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Welcome to the NCVS Blog page

January 20, 2011 in News

Welcome to the NCVS blog page. We have started a few discussions and will be continuing to add any into the mix, to act as a forum for voice and speech professionals. We will also use the blog to post summaries to papers written by members of the NCVS Consortium.

You will be amazed at what you can learn from your peers. The blog space is an area in which we hope you can gain increased knowledge about all things voice.

At any time if you have suggestions or feedback about our blogs, please leave your comments or contact us directly. We are always looking for great ideas.

We look forward to connecting with you online!


Voice Videos for Voice Therapy Courses

September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Below are a few video links that you may want to use in your voice disorders course.

Voice Videos for Voice Therapy Courses:
(feel free to email us with what you use and we can add it to the list – email them to

The “so what” — who cares about voice problems? Short clip of singer

Laryngomalacia and stridor in baby (1:48)

Recurrent respiratory papilloma and trach

“Kimmy” with extreme SD but normal singing (1:00, 1:41), tongue press (2:53), crying (3:00 ff)

Diane Rehm, spasmodic dysphonia (spot check)

Robert Bastian simulations and videos (0:40 – 1:25) of spasmodic dysphonia

Student athlete with VCD

Functional dysphonia and quick resolution by Claudio Milstein at Cleveland clinic

John Mayer blog post granuloma removal

Excellent example of an MtF who really (really) “passes” (6:40 – 8:00 description of technique)

Good female and regular male voice (switches around 1:25 – 2:00)

MtF Melanie: post, and pre 2:36


Here is one I love about singing voice technique:


Vocal Function Exercises:

Rusty’s VFE’s

This initial list was courtesy of Kittie Verdolini Abbott

Free Ring Tones

September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Attached are some FREE ring tones you can add to your phone.

We recruited a few of our VOiCE FRIENDS (Hilary Blairto & Doug Montequin) to create some fun Ring Tones for your phone (There are a few great ones for HALLOWEEN).

Feel free to download 1 or all of them…

You can also find them under our music tab on our website:

Proposed Specialty Training In Vocal Health: Why, Who, What & How – Summary Report

August 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

SUMMARYcovertumbA symposium was held on the 25th and 26th of April, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss
several topics surrounding specialty training in vocal health for non-physician professionals.
Topics for discussion included terminology, training/educational/employment needs, scope of
practice, potential certification, and representation by professional organizations. The
symposium was hosted by the National Center for Voice and Speech, a research and training
center partially funded by the National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders. Attendance and contributions were open to the public and widely advertised among
speech language pathologists, singing teachers, choral conductors and academics in music,
theater, music theater, communication sciences and disorders, and laryngologists. Special effort
was made to encourage participation from as many stakeholder communities as possible. Fiftysix
voice professionals attended the symposium’s formal oral presentations, voicing opinions
from the floor, and contributing to multi-disciplinary breakout discussions.

To download the full summary (pdf file) go to –

Read the rest of this entry →

Understanding Aging: A 50-year longitudinal study of Speeches

June 28, 2012 in NCVS Research Papers, News

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, examines 36 recordings of the former leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, spanning the years 1958 to 2007. These recordings provide a rare opportunity to track a single individual’s age-related voice and speech mechanism changes. Speeches used from Hinckley, spanning the ages of 48 to 98 years old, were all given at Brigham Young University. Several types of analyses were employed: speech fundamental frequency to reveal the current health of the laryngeal physiology, rate of speech, as well as length of speech breath groups to indicate efficiency of laryngeal valving and/or lung vital capacity.

Two key items were discovered.  First, aging effects became noticeable between the ages of 68–74, indicating a fundamental change in the body’s maintenance of the speech mechanism. Second, rate of speech (words per minute) began to decrease precipitately at 78 years old, while length of speech breathing reduced at 70 years old.

