50 Ways to Abuse Your Voice
A Singer's Guide to a Short Career
Robert T. Sataloff, M.D., D.M.A, F.A.C.S.,
Mary J. Hawkshaw, R.N., B.S.N., CORLN,
Jaime Eaglin Moore, M.D.
Amy L. Rutt, D.O.
Starting out? Starting over? Never went away? Whether you are a professional, serious amateur, social, or student singer, this is a book you must read, digest and keep with you at all times.
Inside are 50 great ways in which you can ruin your singing voice—along with concise, practical and authoritative advice on how to avoid or resolve them!
From the very real hazards of allergic reactions or respiratory problems caused by stage fog or even scenery paints, to choosing the right singing teacher or even the right career. Whether making an informed decision over a physician and what you tell them, to listening to the “good advice” of others regarding herbal remedies, it is all here: straightforward, accessible information, highlighting common errors of omission and commission, giving you the very best guidance on critical issues that affect the quality and duration of your singing career.
1. Don’t warm up before you use your voice
2. Don’t exercise
3. Don’t study singing
4. Don’t recognize technical problems in your singing voice
5. Speak as you would never dare to sing
6. Wear yourself out
7. Sing the wrong music
8. Sing in noise
9. Speak in noise
11. Teach voice
13. Drink alcohol
14. Take “recreational” drugs
15. Eat, drink and be merry
16. Prescribe your own medicines
17. Don’t recognize the risks of taking complementary and alternative remedies
18. Only see your doctor when you're desperate
19. Choose the wrong doctor
20. Choose the wrong voice teacher
21. Choose the wrong schedule
22. Choose the wrong career
23. Choose the wrong “day job”
24. Choose the wrong singing voice specialist
25. Choose the wrong speech-language pathologist
26. Don’t recognize that gastrointestinal (GI) disorders commonly cause voice complaints
27. Neglect treating your allergies 28. Neglect treating your asthma
29. Sing when you’re sick
30. Don’t drink enough water
31. Don’t eat well
32. Don’t tell your doctors that you’re a singer
33. Assume non-laryngeal surgery won’t affect your voice
34. Assume laryngeal surgery will improve your voice
35. Assume your age (young and old) does not affect your voice
36. Don’t follow your doctor’s advice
37. Don’t treat underlying health issues
38. Don’t take care of your mental health
39. Ignore your eating disorder
40. Deny that you have a voice problem
41. Clear your throat
42. Don’t treat dental/oral cavity disease
43. Don’t protect your larynx from injury
44. Don’t realize that bodily injuries outside the vocal tract may affect the voice
45. Expose yourself to environmental irritants
46. Don’t realize that hearing loss can affect the voice
47. Sing or play in the wrong environment or with the wrong equipment
48. Play a wind instrument (especially, badly)
49. Don’t get second opinions
50. Don’t follow the suggestions in this book
About the Authors
Robert T. Sataloff, M.D., D.M.A., F.A.C.S. is Professor and Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Academic Specialties, Drexel University College of Medicine. He is also Adjunct Professor in the departments of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University; and on the faculty of the Academy of Vocal Arts. Dr. Sataloff is also a professional singer and singing teacher, and he served as Conductor of the Thomas Jefferson University Choir over a period of nearly four decades. He holds an undergraduate degree from Haverford College in Music Theory and Composition, graduated from Jefferson Medical
College, Thomas Jefferson University, received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance from Combs College of Music; and he completed his Residency in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and a Fellowship in Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at the University of Michigan. Dr. Sataloff is Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the Voice Foundation and of the American Institute for Voice and Ear Research. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of Graduate Hospital; President of the American Laryngological Association, the International Association of Phonosurgery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery; and in numerous other leadership positions. Dr. Sataloff is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Voice, Editor-in-Chief of Ear, Nose and Throat Journal, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Case Reports in Medicine, Associate Editor of the Journal of Singing, and on the editorial boards of numerous otolaryngology journals. He has written over 1,000 publications, including 50 books. His medical practice is limited to care of the professional voice and to otology/neurotology/skull base surgery.
Mary J. Hawkshaw, B.S.N., R.N., CORLN is Research Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine. She has been associated with Dr. Robert Sataloff, Philadelphia Ear, Nose & Throat Associates and the American Institute for Voice & Ear Research (AIVER) since 1986. Ms. Hawkshaw graduated from Shadyside Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In addition
to her specialized clinical activities, she has been involved extensively in research and teaching. She mentors medical students, residents, and laryngology fellows, and has been involved in teaching research, writing and editing for nearly three decades. In collaboration with Dr. Sataloff, she has co-authored more than 170 articles, 70 book chapters, and 10 textbooks. A member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Voice and Ear, Nose and Throat Journal, she has served as Secretary/Treasurer of AIVER since 1988 and was named Executive Director January 2000. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Voice Foundation since 1990. Ms. Hawkshaw has been an active member of the Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nurses since 1998. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her extensive contributions to care of the professional voice.
Jaime Eaglin Moore, M.D. is an otolaryngologist and laryngologist. Dr. Moore is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology. Dr. Moore received her Doctor of
Medicine degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School, and she completed a residency in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She was a fellow in laryngology and care of the professional voice at the American Institute for Voice and Ear Research. Author of numerous publications and on the editorial board for the Ear, Nose and Throat Journal and the Journal of Voice, Dr. Moore is an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Amy L. Rutt, D.O. is an Instructor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Rutt attended King's College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Physician's Assistant degree. She received her medical
degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania. Dr Rutt completed her Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residency at the Detroit Medical Center in affiliation with Michigan State University. She then completed an internationally renowned fellowship in laryngology and care of the professional voice at the prestigious American Institute for Voice and Ear Research in Philadelphia, in affiliation with Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr Rutt will be practicing Laryngology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.