Duke voice specialists provide the highest level of expert care to all vocal performers, from elite professionals to those who sing simply for enjoyment. Appointments are available in Durham and Raleigh.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Specialized Care for Singers at All Levels
Singers, actors, and other vocal performers are at increased risk for developing a vocal injury or vocal disorder, including vocal nodules and muscle tension dysphonia. Your singing voice can also be affected by problems such as vocal cord paralysis and voice tremor, which can result from age, surgery, and certain medical conditions.
We understand that your voice is an essential part of your identity, your creative expression, and your livelihood. Our advanced training and experience ensure we have the knowledge and expertise to return you to the voice that makes you who you are.
A thorough singing voice evaluation assesses your pitch/vocal range, loudness range, vocal stamina, breath support, resonance, and register transitions. Our singing voice specialists will identify any muscle tension that may be contributing to your voice problem and evaluate your vocal technique relative to your singing style. We also identify strategies to optimize your vocal hygiene and vocal pacing. If needed, we will advocate for your vocal health with directors, producers, tour managers, and other artistic personnel.
This detailed visual exam helps us evaluate how your vocal cords vibrate while you make sounds. A tiny camera attached to a small tube called an endoscope is inserted through your nose and allows us to see your vocal cords and larynx (voice box). A flashing strobe light simulates slow motion video images of your vocal cords. The exam takes about a minute; your nose may be sprayed with topical anesthetic for your comfort. The exam allows your team to look for lesions, stiffness, paralysis, irregular movements, throat strain, or incomplete closure of the vocal cords. Videostroboscopy is often essential to reach an accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment for your voice.
Computerized Acoustic Analysis
This non-invasive exam is usually completed at your second clinic visit. It creates a visual display on a computer screen as you speak into a microphone. You and your speech pathologist can see characteristics of your voice, including pitch, loudness, and vocal quality. This test is used to identify abnormalities, including subtle vocal problems that cannot be detected with the unaided ear. It may be repeated during treatment to monitor your progress.
We'll work with you to arrange a voice evaluation and expert voice care -- quickly, compassionately, and with discretion. Call 919-681-4984.
Why Choose Duke
A Team of Experts
Your team includes laryngologists -- ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians who have advanced training in voice disorders. It also includes singing voice specialists -- speech pathologists with additional training in vocal performance and singing voice rehabilitation. Because our singing voice specialists are also professional singers and voice teachers, we bring a performer's perspective to evaluating and improving your singing voice.
Personalized Approach to a Performer's Needs
Our singing voice specialists will determine the role of performing in your vocal injury and provide therapy for the specific needs of your performing voice. We can also advocate for you regarding planned performances and help you with vocal pacing and scheduling decisions. If your condition calls for surgery, we'll collaborate with your surgeon on steps to protect your singing voice before, during, and after surgery.
If changes to your singing voice are related to a medical condition such as allergies, asthma, or acid reflux, we coordinate your care with specialists throughout Duke Health to ensure you receive the best therapies to minimize your symptoms, improve your voice, and optimize your recovery.
Ongoing Research to Advance Voice Care
Our research into the performing voice ensures you receive the best care for your vocal disorder.
In addition, Duke University Hospital is proud to be named the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 10 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.