Page 121 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 121

Finding Your Team
You need a team of professionals that you trust.
If possible,  nd an ENT who is a laryngologist or otolaryngologist and get a baseline videostroboscopy
(a video of your vocal folds). A healthy scope of your vocal folds is important for comparison when you are unhealthy. Speech-language pathologists help with therapies and follow-up care and sometimes assist an ENT. Voice teachers and coaches are important outside ears and they can assist in addressing vocal problems as well as help with rehabilitation.
A few years ago, I realized I wanted more than just a basic knowledge of the voice. Prior to getting sick, my only goal was to perform, but I suddenly felt drawn to something extra. I wanted to be part of that team of professionals diagnosing, rehabilitating, and teaching others to get back on track.
But I was a singer, not a doctor. I had amassed a great deal of information and interest in vocal health, but
that didn’t leave me quali ed to do anything. And then I found the singing health specialization (SHS) at the Ohio State University.
When searching out schools for my DMA, this unique program caught my attention. The  rst of its kind in academia, the SHS combines music, speech and hearing science, and laryngology in an interdisciplinary specialization. I was given hands-on training in voice disorders and rehabilitation, observed rotations in the operating rooms and voice clinic of Ohio State’s medical facilities, and attended seminars by top faculty and medical professionals in the  eld. This program met
me where I was as a singer and trained me to become a singing health specialist.
Wherever your career path takes you, make awareness of your vocal health a priority. Your knowledge will put you on the path to longevity and help you with bumps along the way. Here’s to becoming your healthiest self!
Soprano Laura Portune is a singer, teacher, stage director, writer, and mom. She has performed across the country and internationally, teaches voice at the Ohio S tate University and Otterbein University, and directs regionally for both opera and musical theatre. S he lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. T o learn more, visit
Theresa Brancaccio, mezzo-soprano Karen Brunssen, mezzo-soprano Nancy Gustafson, soprano
Kurt Hansen, tenor
Pamela Hinchman, soprano
W. Stephen Smith, baritone
Joachim Schamberger, director of opera Richard Boldrey, coach
Alan Darling, coach 121

   119   120   121   122   123