Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers

By Greschner, Debra | Journal of Singing, May/June 2013 | Go to article overview

Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers


Greschner, Debra, Journal of Singing


Joanna Cazden, Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard, 2012. Paper, xii, 194 pp., $19.99. ISBN 978-1-4584-4318-2 www.halleonardbooks.com

In any discipline, unanimity is a rare occurrence. Among voice care professionals, however, there is consensus regarding the importance of vocal health. Laryngologists, speech language pathologists, and voice pedagogues agree that keeping the voice healthy is critical to optimum use, and routinely proffer resources for guidance. The latest handbook in the field is Everyday Voice Care by Joanna Cazden, who is a singer, voice teacher, and speech pathologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. She offers advice to singers and speakers on keeping their voices healthy.

Cazden presents guidelines for vocal maintenance in a book that is divided into five broad sections. The first, entitled "Foundation," explains voice anatomy and function, and begins with this statement: "Scientific knowledge about the voice is as new as folk beliefs about it are old." In a sentence, Cazden succinctly acknowledges the myriad myths surrounding the instrument that operated out of human sight for centuries. She offers five basic tenets that underpin vocal wellness: the voice has limits, needs moisture, rest, and varied use, and reflects a persons overall health and vitality.

In the second section, entitled "Prevention," Cazden outlines basic steps to keep the voice healthy: breathe clean, humidified air; eat a balanced diet; maintain good hydration; rest the voice; exercise the body; and establish a regular routine of warm-ups and cool-downs. In "Intervention," the author offers guidance if the voice becomes unhealthy, including first aid tips for hoarseness and coping with a cold. She warns voice users that they cannot diagnose their own voice problems by sound or feel, and that on-line research is never a substitute for consulting a physician. …

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