COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Comparison of voice-use profiles between elementary classroom and music teachers

Sharon L Morrow, Nadine P Connor
Journal of Voice 2011, 25 (3): 367-72
20359861
Among teachers, music teachers are roughly four times more likely than classroom teachers to develop voice-related problems. Although it has been established that music teachers use their voices at high intensities and durations in the course of their workday, voice-use profiles concerning the amount and intensity of vocal use and vocal load have neither been quantified nor has vocal load for music teachers been compared with classroom teachers using these same voice-use parameters. In this study, total phonation time, fundamental frequency (F₀), and vocal intensity (dB SPL [sound pressure level]) were measured or estimated directly using a KayPENTAX Ambulatory Phonation Monitor (KayPENTAX, Lincoln Park, NJ). Vocal load was calculated as cycle and distance dose, as defined by Švec et al (2003), which integrates total phonation time, F₀, and vocal intensity. Twelve participants (n = 7 elementary music teachers and n = 5 elementary classroom teachers) were monitored during five full teaching days of one workweek to determine average vocal load for these two groups of teachers. Statistically significant differences in all measures were found between the two groups (P < 0.05) with large effect sizes for all parameters. These results suggest that typical vocal loads for music teachers are substantially higher than those experienced by classroom teachers (P < 0.01). This study suggests that reducing vocal load may have immediate clinical and educational benefits in vocal health in music teachers.

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