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Seriously, What's Your Vocal Health IQ?
Maybe Surprise Yourself With This Quiz ...

May 2, 2012

(VOXtra) - When a friend or voice over colleague is not feeling well, we want to help. We pass along remedies we believe have helped us, or mention something we've been told or read about in a voice over forum.

Trouble is, some of that advice might actually be harmful.

Here's a quick Vocal Health IQ Quiz to help you get a sense of what's fact or myth.

Taken from the notes of the upcoming May 7 VoiceOverXtra webinar, Your Vocal Health: Learn Truths, Shatter Myths, this quiz only scratches the surface of what to know. But it gets you thinking.

The answers follow the quiz. And they will be detailed - along with much more voice-saving advice - in the webinar led by voice talent and trainer Bettye Zoller interviewing Ear, Nose Throat Specialist and surgeon Mark Altenau, MD (pictured). Dr. Altenau is also Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Medical City Hospital in Dallas.


1. Voice is produced by vocal folds. What touches them?
a) liquid
b) food
c) air
d) all of the above

2. Milk products cause mucus
a) true
b) false

3. It is good for your voice if you swallow often
a) true
b) false

4. Nose sprays also help the vocal folds
a) true
b) false

5. When you have a cold, medicated throat lozenges are a good choice for voice actors
a) true
b) false

6. In winter, it's best for your nose, larynx and lungs to maintain a warm temperature in your bedroom
a) true
b) false

7. Throat-clearing is triggered by medical necessity
a) true
b) false

8. Using a neti pot to cleanse the nose has no effect on the vocal folds
a) true
b) false

9. A change in vocal sound, for instance, loss of range, could indicate ...
a) the formation of vocal nodules
b) a need for vocal rest
c) both of the above


1. c - air  2. b - false  3. a - true  4. b - false  5. b - false  6. b - false  7. b - false  8. a - true  9. c - both


"People tend to be ostriches" regarding their vocal health, says Zoller, owner of the VoicesVoices audio recording and voice over training company based in Dallas.

"They hide their head in the sand - even when they have lost their voice. It's nutty," she says.

The vocals folds are a "human organ," she adds, "and yet people think they can abuse it. They scream and yell and do stupid warm-ups until hoarse and clear their throats violently. And then they're surprised to have voice problems."

"For me, vocal health is a cause," Zoller says. "Voice actors need to know this stuff - including the student this week who told me he could not drink soda water because it would affect his vocal folds."

For details about the vocal health webinar and registration, please click here or visit:

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Comments (1)
Glenn Cartwright
5/3/2012 at 12:30 AM
Interesting facts! I'm guessing there are a lot of myths out there about vocal health. Looking forward to the webinar.
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