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Laura Habich, Sally Gallena, Ph.D.

The Impact of Teaching Vocal Hygiene on Voice Quality of Vocal Performance Students

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Singers are reliant upon their body’s performance for a successful career. Frequent voice use coupled with vocal abuse can often lead to a high prevalence of voice disorders among this population (Timmermans et al., 2005). Research in voice has indicated a need to educate students of vocal performance regarding vocal hygiene and healthy vocal habits to prevent the occurrence of voice disorders (Broaddus-Lawrence, Treole, McCabe, Allen, & Toppin, 2000; Timmermans, Vanderwegen, & De Bodt, 2005; Verdolini, DeVore, McCoy, & Ostrem, 1998). Given these findings, vocal hygiene education as a regular part of the curriculum for students of vocal performance may be crucial in helping them maintain a healthy voice. Research has been conducted to this end, however, there is a lack of sufficient evidence to support the best method to teach vocal hygiene information (in-class presentation vs. reading literature). The purpose of this study is to educate college students engaged in vocal training about vocal hygiene at the beginning of the academic semester and assess what impact it has on their vocal behaviors. Specifically the following research question is posed: Will vocal music students who receive an hour of vocal hygiene training provided by a speech-language pathologist, modify their vocal behaviors more than like students who receive a vocal hygiene educational pamphlet?

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