A Survey of Vocal Health in Carnatic Singing Students

Santoshi Rupa, Srikanth Nayak, Usha Devadas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Vocal health and hygiene are well addressed for professional singers, but less attention has been paid to singing trainees/students whose vocal demands vary significantly from trained singers. Studies conducted in the literature on singing trainees have reported a higher prevalence of voice problems in them; however, no such information is available from Indian classical singing trainees. Hence, the present study explored the frequency and nature of voice problems, self-reported vocal health and awareness of vocal hygiene and its practices in Carnatic singing trainees. Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted using a purposive sampling method. The data were gathered from 135 Carnatic classical singing trainees. The participants completed a self-reported questionnaire addressing demographic and singing-related details, vocal symptoms, variables associated with increased risk reporting voice problems and knowledge about factors influencing vocal health. Results: The experience of past and point prevalence of voice problems in Carnatic singing students were found to be 29% and 15%, respectively. Difficulty singing higher notes, hoarseness, tired voice, loss of ability to sing/speak loudly, and breathiness in higher pitch range were the most prevalent vocal symptom reported by Carnatic singing trainees. Nasal allergies, dry mouth/throat, and excessive stress in daily routine activities raising voice many times a day, dry mouth/throat and excessive talking in social situations was found to have a significant association with singing trainees reporting voice problems. However, availing medical assistance for voice problems was found to be poor in this group of singing students. Conclusion: Similar to trainees of other form of singing, Carnatic singing trainees also found to have a higher frequency of voice problems. Most of the singing trainees were found to be in their adolescent age period, and they face instability in their voice and are more vulnerable to develop voice problems. This indicates the need for in-depth understanding of voice problems experienced by Carnatic singing trainees aiming to promote their vocal health and prevent injury and be successful in their singing career.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Voice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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