SAU Buzz

You Have a Voice – Celebrate It!

by Jessica Karolczak
Posted on Apr 27, 2017

St. Ambrose celebrated its second annual World Voice Day with a presentation of voices on April 7. At the music department’s weekly convocation, an assembly of student musicians, speech-language pathology professor David Krupke informed students about vocal health. Afterwards, three students and St. Ambrose’s vocal jazz group, STAMVOJA, performed different genres of music and explained the challenges of maintaining vocal health with each genre.  

Throughout the presentation, Krupke referred to the voice as a tool that needs care to ensure a long life. Each voice is unique due to their tone, resonance, and nasality, which creates a signature sound. However, to maintain the voice, productive practices need to established, Krupke said. These practices include staying hydrated, avoiding overuse of the voice, breathing through the nose and with the diaphragm, and warming up and cooling down before singing or excessive use. Without these practices, voice problems such as overuse, muscle tension and illness can occur.

Krupke also suggested using the “straw technique” to reset a tense voice. This technique involves singing and humming through a straw multiple times a day for two to five minutes. This releases pressure on the voice and opens the vocal tract while focusing the sound. This technique is most commonly used by singers but is also recommended for people using their voices for a long period of time.

The presentation was concluded with songs sung by SAU students. They included musical theater, opera, foreign language and jazz songs.

“It’s the celebration of the human voice. Something we all have, and we all use,” Krupke said. “The voice is our signature – the window to our soul.”

World Voice Day was first celebrated in Brazil in 1999 and slowly made its debut around the world. It came to the U.S. through the medical world due to its focus on vocal health, and it became a collaboration of all the people who work with the voice. For more information about World Voice Day, visit world-voice-day.org.