Vocal Health: Awareness and Perceptions in Undergraduate Vocal Music and Theatre Majors
Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of students majoring in vocal music and theatre, regarding the instruction they received in their undergraduate curriculum on vocal health education. Research questions focused on perceptions of: (a) vocal hygiene strategies, (b) the connection between the speaking and singing voice, (c) vocal rehabilitation and the professionals to contact and (d) students’ level of trust for their voice teacher.
Methods: A descriptive research design with qualitative analysis was used to explore the research questions. A survey was developed by adapting questions from a similar study by Beeman (2016). Permission was granted for the adaption by the author. The survey went through two stages of review and revision by an expert panel of professionals across vocal music and theatre, followed by a pilot study of 13 undergraduate vocal music majors. The final survey contained 57 items, incorporating two forms of questions, a 6-point Likert scale and multiple choice. It was disseminated to undergraduate vocal music and theatre majors across the United States via Survey Monkey TM.
Results: Students reported receiving knowledge on vocal health from their voice teachers and implementing it. However, they indicated low levels of compliance for specific vocal hygiene parameters. Additionally, students recognized the connection between the singing and speaking voice, they were unclear of the role of the speech-language pathologist in voice care, and they indicated trust in their voice teacher as it pertained to their voice and personal life.
Conclusions: A new approach to promote understanding and compliance of voice care strategies needs to be implemented in the undergraduate setting. Connecting both performance majors and speech-language pathology majors in an interprofessional education collaboration may prove to be mutually beneficial to both the clinician and the performer
Smith, Heather; Nanjundeswaran, Chaya; and Louw, Brenda. 2018. Vocal Health: Awareness and Perceptions in Undergraduate Vocal Music and Theatre Majors. The Voice Foundation 47th Annual Symposium, Philadelphia, PA. https://voicefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/All-Abstracts_2018.pdf