Conference by Robert van de Vorst
How music may induce fluency (and dysfluency) in people who stutter
Abstract: The question of 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 of how musical therapy may be of potential benefit for those who stutter.
Bio: 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 around 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.