The teaching performer: a survey of assets versus choices in voice use

Kathryn Barnes-Burroughs, Michael C Rodriguez
Journal of Voice 2012, 26 (5): 642-55
Despite fine instructional texts in voice hygiene such as those of Sataloff (2005), McCoy (2004), and Bunch Dayme (2009), giant strides in diagnostic assessment of vocal risk factors, and compelling vocal dose studies of Titze (2000-2005) and others, challenges continue to persist for singing voice teachers who are also active performers, or "Teaching Performers." The purpose of this study was to investigate the voice hygiene and voice use practices of Teaching Performers in and out of performance periods, and to assess the readiness of these individuals to consider hygienic changes in their vocal routines. Volunteers from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (N=727) were recruited to participate in an anonymous online survey. Strong instrument validity and reliability was determined through expert vetting for content validity, internal consistency testing (coefficient alpha), and test-retest reliability measurement. Teaching Performers (N=596) responded to 26 questions, supplying voice hygiene and usage information through a variety of response platforms. Vocal health and hygiene habits of self-described "successful" Teaching Performers were revealed through descriptive and comparative data analyses. Consideration of results focuses on perceived benefits and current practices of calculated voice use in the careers of active Teaching Performers. Notably, a gathering awareness of relevant factors of voice hygiene and voice use was detected in the participant population also. The results of this survey indicate a persistent need for further study and also may provide a basis for continuing investigations into vocal health, hygiene, and vocal dosing. Additionally, the study results may provide a foundation for the development of further recommendations in the field of singing voice pedagogy.

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