The results of this case study can be used as a baseline for future studies. The aging of the voice and speech mechanism affects breathing, swallowing, and communication. Thus, indication of speech aging would also imply aging of the breathing and swallowing mechanism and potential health risks. Those of the world’s population over fifty are the fastest growing segment, affecting society by its sheer number as well as by historically high life spans. Healthcare practitioners must understand and accommodate the needs of this population.

A printable version of this summary can be found here.

For additional information, see the full article written by
Eric J. Hunter, PhD, Mara Kapsner-Smith, M.S., Patrick Pead, Megan Zito Engar, B.S., & Wesley R. Brown, M.D in
Journal of American Geriatrics Society “Age and speech production: A longitudinal study of 50 years” Vol 60, Issue 6, start page 1175

Summery written by Eric Hunter and Elizabeth Nelson
Contributions from Eric Hunter and Elizabeth Nelson

UPDATE (Published Jun 28 2012 04:50 pm):
The Salt Lake Tribune ran with a piece about this study: here
How it looked in the online version (.pdf) and on the front page (.pdf).

UPDATE (Published Jun 29 2012 04:50 pm):
LDS Living also mentioned the Salt Lake Tribune piece: here

UPDATE (Published Aug 4 2012 5:00 a.m.):
The Deseret News also interviewed Dr. Hunter and wrote up a longer piece : here.
How it looked in the online ‘print’ version (.pdf) and the front page (.pdf) is presented.

UPDATE (Published Aug 9 2012 10:58 a.m.):
KUTV, the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City picked up the story on the local evening news: here.
How it looked in the online ‘print’ version (.pdf).
The broadcast can be seen on YouTube.

UPDATE (Published Sept 28, 2012, 6:35 am):
New York Times: here.

UPDATE (Published November 29th, 2012 @ 8:58am):
KSL TV: here.






Old Conference Programs

June 8, 2012 in Conference/Symposium

Cleaning the Archives

In digging through my archives, I found some old Conference and Symposium programs.  I am still running on some old hardware and hard disk space is a premium! Oh, and the occasional bad drive sectors have to be offset…

So, I thought I would dump them here on the blog and free up the space.  Also, people may find them useful.

If you have any of your own, send them as an email to me: pavarobotti (the at sign)  Put in the subject line “Conference Programs for Blog” so that I don’t throw it out with the trash I get from the researchers at the NCVS.  Oh, and if you want to see a current list of upcoming voice conferences, check out our conference calendar on Facebook or Google.


Voice Symposium (Voice Foundation)

Pacific Voice Conference (Pacific Voice & Speech Foundation)

PEVOC (Pan-European Voice Conference)

PAS (Physiology and Acoustics of Singing)





Better Hearing and Speech Month Coloring Contest!

May 10, 2012 in News

Li'l VoxMay is

Better Hearing and Speech Month


This annual event helps increase awareness and treatment of communication disorders.
To encourage this worthwhile goal, the NCVS invites you to participate in our 1st annual


update: entries accepted until June 6th and voting until June 11th

Win your very own Li’l Vox clock and, if we get enough entries, a copy of Ingo R. Titze and Katherine Verdolini-Abbott’s new book: Vocology: The Science and Practice of Voice Habilitation.

How it works:

How to win:

  • The top three ‘liked’ entries on June 1 6  will receive their very own Li’l Vox clock.
  • Oh, and a few exceptions… due to shipping, we won’t be able to send Li’l Vox or a book to international locations. So, if you are outside the United States and happen to be one of the top ‘liked’ entries, we may ask you to provide a United States address or another means to get you the items (perhaps meet at a Voice Conference somewhere). Otherwise, your prize will just be recognition for a fine job!

But I thought you said I could win a book?

  • If we get at least 50 participating individuals submitting entries, the winner will receive their choice of books by Dr. Ingo R. Titze, including his new book Vocology.

Coloring Pages

Pick your favorite, or color multiple pictures.  Multiple entries are allowed, but you can only be one of the three winners.

