Archive | Health

The Next “Voice Science”

[What public health, ethnology, and neuroscience have to do with it] In the mid-20th century, people started to understand how the vocal cords actually work. Nineteenth century singing teacher Manuel Garcia had famously arranged a mirror and candle to SEE his voice, but until technologies arrived to capture moving images of the cords as they […]

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Throat Tightness

Student question: I feel tightness, almost a pinching dry feeling in my throat, when I sing. What could that be and what can I do about that? There are several possible reasons, so you may need to try a few adjustments and see what helps. Sometimes feeling dry means that your throat IS dry! The […]

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Backstreet Boys: Voice Therapy onscreen!

Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys became my client in 2013, while a documentary crew was filming the band’s 20th anniversary journey. The movie “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” is now out, and includes a  short scene of our work together. This is a new level of visibility for voice therapy! I can’t […]

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Singers’ Guide to Throat Lozenges

Before you use an over-the-counter throat lozenge, think carefully about why you want one. The most common reasons why people use lozenges are (1) a hoarse-sounding voice, (2) throat pain, (3) cough. Sometimes these symptoms occur together, sometimes not. They are relieved by different ingredients, and some of those ingredients have side effects that you […]

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Singers’ Guide to Weight Training

Twice last week, I met new clients whose voice problems began when they had started serious weight-training. I’ve seen others who got sudden lesions, including a gnarly vocal hemorrhage, when they changed trainers or otherwise increased their workout intensity. Most voice problems have more than one cause, so I won’t argue for an exact correlation. […]

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Clearing Up Throat-Clearing

“Don’t clear your throat—it’s bad for your voice.” Every serious voice user hears this advice. But what can you do, when your throat tickles or drips or you’re nervous about a show? How can you resist? The urge to clear your throat can arise for several reasons, most of them false-alarms. Here are some tips […]

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How Does The Affordable Care Act Help Voice Professionals?

Research shows that performing artists are less likely to trust medical care than the average person. Singers, outside of the classical world, tend to seek less medical care for their voices than for other routine health problems. How much are these disconnections linked to the fear that appropriate care isn’t available or affordable? Now that […]

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Why Athletes Don’t Do Tech-Week

The heightened vocal demands of classic drama, choral singing, musical theater, and opera are sometimes referred to as “vocal athletics.” But if vocal performers were truly treated like athletes, final rehearsal schedules might turn upside down. Rather than accelerating to opening night, athletes in endurance sports typically rest more and workout less as the Big […]

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