Top Three Vocal Health Tips for Singers : From Speech Pathologist Sarah K. Brown

Sara K. Brown, MS, CCC-SLP is a speech pathologist and singing teacher. Her mission is to make vocal health and voice science information widely available and accessible, and to train vocal athletes using evidence-based practices and cross training across genres. Through this, she inspires voice teachers to use voice science and anatomy in their teaching. She shares her top three tips for vocal health with CS Music. 

 

Brown’s background is as a classically trained soprano turned crossover artists with experience across genres. She then transitioned to speech pathology because of vocal troubles in her undergraduate studies at Chapman University, where she received a B.M. in Voice Performance. Discovering speech pathology and voice therapy combined her passion of singing with vocal health, voice science, and evidence based vocal technique. She received her MS in Speech Pathology from Northwestern University, with additional training from the Bienen School of Music in voice and vocal pedagogy. 

 

She maintains a clinical position at the Grabschied Voice and Swallowing Center of Mount Sinai, where she treats the spectrum of voice, upper airway, and swallowing disorders, as well as running a private singing and vocal wellness studio. Her clients can be seen on Broadway, national tours, the Metropolitan Opera, Netflix, and Hulu. She is also an adjunct associate Professor at Pace University in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She teaches the graduate level voice disorders course. She shares her knowledge of vocal health, voice science, and vocal technique on her social media accounts regularly.

 

Sarah K. Brown’s Top Three Vocal Health Tips for Singers

  1. It is important to establish a vocal health care team (laryngologist and SLP) before you run into a problem. If possible, get a baseline scope/videostroboscopy exam done so that you what your “normal” is. This is helpful to compare to when and if you run into vocal troubles.
  2. When possible, see a laryngologist (voice-specialized ENT) rather than a general ENT. Laryngologists typically have more extensive voice training and superior equipment for diagnostic accuracy. If all that is available to you is a general ENT, inquire if they have stroboscopy equipment.
  3. Know your body and what affects your voice individually. Vocal health variables can include hydration, allergies, reflux, sleep, body alignment, speaking voice patterns, and more.

To learn more about Sarah K. Brown, visit www.sarahkbrownvoice.com or find her on Instagram @vocalhealthskb and TikTok @vocalhealth.

Joanie Brittingham

Joanie Brittingham is a soprano and writer living in New York City. She can be reached at joaniebrittingham@gmail.com. Visit her blog, Cure for the Common Crazy, at commoncrazy.blogspot.com or see her column, Big Apple Sauce, on the arts scene of New York, at the website JuicyHeads.com.