Collegiate a cappella groups have grown significantly in popularity and prominence; however, there have been few studies that evaluate the vocal health of this subgroup of young singers. The objective of this preliminary study was to conduct a multiparametric evaluation of the vocal health characteristics of a sample of collegiate a cappella singers. We further tested whether differences in vocal health assessments exist between a cappella singers with and without vocal training and trained collegiate singers who do not participate in a cappella groups.
Point prevalence study.
Forty-one collegiate singers participated in this study. Participants were divided into the following three groups: trained singers (TS), trained a cappella singers (ATS), and untrained a cappella singers (AUS). Participants were administered a set of surveys to assess self-perception of singing voice health and perceived access and attitudes toward voice-related health care. Acoustic and laryngoscopic assessments of participant's speaking and singing voice was performed and validated vocal health questionnaires administered as a means to objectively evaluate for the presence of voice problems.
Overall, 87.5% of the ATS and 60% of the AUS groups reported experiencing problems with their singing voice. However, no vocal abnormalities were detected during laryngoscopic and acoustic assessments. Furthermore, minimal differences between any of the measured vocal health parameters were observed between the TS, ATS, and AUS groups.
Collectively, a high percentage of collegiate a cappella singers with and without vocal training report singing voice problems. However, our sample of a cappella singers did not have increased singing voice problems as compared to vocally trained collegiate singers not in a cappella groups. We did find that a cappella singers may be more inclined to seek information about maintaining a healthy singing voice from their fellow musicians as opposed to singing teachers or other voice health professionals. Singing teachers, otolaryngologists, and speech-language pathologists may need to play a more active role in educating a cappella singers regarding maintaining good vocal health.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Journal of Voice
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Manuel Garcia Jr: a clear-sighted observer of human voice production.Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2005; 30: 163-170
- Singing voice handicap and videostrobolaryngoscopy in healthy professional singers.J Voice. 2014; 28: 608-613
- Self-reported voice problems among three groups of professional singers.J Voice. 1999; 13: 602-611
- Prevalence of voice disorders in singers: systematic review and meta-analysis.J Voice. 2017; 31: 722-727
- A pilot survey of vocal health in young singers.J Voice. 2002; 16: 244-250
- A survey of communicative disorers in college vocal performance and pedagogy majors.J Music Ther. 1981; 18: 25-40
- Self-perception, complaints and vocal quality among undergraduate students enrolled in a Pedagogy course.Codas. 2015; 27: 285-291
- Collegiate a cappella: emulation and originality.Am Music. 2007; 25: 477-506
- The prevalence of voice problems in a sample of collegiate a cappella singers.J Speech Pathol Ther. 2016; 1: 105https://doi.org/10.4172/2472-5005.1000105
- Occupational safety and health aspects of voice and speech professions.Folia Phoniatr Logop. 2004; 56: 220-253
- Assessments of voice use and voice quality among college/university singing students ages 18-24 through ambulatory monitoring with a full accelerometer signal.J Voice. 2017; 31: 124.e121-124.e130
- Factors associated with singers' perceptions of choral singing well-being.J Voice. 2013; 27: 786.e725-786.e732
Duchan J. Powerful voices: The musical and social world of collegiate a cappella. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press; 2012.
- Outcome of vocal hygiene in singers.Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005; 13: 138-142
- Performer's attitudes toward seeking health care for voice issues: understanding the barriers.J Voice. 2009; 23: 225-228
- Development and validation of the Singing Voice Handicap-10.Laryngoscope. 2009; 119: 1864-1869
- Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI): development and validation.J Voice. 2015; 29: 433-440
- The Voice Symptom Scale (VoiSS) and the Vocal Handicap Index (VHI): a comparison of structure and content.Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2004; 29: 169-174
- VHI-10 and SVHI-10 differences in singers' self-perception of dysphonia severity.J Voice. 2017; 31: 383.e381-383.e384
- Singers' interest and knowledge levels of vocal function and dysfunction: survey findings.J Voice. 2009; 23: 470-483
- Knowledge, experience, and anxieties of young classical singers in training.J Voice. 2014; 28: 191-195
- A comparison of initial and subsequent follow-up strobovideolaryngoscopic examinations in singers.J Voice. 2016; 30: 472-477
- Effects of vocal demands on voice performance of student singers.J Voice. 2015; 29: 324-332
- Modulation of fundamental frequency by laryngeal muscles during vibrato.J Voice. 1994; 8: 224-229
- Blend in singing ensemble performance: vibrato production in a vocal quartet.J Voice. 2017; 31: 385.e323-385.e329
Published online: November 12, 2018
Accepted: October 1, 2018
Funding: This study received support from the i.e., Department of Otolaryngology. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
© 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.