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Published on September 03, 2013

MU Voice Symposium and Festival to Cover Vocal Health Topics

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Voice experts with the University of Missouri will be speaking up on the science and artistry behind vocal health at the second annual University of Missouri Voice Symposium and Vocal Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Missouri Theatre.

“Your voice is something you’ll need throughout your entire life,” said Matthew Page, M.D., symposium organizer, assistant professor of otolaryngology at the MU School of Medicine and an otolaryngologist at MU Health Care. “Improperly using your voice can cause serious damage to your vocal cords. By blending science and art, we’re educating voice users on how to protect their most valuable asset.”

There are many common situations associated with voice misuse, Page said, including speaking in noisy situations, excessive phone use, using inappropriate pitch when speaking, not using amplification when publicly speaking and constantly clearing your throat. Studies show that approximately 28 million U.S. workers experience daily voice problems. Between 5 and 10 percent of workers are heavy voice users, such as teachers, choral directors and professional broadcasters.

The day-long seminar is designed for students and professionals, and will include speakers, a panel discussion, vocal performances and a question-and-answer session about the science and care of the voice.

“This symposium and festival offers practical advice to help maximize and maintain your voice,” said Ann Harrell, event organizer and associate professor of voice at the MU School of Music.“Based on the response to last year’s event, it’s clear that people want to preserve their ability to speak and sing.”

Tickets are available at or by calling the Missouri Theatre box office at (573) 882-3781. Admission is free for high school and MU students.

The event is an initiative of the MU Voice, Swallow and Airway Center, as well as the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, the MU School of Music, and the MU School of Health Professions’ Department of Communication Science and Disorders.