Your Source for a Healthy Voice
A lifetime of music making begins with healthy singing.
The Barbershop Harmony Society believes in the power of singing to affect and change lives and is dedicated to creating communities where singers can gather to make music. The foundation of a lifetime of music making begins with healthy singing. To that end, we've assembled this page of resources to promote healthy singing not just in our style, but in all vocal styles.
Free Voice Assessment
The Barbershop Harmony Society provides a free service of voice assessments. Voice assessments can be done live in Nashville and they can also be done via video chat platforms, such as Skype, Google Chat, etc.
The results of a voice assessment will be one of three:
- You will receive an "all-clear"
- You will receive a recommendation for voice therapy or lessons
- You will receive a recommendation to see a health professional, such as an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist
If you, a quartet-mate, or a fellow chapter member has a concern about their voice, they should see a voice care professional.
To receive a Vocal Assessment appointment, please complete this form.
The Vocal Assessment form has three parts:
- A Singing Voice Handicap Index
- An S/Z Ratio test
- A calendar section to schedule an appointment.
Instructions on how to fill it out appear on the form.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Healthy Barbershop Singing
Listen to Healthy Singing
Check out our playlists below -- we’ve assembled some of our best quartets and choruses to model how healthy and vibrant barbershop singing can be!
Healthy Quartet Singing
Healthy Chorus Singing
Vocal Health Tips
Become an advocate for healthy singing! Download and share the Vocal Health Tips and Benefits handout.
- Stay hydrated! Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. Check if your medicine dehydrates.
- Be mindful of how much speaking or singing you do, and stop when you feel fatigued.
- Avoid competing with a noisy environment, e.g. restaurants, noisy machinery. Never yell!
- Smoking, including vaping, is particularly irritating to the vocal folds.
- Avoid excessive throat clearing or coughing.
- Avoid excessively acidic foods.
- Pain, hoarseness, loss of control or range, and rapid vocal fatigue are all warning signs. Seek a competent voice health professional.
Read The Vocal Health Blog
The Music Education team offers several articles about vocal health – particularly as it pertains to the barbershop style. Learn about voice production and resonance, how to breathe life into your singing, taking care of your voice as you age, how singing strengthens the immune system, and more.
Private Voice Lessons
In person and online.
Ask any singer, any quartet, or any chorus that has worked with our top-notch team of vocal health experts and they’ll tell you that it is truly amazing how even the smallest adjustments to head, neck, and body position can create a more relaxed, free vocal instrument, enabling the voice to perform at its maximum potential.
The Barbershop Harmony Society offers private lessons and coaching both online (using Skype, Google Chat, etc.) and in-person at our HQ in Nashville, TN that utilizes cutting-edge teaching techniques to ensure proper, healthy, sustainable singing that can last a lifetime. Whether you’re a beginner singer or a seasoned barbershopper, you will benefit tremendously from receiving this top-notch guidance towards a path of healthier, more successful singing performances.
For questions, comments or concerns, please contact Steve Scott at email@example.com or 800.876.SING
Professional Vocal Health Links
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) seeks to empower and support audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists through advancing science, setting standards, fostering excellence in professional practice, and advocating for members and those they serve.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) works to advance the art, science, and ethical practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery through education, research, and lifelong learning.
The Voice Foundation seeks to enhance knowledge, care and training of the voice through educational programs; to publish material for voice care professionals, the public and professional voice users; and to support and fund voice research.
The National Center for Voice and Speech conducts research, educates vocologists, disseminates information about voice and speech, and provides referral services in order to help people around the world enjoy healthy and effective vocal communications.
The Pan-American Vocology Association advances the scientific study of vocalization across species toward improvement of professional and recreational voice use. PAVA fosters vocolology and seeks the creation and development of standards and credentials in voice habilitation.
NATS seeks to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing, and to promote vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented.
The American Choral Directors Association is dedicated to the advancement of choral music and seeks to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.