It would be difficult to imagine a tennis player who doesn’t know how to string a racket or a violinist who doesn’t know how to tune their violin. However, it is far from rare for a vocal performer to have no concept of how the human voice works. These performers, who rely on this hidden part of their anatomy for their careers, are often buried under misinformation and lack of education, making caring for their voices nearly impossible.
In an effort to rectify this, Dr. Reena Gupta spearheaded an effort to educate young performers about their instrument. She has collaborated with Pepperdine University’s Seaver College of Music to design an education program geared towards helping students understand the complexities of voice.
As part of this program, Dr. Gupta provides informational lectures about the anatomy of the voice, problems (pathology) found in the voice, treatment options, vocal care, and other topics that enable the performer to become an educated voice user. She additionally does vocal exams as demonstrations for the audience of vocal majors and other students studying voice. She has been invited to be a guest lecturer for Song Fest, an intensive workshop for aspiring performers, also held at Pepperdine.
“It’s always a pleasure to see how well these students respond to and absorb the information. They’re such a captive audience because they are learning about something really important to them that had been otherwise vague and elusive,” says Dr. Gupta. “I hope to continue this program and expand it to other universities. These students need to understand their voices to better prepare them for long, healthy vocal careers.”