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Leading Roles in a High School Musical: Effects on Objective and Subjective Measures of Voice Production

Linda Lee, Erin Pennington, and Joseph C. Stemple
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 13 Number 4: Page 167 (December 1998)

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Abstract: Acoustic, aerodynamic, videostroboscopic, and subjective measures of the voices of nine students with lead roles in a high school musical were collected on two occasions: before the first rehearsal and three days following performance. Results demonstrated no significant difference between tests 1 and 2 for acoustic or aerodynamic measures. Videostroboscopy indicated that the vocal fold mucosa and vibratory cycle remained healthy for seven of the nine subjects. The remaining two demonstrated slight prenodular thickening following performances, with a corresponding hourglass-shaped glottic closure. However, this did not appear to have a negative effect on the flexibility of the vibratory cycle or voice quality. The objective and subjective data indicated that performing in a high school musical may not be detrimental, particularly when combined with private voice training. Implications for the musical director, voice teacher, and speech-language pathologist are discussed.

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