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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
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Voice Use for Professional and Amateur Singers

Contact Information

Voice and Swallowing Clinic, UW Hospital

(608) 263-6190

 

Voice Clinic, 1 S. Park

(608) 287-2500

 

A Singer's Story

Kitt Reuter-Foss

woman singing

At the UW Health Voice and Swallow Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, we understand how important the voice is for professional and performing vocalists.

 

We appreciate that your voice is your mode of expression and we recognize that your vocal quality, stamina, agility, and dependability are essential to your performing aspirations or your professional career.

 

About Our Program

 

UW Health is the official voice care provider for the Madison Opera, American Players Theater and Fresco Opera Theatre. We have treated a variety of elite performers throughout our history and are internationally recognized for excellence in research, diagnosis and highly-specialized care for a wide variety of voice disorders.  
 
Our expert voice team includes laryngologists, speech-language pathologists with performance backgrounds, and other professionals who are experienced in providing treatment to singers, actor, and professional voice users of all experience levels. Our holistic approach to voice care recognizes the wide range of factors that affect vocal function, and is further enhanced by our close collaboration with professionals in other medical specialties.
 
Catered to the Special Challenges of Performers
 
From a medical perspective, singers and actors are special and challenging patients. The larynx is an intricate and fascinating instrument that is comprised of many different muscles, nerves, cartilages and other tissues. All of these components must be coordinated precisely in order to produce normal voice.
 
For singers and actors, subtle changes in the larynx from common colds, allergies, diet, humidity levels, airborne irritants, aging or hormones can result in significant changes in vocal quality. Professional voice users are encouraged to visit the Voice and Swallow Clinics to discuss any voice concerns they may have.
 
Voice Concerns for Performers
 
Common voice concerns for performers include:
  • Vocal pain, discomfort or fatigue during or following voice use (singing, speaking or acting)
  • Vocal quality changes
  • Increased speaking and/or singing effort
  • Loss of high notes
  • Pitch transition problems
  • Projection difficulty
  • Unfamiliar audible and/or physical nuance changes
  • Frequent laryngitis

Any one of these issues or a combination thereof may signal vocal fold problems. We use leading-edge diagnostic procedures, including high-speed digital imaging, to identify potential problems and better understand the mechanics of your voice. We complete a comprehensive voice evaluation to assess how voice use and environmental factors interact to contribute to symptoms, and we tailor our approach to your vocal issues and needs.