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Introducing a new blog from our NATS Vocal Health and Wellness Coordinator, Wendy LeBorgne

"I’ve seen Wendy grow from a bright-eyed student asking questions in my office, through years of presentations and publication, to the brilliant resource she has become. She is at the leading front of the profession in her work as a voice pathologist, singing voice specialist, lecturer, performer, and author, and has much to share with our association. She is in an ideal position to help keep us informed about singing health and related issues, and I’m grateful to Wendy for her willingness to share so generously with NATS. I know she has a lot in store for us, and I hope you’ll join me in welcoming her." -- Norman Spivey, Past President, NATS

Setting Your 2017 Vocal Goals

Vocal Wellness Coordinator Blog Post – January, 2017
Wendy LeBorgne, Ph.D. CCC-SLP
Voice Pathologist & Singing Voice Specialist

Welcome to 2017!! Ringing in the New Year always seems to come with resolutions. In fact, 41% of Americans will make a New Year’s Resolution with self-improvement goals, educational goals, weight/fitness goals, and financial goals rounding out the top 4……by day 24 of the new year (3.5 weeks) the majority of resolutions have been broken.

For those of you reading this blog, I’m going to venture to say that the status of your voice and vocal health impacts your sense of self, your mood, and provides your primary source of income. For the next 12 months, I would like you to consider creating vocal wellness and voice maximization goals. If you teach, this may be a great exercise for your students and provide a point of discussion and training for the coming year. Before you can set reasonable goals, inventory your voice via a Personal Annual Vocal Review PAVR (think about it like a review of your finances-but for your voice).

Answer the following questions to guide you in setting your 2017 Vocal Goals:

1. Celebrate your vocal victories & vocal progress in 2016! List 3 specific areas of vocal growth or progress you made last year (i.e. exercises you mastered, performances completed)

2. Assess and list 3 specific things that worked well for your voice this year (i.e. getting enough rest allowed for improved vocal clarity and decreased vocal effort, practicing 5 days a week created increased vocal stamina and range, I made an effort to eat well and stay physically healthy and I didn’t get sick)

3. Assess and list 3 specific things that did NOT work well for your voice this year (i.e. exercises that I am currently using are not improving my passagio problems, by the time I get to practice it is so late that my practice session is non-productive because I’m exhausted.)

4. Define and clarify what the next 1-3 years will require of you vocally (i.e. maintain a teaching load of 20 students plus 3 concerts per semester, preparing college audition material, preparing vocal competition material)

5. What is your top priority vocal goal for 2017? (get into a vocal performance program, sign a Broadway contract, win a major vocal competition, teach the entire semester while staying well enough to perform a faculty recital)

Write down your 2017 VOCAL GOAL and post it somewhere visible to you! Snap a picture of it and make it the screen saver on your phone or laptop so that every day you are reminded of that goal. Let’s work together to define vocally healthy ways to help you achieve your voice maximization. Each month, I will present a new blog and short podcast related to relevant vocal wellness topics to help you meet your vocal goals providing evidence-based models for change. If you have specific vocal wellness questions or topics you would like to see covered, please shoot me an email and let me know what you think ( and I will work to bring you the topics relevant to your vocal journey.

Coming soon! PODCAST – Vocal Wellness for the 21st Century Vocal Athlete – going beyond hydration and vocal hygiene in the studio.

Coming up in February (heart health month) – Dr. Katherine Jolly podcast interview on singers, yoga, breathing, and heart rate. Working to reduce stress in vocal athletes.