The Office: Voice Instructors’ Work Environment and the Effects Upon Voice and Hearing

Friday, June 26 

Presenters: Yvonne Gonzales Redman, Lori Sonnenberg

Literature has reported that music teachers are more likely to have a higher incidence of voice and hearing disorders compared to other teachers due to excessive sound levels during their teaching periods and/or engaging in vocally intense activities, resulting in reduced productivity and work-related absenteeism. What are the influential damaging factors that voice teachers should consider and be aware of in their work environment, in “the office”? The presenters will alert voice instructors to research findings in musical environments and discuss symptoms of vocal fatigue and signs of noise exposure that could contribute to vocal disorders or hearing loss. Examples demonstrating voice and hearing loss and proactive steps will be covered. Finally, reasonable solutions to making changes in the “office” that can protect the voice from fatigue and assist in preventing hearing loss will be offered. All attendees will leave with a list of resources to consult.

About Yvonne Gonzales Redman

Yvonne_Gonzales_Redman.jpgYvonne Gonzales Redman joined the University of Illinois Fall of 2008 as an Associate Professor and teaches a variety of students majoring in music education and performance. She is dedicated to staying current in pedagogy and science in all genres of music. In 2017, she presented at the International Conference of Voice Teachers held in Stockholm, on bridging pedagogy between genres. She presented at the 2019 Florida Music Education Association Conference, and in 2019 presented at The Voice Foundation in Philadelphia, presenting the results of a study on the work environment on voice instructors. She enjoyed an 18-year career as a main stage soprano at the Metropolitan Opera with nearly 200 onstage performances as a principal soloist, including 26 live radio and television broadcasts that are still regularly broadcast over Sirius XM radio. She also performed in many of the major opera houses and orchestras in the United States.

About Lori Sonnenberg

Lori_Sonnenberg.jpgLori L. Sonnenberg is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Voice Specialist. With over 19 years’ experience in the singing and speech pathology fields, she combines her passion for treating injured voices with her extensive background as a singer and voice teacher. This blend of talents and skills makes Ms. Sonnenberg a formidable asset to the clinical and singing voice worlds. Ms. Sonnenberg works exclusively with voice and breathing disorders in her private practice in suburban Chicago and specializes in helping singers overcome voice injuries, post-operative voice struggles, and problematic technical voice issues. She is a certified member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) holding the Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC-SLP) and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She is a former Speech Pathologist with Robert Bastian and Bastian Voice Institute in Downers Grove, IL, and has been teaching private voice since 1998.