Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

The “October Meltdown” for Teachers

Back to School – Part 2

The August issue of News of Note stressed the importance for teachers of prepping the voice before embarking on a new semester. This month we explore the “October meltdown”.

In the fall, it is not uncommon to witness  doctors’ offices full of teachers suffering from vocal problems. Possible reasons for this autumn dilemma?

1) Dust from sleeping ductwork that is suddenly released into our homes and classrooms when the heat is turned on. Heated air also tends to dry out throat and vocal fold tissue.

2) Most teachers enjoy a long vocal rest over the summer, starting the school year with fresh voices. The thought of warming up the voice before class doesn’t seem necessary.

3) By mid-October,however, after weeks of the vocal daily grind, teaches begin to show signs of vocal stress. Settling into a routine often erodes our awareness of how we use our voice.

4) And, fall brings viruses. Colds and other upper respiratory illnesses invade schools. Easily spread, they can hang on for weeks, affecting the health of vocal fold tissue, making speech more effortful.

Ways to avoid the “meltdown”.

1) Raise the humidity of your environment with humidifiers.

2) Vocal “naps” allow the tissues to cool, muscles to be cleansed of waste products and replenished with nutrients.

3) Speak sparingly while suffering from any vocal and/or respiratory ailment. To shorten its duration, take care of yourself. Getting enough rest at this time is crucial.

4) Reducing stress helps to maintain a healthy immune system providing a better foundation from which to heal when you do become ill.

5) And the old standby – wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.

Did you know….

teachers are 4% of the workforce, but make up 20% of patients in voice clinics

nearly 15% of students 6-19 years of age show signs of hearing loss

20% of teachers miss work for a voice problem compared to 4% of non-teachers

Things to do

Practice speaking using a larger vocal range vs. just a few pitches. It’s easier on the voice and more interesting!

Pay attention to your breath before speaking. Is it relaxed and full?

Incorporate vocal warm ups (6-8min) into your morning routine.


What’s New?

reVoice is offering an Intro Voice class through Communiversity,  Saturday, September 28th. Contact them at 816-235-1407 for more information and to enroll.

A six week voice class will be starting Tuesday, October 8th from 7-8pm. Go to for more information.


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