Vocal performers are singers of all styles, rappers, actors, voice-over artists, comedians, broadcasters, and voice and music teachers. Vocal performers may be amateur, semi-professional, or professional, and may have varying levels of vocal training and experience.
At the Duke Voice Care Center (DVCC), we recognize the power that the human voice has to inspire and uplift us, expressing the inexpressible and expanding our human experience.
For vocal performers, the voice represents a source of artistic and creative expression as well as personal identity, self-image, and self-esteem. For some, the voice is an important source of income and livelihood. For others, it's a source of relaxation and fun.
Regardless of style, experience, or professional status, a voice injury can have devastating consequences to singers and other performers who depend on and value their voices. A poor performance or cancellation may result in loss of income -- a poor review may affect later engagements.
For academics, performance is a job requirement. For people who perform recreationally, the loss of artistic and creative expression caused by a voice injury can result in poorer quality of life.
Performers typically use their voices more than non-performers for speaking and singing, and often need to vocalize at extremes of pitch and loudness levels. Because of their higher vocal demands, singers and other vocal performers are at a higher risk for developing a voice injury.
Singers are truly vocal “athletes.” Singing requires a highly specialized and high impact use of the vocal folds. Travel, changing environments, and medical conditions such as allergies and reflux disease can be additional impediments to keeping the voice healthy if not managed.
In addition to the comprehensive voice evaluation for all DVCC patients, performers will be evaluated by a singing voice specialist as well as a laryngologist who specializes in the needs of performers.
The performer’s vocal demands, singing style, vocal technique, current and upcoming performance needs, and performance environment (room acoustics, air quality, sound systems, etc.) are all considered and evaluated as part of the singing voice assessment. Additionally, patterns of speaking voice use and medical conditions that impact the voice are thoroughly evaluated.
Voice rehabilitation is the core treatment program for the singing voice. This involves training in both speaking and singing voice efficiency, development of a customized vocal exercise regimen, and guidance in the practice of vocal pacing.
A speech pathologist and singing voice specialist will assist you in the development and application of these specific vocal techniques. The goal of vocal rehabilitation is to ensure the voice gets appropriate exercise while supporting the healing of vocal injury and the prevention of re-injury.
When vocal difficulties persist despite voice therapy and the treatment of other medical factors, microsurgery may be needed.
The goal of this surgical procedure is to delicately remove the abnormal portions of the soft outer layer of the vocal fold in order to restore the vocal fold to its normal vibratory state. Post-operative voice therapy is an essential component of vocal rehabilitation to maximize the quality and stamina of the voice.
Call 919-684-3834 (local) or 800-385-3646 (toll-free) to make an appointment with a voice specialist in the Triangle of North Carolina. We see patients from Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, and beyond.
If you are a singer calling to make an appointment for a voice evaluation, be sure the operator knows you are a singer, so that you are scheduled to see a singing voice specialist as part of your voice evaluation.
If you are a performer and have an urgent need for a voice evaluation prior to a performance, please contact our DVCC liaison at 919-681-4984 to facilitate a timely appointment.