Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Angelique Clay


Professional voice users such as singers and teachers are at high risk for vocal injury. A literature review was conducted to understand the prevalence of voice problems and the effectiveness of vocal hygiene education. The findings of the review suggested that in order to reduce the impact of voice disorders, it is imperative that the education of singers and teachers include how the voice functions and how to best take care of it.

The purpose of this study was to discover what students on a collegiate level know about vocal anatomy, physiology, and vocal hygiene issues. It was hypothesized that graduate students who had taken a pedagogy course, were more knowledgeable about vocal anatomy, physiology, and vocal health than undergraduate or graduate students who had not had such a course. A survey was administered to voice students at a large university music program to ascertain the level of student knowledge. An analysis of the survey results provides educators with insight into specific areas of student deficiency and current collegiate pedagogical needs.

The findings from the study survey were applied to recommendations for undergraduate and graduate vocal pedagogy curriculum, with an emphasis on anatomy, physiology, and preventative care of the voice. Course descriptions, objectives, and assessment methods were included for each vocal pedagogy course. The study recommended that all voice students receive information that allows them to make educated decisions regarding voice care and prepares them to be leaders in teaching singing based on voice science.

In addition to anatomy and physiology of the voice, vocal hygiene is an important topic to be included in pedagogy curriculum. Issues and resent research in vocal hygiene were discussed including: speaking habits, hydration, reflux, medical management, etc. and how these contribute to or detract from efficient voice use.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)