Voice training for professional voice users
Background: A professional voice user is defined as an individual who depends on the use of his or her voice to earn a living, and nowadays encompasses a gamut of professions ranging from highly skilled artistes to call center workers. All of them have various levels of vocal demand but not all are suitably equipped to meet these demands because of a lack of formal training.
Methods: This study was conducted as a short-term project under the auspices of the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). The principal investigator is the first author, an undergraduate medical student, while the corresponding author is the faculty who guided the student in this endeavor. With a view to exploring how voice training, as opposed to voice therapy for a specific complaint or lesion, could improve the outcome and performance of a professional voice user with no prior training, we carried out this study in our institution and in a nearby school and college.
Results: Over half the subjects were found to have a complaint about their voice. There were equal numbers of men and women in this study and the age group of 26-30 years was the best represented. This age group is significant as it represents the start of the working life of a typical individual, in this case the professional voice user. A positive correlation was found between increasing age (and years of work experience) and the frequency of a voice complaint. With years of work experience more than 15 years, the frequency of voice problems decreased slightly. On cross checking, it was found that these persons were in more senior levels of work, and so had less work pressure.
Conclusions: This study shows that voice training has to be imparted over a considerable period of time even for the less skilled group of professional voice users.
Keywords: Voice assessment, Voice training, Professional voice user
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