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Voice Amplification as a Means of Reducing Vocal Load for Elementary Music Teachers

Journal of Voice
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2010.04.003
  • Elementary Music Teachers
  • Ambulatory Phonation Monitor
  • Vocal Load
  • Distance Dose
  • Voice Amplification
  • Musicology


Summary Music teachers are over four times more likely than classroom teachers to develop voice disorders and greater than eight times more likely to have voice-related problems than the general public. Research has shown that individual voice-use parameters of phonation time, fundamental frequency and vocal intensity, as well as vocal load as calculated by cycle dose and distance dose are significantly higher for music teachers than their classroom teacher counterparts. Finding effective and inexpensive prophylactic measures to decrease vocal load for music teachers is an important aspect for voice preservation for this group of professional voice users. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of voice amplification on vocal intensity and vocal load in the workplace as measured using a KayPENTAX Ambulatory Phonation Monitor (APM) (KayPENTAX, Lincoln Park, NJ). Seven music teachers were monitored for 1 workweek using an APM to determine average vocal intensity (dB sound pressure level [SPL]) and vocal load as calculated by cycle dose and distance dose. Participants were monitored a second week while using a voice amplification unit (Asyst ChatterVox; Asyst Communications Company, Inc., Indian Creek, IL). Significant decreases in mean vocal intensity of 7.00-dB SPL ( P < 0.001) were found using amplification, along with significant decreases ( P = 0.001) in cycle dose and distance dose. In addition, mean phonation time was found to decrease using amplification ( P = 0.023). These data suggest that voice amplification may be an effective intervention to decrease the potentially damaging vocal loads experienced by elementary music teachers in the classroom.

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