellness Across the Lifespan
Dr. Chris Scholl, Associate Professor, Music Performance Studies Faculty Coordinating Committee Member
Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan
Meeting with Dr. Scholl in his office was a lot of fun as he elaborated on his interests with the Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan (CoE). He became involved with the Center for basically two reasons. First, the health purpose in general especially ‘at my age’ was important to him as he continues to strive for a healthier lifestyle. The second reason was his involvement in the teaching of music and the need to maintain vocal health for his students. It is important that musicians maintain healthy vocal cords in their careers though it might appear as a minute problem compared to issues such as weight loss or smoking cessation. To individuals who play instruments, the violin for example, one might find himself dealing with carpal tunnel issues--this is not mundane. Thus, with his background, he felt he could be another voice on the committee that could help bring about the collaboration and awareness needed to maintain good general and vocal health in musicians. With a background in entertainment, he sees the vocal apparatus as a mystery that needs to be understood on how it functions and how it processes the final product.
Dr. Scholl’s personal health philosophy is maintaining balance, having a positive attitude, and exercising. However, exercising is a little difficult for him to maintain. As a previous soccer referee, there was a time when he was usually on the run more than he is now. Intellectually he understands the need for exercise; however, the cause and effect are no longer the same. He, on the other hand, tries to maintain a healthy calorie count. With the help of an application on his cell phone, he monitors his diet on a daily basis and counts calories.
His first major research project was in languages and the interpretation of songs. He was assisted by his professor, the late Dr. John Maloy of Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Currently, his collaborative research efforts are mostly with Dr. Ronald Scherer, a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. On the practical side, he mostly deals with students. He teaches students healthy and pragmatic approaches to using their voices. Some of the approaches involve respiration, phoneticians, articulation, breathing, speech and residency, and working with the speech clinic. A research project he recommends is “why some people have a better understanding and interpretation of languages than others.” This came up during the interview when asked whether he has any remedies for people with heavy English accents and who are not natural English speaking.
Dr. Scholl says the progress for the development of the Center is a great project. Hhe appreciates the graduate assistants who have been involved since last spring. The weight loss and TBI helmet distribution are commendable efforts for the Center to co-sponsor. The center will also address the problems of musicians, which might appear minute in comparison but are equally important when it comes to health and well-being.