Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Vocal Team Work


In the voice world, October is known as vocal meltdown month. Teachers and university voice students notoriously start losing their voices at this point in the school year and flock to the doctor’s office. Luckily, most of these ailments can be successfully treated with the patient’s cooperation.

However, there are instances (Julie Andrews) where severe vocal issues require more serious intervention, including surgery. For professional singers and actors, mild voice problems loom large and the mention of vocal surgery can bring about great anxiety. That is why, many years ago, the interdisciplinary voice team was created to provide both pre-and post-op care for the individual and their voice.

So who makes up this voice team? Generally under the direction of an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor or laryngologist, other members could include a speech-language pathologist, singing voice specialist, acting voice specialist, nurse, consulting physician along with various other specialists: neurologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, singing teachers and exercise coaches.

The ENT or laryngologist makes the diagnosis and suggests treatment. Speech pathologists provide therapy for speaking while physicians in other areas may be called in if there is a secondary medical problem.  When a vocal professional has serious vocal issues, their jobs are at stake and their stress levels rise. So in addition to medical doctors, mental health professionals are often tapped to assist the patient with their emotional and psychological needs. Nutritionists and exercise coaches help patients establish proper eating and sleeping habits and exercise programs, all of which can alleviate stress.

Although Julie Andrews is a famous singer, not all patients who have serious vocal problems are and these teams are in place to provide care for all of them.  Sometimes vocal complications result from underlying medical or mental illnesses that should be addressed. A healthy, functioning voice matters more and more these days to a person’s overall well-being.



Sataloff, Robert, M.D., DMA. Vocal Health & Pedagogy. Singular Press. San Diego, London.

Titze, I. & Verdolini, K. Vocology: The Science and Practice of Vocal Habilitation. NCVS. Utah


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