COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Health Care’s Voice Care Team and Show-Me Opera will observe World Voice Day, an international health observance day for the human voice, on Saturday, April 16. World Voice Day encourages people of all ages to asses their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good voice habits.
Voice care specialists at MU Health Care encourage men and women to assess their voice quality and restrain from alcohol and tobacco abuse that can easily and irrevocably damage the voice.
“The long-term consequences of poor voice care can range from strained vocal cords and chronic hoarseness to deadly head and neck cancers,” said Matthew Page, M.D., otolaryngologist at MU Health Care.
The theme for the 2011 celebration of World Voice Day, “We Share a Voice,” calls attention to the wide variety of professionals — from singing teachers to voice therapists to physicians — who play a role in stemming the tide of vocal disorders.
“Vocal health is critical to our communication-oriented society, but the voice does not receive the public recognition and appreciation it deserves,” said Page. “World Voice Day provides us a perfect forum to refamiliarize ourselves with the latest advances in voice care, and to educate our colleagues, patients, and communities about the importance of maintaining a healthy voice.”
In celebration of World Voice Day, MU Health Care’s Voice Care Team and Show-Me Opera are partnering in the opera production of Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow,” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10, with free admission to MU students. A pre-opera lecture by Michael Budds, PhD, associate professor at the MU School of Music, will start at 6:30 p.m. each evening in the theatre balcony.
World Voice Day gives vocal health experts an opportunity to bring renewed awareness about vocal health to the general public and to professionals who have built careers around their voices.
“It’s easy to understand how a voice problem would threaten the career of an opera singer or mainstream recording artist, but the major societal impact of voice dysfunction occurs in professional voice users who don’t get much vocal training, like teachers, journalists, salespersons and clergy,” said Nandhu Radhakrishnan, PhD, assistant professor of communication science and disorders in the MU School of Health Professions. “Voice problems have major occupational and economic consequences, let alone the impact they have on individuals’ quality of life.”
In observance of the ninth annual World Voice Day, MU Health Care’s Voice Care Team offers these helpful voice tips:
• Keep yourself hydrated, because moisture is good for your voice.
• Avoid smoking, because smoking causes permanent damage to the vocal cord tissues.
• Don’t scream or shout, because this puts stress on the delicate lining of the vocal cords • Rest your voice if you have laryngitis.
• See an otolaryngologist if you have persistent hoarseness.
• Warm up your voice before singing or speaking engagements.
To learn more about World Voice Day, vocal health, and other ear, nose and throat related topics, please visit www.entnet.org.
To schedule a vocal evaluation with an MU Health Care vocal specialist, please call (573) 882-7903.
To purchase tickets to “The Merry Widow,” please visit http://www.motheatre.org or call the MU School of Music at (573) 882-2604.