There are also a few of the vocal tips which have been made into coloring pages, those could be used as well: Tired Voice, Pizza Voice, Cough Voice.


In response to requests made by local speech therapists in schools, we have begun to design coloring pages specifically for children with various language and speech disabilities. We want to make more, so let us know if you have ideas on how to feature Li’l Vox in a coloring page.



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How Monitoring Voice Affects Voice Production

March 30, 2012 in NCVS Research Papers

Studies have found that occupational voice users like teachers and call center workers are at nearly a two-fold increased risk for vocal injury than the average population.  To better understand this increased risk, small voice monitoring devices have been used (e.g. Voice Accumulators, Voice Dosimeters, Ambulatory Phonation Monitors).  However, it is unknown how these monitoring devices affect the behaviors of the user, which may in fact skew the very thing to be monitored.


Wordle art of the printed manuscript's words

A recent article in Logopedics, Phoniatrics, and Vocology discussed this question, written by Dr. Eric Hunter of the National Center for Voice (NCVS) and Speech at the University of Utah.  The report explored two questions: How do voice monitoring devices affect daily communication and how do participants feel about the physical design and function of these types of devices?

The study found that most of the subjects remained aware of the dosimeter while wearing it, which may impact the data collected. Furthermore, most subjects had difficulty with the device: first, skin irritation from attaching the accelerometer; and second, the size and inconvenience of the external pack used to process and store the data collected.

Dr. Hunter and colleagues at the NCVS have spent more than 10 years studying multi-day monitoring of voice use in a variety of settings, and archiving more than 10,000 hours of voice use. The vocal health of occupational voice users is a significant issue. Nearly one quarter of the U.S. workforce, or approximately 37 million individuals, depends on a healthy, versatile voice, as a tool for their profession. These are individuals who, in the event of the loss of vocal endurance and/or vocal quality, would be unable to perform their primary job responsibility.

 A printable version of this summary can be found here.

For additional information, see the full article by Dr. Eric J. Hunter, entitled “Teacher response to ambulatory monitoring of voice”, published in Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology, 2012.

Lions, Tigers and … Babies? (oh my!)

November 5, 2011 in NCVS Research Papers, News

The National Center for Voice and Speech scientists (administratively led from the University of Utah) and collaborators from around the country have recently published a new paper, one more in a series of papers on large cat phonation (lions and tigers). These ongoing experiments have been conducted at the Iowa, Denver and Utah locations of the NCVS, with contributions of 11 different Ph.D. level researchers from 6 different institutions. The first of these experiments was conducted in 2005.  Special thanks to the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo who donated the tissue samples.


S. A. Klemuk, T Riede, E. J. Walsh, I. R. Titze. Adapted to Roar: Functional Morphology of Tiger and Lion Vocal Folds. PLoS One, 2011

I. R. Titze, W. T. Fitch, E. J. Hunter, F. Alipour, D. Montequin, D. L. Armstrong, J. McGee, and E. J. Walsh. Vocal power and pressure-flow relationships in excised tiger larynges. J.Exp.Biol. 213 (Pt 22):3866-3873, 2010.


As we have worked on these papers, it became clear that the tiger has some unique vocal qualities. The most resent paper garnered a press release from the University of Utah News Center with the comparison between a child cry and a tiger roar: Born to Roar; Scientists: Lions and Tigers Roar a Bit Like Babies Cry .  This press release has resulted in several stories about our research:


