Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Friend's Voice

I have this friend and he's a tenor. He is currently 20 years old.  About two weeks ago, I went to his voice lesson with him, and it was amazing. However, a couple of days later... he wasn't able to sing. He used to sing up to a C and now he can barely go past an F... We thought it was laryngitis at first...and now we simply don't know. He isn't in pain, nor did he pull anything... Is it possible that his voice might be changing?? Is there a type of specialist he can see?

Joanna Lott, M.A., CCC-SLP replies...

When a singer experiences a sudden change in voice, he should be seen by a laryngologist specializing in the singing voice. Changes like this can be the result of phonotrauma (trauma to the vocal folds caused by type or amount of voice use), in which case he will likely benefit from voice therapy with a speech-language pathologist specializing in voice. That said, singers sometimes experiences voice changes due to allergies, illness, environmental factors, etc., that may resolve on their own over time. But his best bet is to establish care with a laryngologist and voice therapist who specialize in treating singers. If he is in the Baltimore area, we would be happy to see him here. Otherwise, our national referral database should provide him with a list of professionals in his area (
http://www.gbmc.org/home_voicecenter.cfm?id=1551). Best of luck!

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