Frank Sinatra purportedly said of Rosemary Clooney that she was able to hit a note right in its center.1 Repeatedly hitting the notes right to a singer is what repeatedly achieving successful suturing and splicing is to a surgeon-both exemplify expertise in a given craft long honed through hours of training, practice, and performance. Critical to such talent is maintenance of the instrument on which that talent relies-for the surgeon, the hands; for the singer, the voice.
Explore this issue:May 2007
For people who rely on their voice for their craft and profession-such as singers, actors, politicians, teachers, and preachers-maintenance of vocal quality is fundamental to a successful and enduring career. The issues of how to maintain good voice quality and how to prevent and treat vocal problems in the professional voice user have given rise to a virtual cottage industry within the otolaryngological profession. Several centers are now available that are devoted to professional voice care. Since 1972 the Voice Foundation (www.voicefoundation.org ), the oldest organization in the world devoted to medical research and education on the voice, has held an annual symposium on the care of the professional voice.
Common Problems for the Professional Voice
Answering your question about common voice problems [in the professional voice] is not as easy as you may think, said Robert T. Sataloff, MD, Chairman of the Philadelphia Voice Center (www.phillyent.com/practice/voicecenter.php ), one of the first centers dedicated to care of the professional voice. Professional voice users, such as singers and actors, are professional athletes. They place great demand not only on their voices, but also their bodies, he continued.