Was Babys und Tiger verbindet (Spiegel)
How do lions grab attention? They roar like babies (MSNBC) and related (Live Science)
That Baby Really Does Roar Like a Lion (Discovery Channel)
Lions and Tigers Bear Vocal Cords for Roars (Scientific American)– comes with a nice podcast too
Secrets of a Lion’s Roar (Smithsonian Magazine)
What makes lions and tigers’ roars so fearsome (TruthDive)
What makes lions and tigers’ roars so fearsome (NewsTrack India)
Lion roar ‘replica of crying baby’ (Press Association)
Born to roar – but lions are just big cry babies says new study (Earth Times)
How do lions grab attention? They roar like babies (MSNBC)
Lion roar ‘replica of crying baby’ (Belfast Telegraph)
Baby’s cry and lion’s roar are quite similar, say scientists (Mother Nature Network)
University of Utah research: Big cats are loud because of vocal folds’ shape, not size (Salt Lake Tribune)
I am baby, hear me roar! University of Utah team studies lions’ low-pitched roars (The Deseret News)
Repairing Nerves and Roaring Lions (The Naked Scientists, podcast)
Fat Layer on Vocal Cords Gives Big Cats Their Roar (The New York Times)

e!Science News


University of Utah news release on EurekAlert
Public Library of Science news release on EurekAlert (adapted from UU news release)
U of Utah news release on Newswise


Below are some videos and other files from the research which may be of interest:
MRI video of siberian tiger
siberian tiger high speed video






There have been many people who contributed to this work.  Likely we have missed one: Douglas Armstrong, Fari Alipour, Tecumseh Fitch, Eric Hunter, Sanyu Jaiswal, Sarah Klemuk, JoAnn McGee, Doug Montequin, Tobias Riede, Andrew Starr,  Ingo Titze,  Edward Walsh.

Also, the first study in 2005, we recorded high speed images (see above video) of the tiger vocal folds in vibration.  Kay-Pentax generously offered a system for loan to do the recordings.  Those high speed videos are still undergoing analysis.

2011 – Science and Pseudoscience of the Performance Voice

October 27, 2011 in Conference/Symposium

Our voice science and voice health friends in Cincinnati are having a Symposium called: Science and Pseudoscience of the Performance Voice.  

It is going to take place on Saturday, November 12 · 8:30am – 12:30pm in the Tangeman University Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Several of our friends are presenting, including Dr. Ron Scherer, Dr. Eva van Leer, and Dr. Sid Khosla .  If you want more information, the brochure can be found here: Brochure.

If you want to see a listing of this symposium and other similar symposiums, they are listed on the NCVS Voice Conference Calendar.  The calendar allows for comments and discussion on the symposiums.





Symposium on Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Voice Therapy and Diagnostic Techniques Abstract

September 27, 2011 in News

Wordle image from abstract text.In July, the NCVS hosted a symposium on “Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Voice Therapy and Diagnostic Techniques.”  We have compiled the abstracts in one document for your review. The symposium included research presentations and keynote addresses covering both the scientific underpinning of the semi-occluded vocal tract exercises as well as their practical application to voice habilitation and rehabilitation.  Presenters and attendees of the symposium represented a variety of states and countries and included a mix of therapists, researchers, singers, and teachers of singing.  Keynote addresses were presented by Dr. Ingo Titze, Dr.Anne-Marie Laukkanen, Dr. Joseph Stemple, Dr. Katherine Verdolini Abbott, and Prof. John Nix.  A Wordle of the abstracts is the source of the word cloud art to the right.

Dr. Titze presented the opening keynote address titled “Theoretical Underpinnings Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Voice Assessment and Therapy” in which he clarified relatively recent findings outlining the physiologic and acoustic principals that make the SOVT therapies effective.

Subsequent speakers presented findings of recent and ongoing research project regarding both the effectiveness and the theoretical backgrounds of the SOVT techniques.

In a unique format, a group of five to six presentations was followed by an hour or more of open discussion.  This format allowed for more in-depth dialogue between presenters and attendees.  Offering this format in lieu of the more traditional five minutes of Q&A following each presentation, led to conversations being carried into the halls during break times.

Following the final session, attendees were encouraged to participate in a discussion regarding the future of vocology as a discipline and the roles and responsibilities of vocologists in the training and habilitation of voice users as well as in the research of new areas within the scope of vocology.

Planning and discussion is underway to make this type of symposium a more regular offering from the NCVS.

Soon we will have video footage of the conference talks.  And, don’t forget to check out the photos – go to:

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