Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Your Voice is Important...Especially When You're On Tour with Justin Bieber

When you think of a DJ, you don’t typically think of them having to strain their voice too much. After all, doesn’t the music usually do the talking? Not when you’re Justin Bieber’s official tour DJ.

Baltimore native Taylor James started his interest in DJing at the tender age of 12. What started as a hobby turned into a profession and helped pay the bills through college. And that certainly paid off when, upon graduation, Mr. James was offered a full-time position on pop sensation Justin Bieber’s world tour.

Suddenly, Mr. James was using his voice like never before. Interviews with the Today Show, pumping up sold out crowds of screaming fans and emceeing events like Justin Bieber’s birthday bash. In December 2011, all this excitement caught up with Mr. James’ voice, bringing him to the Johns Hopkins Voice Center at GBMC.

“I thought I was just getting a really bad cold at first,” says Mr. James. “Then all of the sudden, my voice was completely gone. It came back just enough for me to go on the Today Show, but after that, I knew I had to go to GBMC.”

Mr. James saw Lee Akst, MD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center at GBMC and Barbara Messing, MA, CCC-SLP, BRS-S, who found the cause of his problem was vocal fold hemorrhagic polyps. “The evaluation procedure was quick, easy and painless,” says Mr. James. “It was also really convenient for it to be done right in the office.”

In order for his voice to perform at full capacity, vocal surgery was recommended and performed with excellent vocal results. Now, Mr. James is undergoing therapy to not only make his voice stronger, but to learn how to use it properly.

“At his therapy sessions, we focus on vocal exercises that help to mobilize the vocal folds and promote healing and vocal techniques to improve the balance between breath support and voice production while reducing excessive laryngeal muscle tension,” says Barbara Messing, MA, CCC-SLP, BRS-S, Administrative-Clinical Director of the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center and the Johns Hopkins Voice Center at GBMC. “He now knows the best ways to perform warm up and cool down to minimize damage to his vocal folds while performing and rest his voice as needed.”

The treatment that Mr. James received from the Johns Hopkins Voice Center at GBMC put him on the road to recovery and back on the road with Justin Bieber.

For more information about Johns Hopkins Voice Center at GBMC, visit www.gbmc.org/voice.

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