Music

Protecting Your Vocal Health

Protecting Your Vocal Health

Student Information Sheet on Protecting Your Vocal Health from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA).

  • Vocal health is important for all musicians and essential to lifelong success for singers.
  • Understanding basic care of the voice is essential for musicians who speak, sing, and rehearse or teach others.
  • Practicing, rehearsing, and performing music is physically demanding.
  • Musicians are susceptible to numerous vocal disorders.
  • Many vocal disorders and conditions are preventable and/or treatable.
  • Sufficient warm-up time is important.
  • Begin warming up mid-range, and then slowly work outward to vocal pitch extremes.
  • Good posture, adequate breath support, and correct physical technique are essential.
  • Regular breaks during practice and rehearsal are vital in order to prevent undue physical or vocal stress and strain.
  • It is important to set a reasonable time limit on the amount of time that you will practice in a day.
  • Avoid sudden increases in practice times.
  • Know your voice and its limits, and avoid overdoing it or misusing it.
  • Maintain healthy habits. Safeguard your physical and mental health.
  • Drink plenty of water in order to keep your vocal folds adequately lubricated.
  • Limit your use of alcohol and avoid smoking.
  • Day-to-day decisions can impact your vocal health, both now and in the future. Since vocal strain and a myriad of other injuries can occur in and out of school, you also need to take care of your own vocal health on a daily basis. Avoid shouting, screaming, or other strenuous vocal use.
  • If you are concerned about your personal vocal health, talk with a medical professional.
  • If you are concerned about your vocal health in relationship to your program of study, consult the appropriate contact person at your institution.

Adapted from: Protecting Your Vocal Health: Student Information Sheet – NASM/PAMA: July 2013 DRAFT 

 

 

Community Resources: Vocal Health

Duke Voice Care Center:
http://www.dukemedicine.org/treatments/ear-nose-and-throat/voice-care-center

Leda Scearce, MM, MS, CCC-SLP
Performing Voice Specialist
Director of Performing Voice Programs and Development
Duke Voice Care Center
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
919-862-5730
leda.scearce@duke.edu

David L. Witsell, MD, MHS
Assoc. Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Department of Surgery
Duke Clinical Research Institute
919-862-5730