Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

See You in September!

Remember that classic song from 1959? Although the official start of fall doesn’t begin until September 22, the first day of school seems to signal the end of summer. Even I am anticipating my annual hiatus from my studio the last two weeks of August to recoup and refresh before the “seasonal” return of students.

So this newsletter is devoted to the other half of the returnees to school – the teachers! They go “back-to-school” early to prepare for the onslaught of students fresh off their summer break. After their own vocal rest, teachers are suddenly confronted with a much more intense daily vocal routine. If they do not build up their vocal stamina prior to taking on their full teaching schedule, they may become victims of the dreaded “annual autumn vocal meltdown”!

The culprits? The director of the National Center for Voice and Speech, Dr. Ingo Titze offers his theory:

Refreshed after the summer, the voice starts to show “wear and tear” from increased daily vocal use several weeks into the school year. Hoarseness, vocal fatigue and more effortful speaking are some of the symptoms.

When the temperatures start to cool, old, sleeping furnaces awake, releasing dust settled in the ducts during the off season. In addition, heated air tends to dry the tissues of vocal folds making phonation more difficult and less efficient. And with the so many people in close quarters, URIs (upper respiratory infections) abound.

So what to do?  Humidifiers or hot mist vaporizers raise the humidity of the air. During the day and especially after work, find a way to rest the voice – even if for a short period of time (schedule vocal breaks). Try to speak less if you fall victim to a cold, get plenty of rest and drink even more water to keep hydrated! And of course, the harbinger of old, wash hands frequently!

I would like to add that taking some vocal training to learn how to warm up and use your voice more efficiently, is also helpful in maintaining a healthy, strong, clear voice during your teaching career, so that your younger students especially hear every word  distinctly, in a volume necessary for them to understand and learn.

Did You Know….

that female teachers use their voices 10% more than males when teaching?

that teachers are 32 times more likely to suffer voice problems than other professionals

that teachers speak about 1800 times per hour?

Things To Do

Teachers!! Check out for more information on how to protect and maintain your vocal health. Also, see my website, for teacher discounts until the end of September! .                 

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