Singing and performing voice services
Serving singers, actors and other vocal performersCall for an appointment
Duke voice specialists provide the highest level of expert care to all vocal performers, from elite professionals who need immediate voice care services to those who sing simply for enjoyment.
Singers, actors and other vocal performers are vocal athletes who are at increased risk for developing a vocal injury or vocal disorders, including vocal nodules and muscle tension dysphonia. The singing voice can also be affected by voice problems including vocal cord paralysis and voice tremor, which can result from age, surgery and certain medical conditions.
We understand that your voice represents a source of artistic and creative expression, as well as an important aspect of your income and livelihood. For many performers, your voice is also part of your identity, self-image and self-esteem. We also appreciate the demanding world in which you live, and the difficulties performers can have with their voices. Our advanced training and experience with how vocal disorders impact the singing voice ensures we have the knowledge and expertise to treat professional voices and return you to the voice that makes you who you are. We also understand that you may have voice needs outside of normal business hours. We work with local performers to accommodate vocal emergencies. We provide expert voice care quickly, compassionately and with discretion.
Choose Duke for your performing voice and singing voice services because we offer:
- Singing voice specialists. Our team includes singing voice specialists who are speech pathologists, professional singers and voice teachers. They bring a performer’s perspective as well as extensive training and medical expertise to evaluating and improving your singing and speaking voice. Whether you sing for enjoyment or sing professionally, our singing voice specialists can help you.
- Specialized support. Our singing voice specialists help determine the role of performing in your vocal injury and provide therapy for the specific needs of your performing voice. Our singing voice specialists often advocate for patients regarding a particular performance and help with vocal pacing and scheduling decisions.
- Comprehensive team. We are one of the few voice centers in the Southeast with a comprehensive team of voice experts. Your team includes ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians who are laryngologists, a specialty that requires advanced training in voice disorders.
- Coordinated care. Changes to your singing and speaking voice may result from a variety of medical conditions including allergies, asthma and reflux. We coordinate your care with the right specialists throughout our health system to ensure you receive the best therapies to minimize your symptoms, improve your voice and optimize your recovery.
- Less invasive, less costly techniques. We use less invasive, less costly techniques, such as office-based laser surgery to treat a variety of vocal disorders.
- Up-to-date research on the performing voice. Our ongoing research ensures you receive the best care for your vocal disorder.
- Immediate care. If you are a performer with an urgent need for a voice evaluation before a performance, please call 919-681-4984 to arrange a timely appointment.
SINGING AND PERFORMING VOICE SERVICES
Customized vocal exercises and therapy improve your vocal range, endurance, and voice quality, while also helping to heal vocal injuries and protect you against re-injury. Our singing voice specialists teach you to maintain vocal health as well as strategies to return you to your highest level of vocal performance, and perhaps even enhance it. We work with singers of all levels, from those who sing simply for enjoyment to high-level performers who need immediate vocal services.
Sometimes surgery may be required to remove lesions on the vocal cord. If needed, tiny surgical instruments inserted through the mouth into the throat are used under magnification to remove noncancerous vocal cysts and vocal polyps under general anesthesia. A very small incision is made away from the vibrating edge of the vocal cord, and a tiny flap of tissue is lifted so the cyst or polyp can be removed. This technique reduces the risk of scarring following surgery, and promotes best voice outcomes. Voice therapy after microsurgery is essential for your best recovery.
SINGING AND PERFORMING VOICE SERVICES
Assessed the causes of your voice problem and ensures an accurate diagnosis. Our team evaluate your voice use patterns in terms of how much you speak, sing, or use a loud voice, and what your voice sounds like (hoarse, raspy, weak, strong, relaxed, strained, breathy, shaky, etc.). Your laryngologist will evaluate whether you have a medical condition that is causing voice changes, such as surgeries, recent illness, allergies, and acid reflux. A head and neck examination is performed. A visual examination of the voice box is also completed.
Thorough singing voice evaluation assesses pitch and loudness range, vocal stamina, breath support, resonance, and register transitions. Singing voice specialists identify muscle tension that may be contributing to your voice problem, and evaluate 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. If you are a performer and have an urgent need for a voice evaluation prior to a performance, please contact call 919-681-4984 [to contact the DVCC liaison] and arrange a timely appointment.
This visual exam evaluates 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 to the top of the throat. This camera uses a flashing strobe light to capture slow motion images of your vocal cords. You will be able to see these images, which are analyzed to reveal growths, stiffness, paralysis, irregular movements, throat strain, and incomplete closure of the vocal cords. Videostroboscopy is often essential to reach an accurate voice diagnosis and determine the best treatment for your singing voice.
Creates a visual display on a computer screen as you speak into a microphone. Allows you and your speech pathologist to see characteristics of your voice, including pitch, loudness, and vocal quality (hoarseness and breathy voice). It 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. This exam is usually completed on your second visit.