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Today Alexa is joined by a singer-songwriter, speech pathologist and voice rehabilitation specialist. She’s also the author of Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers, with other publication credits including the Journal of Voice and Voice and Speech Review. Joanna Cazden is on Singing Teachers Talk to tell you how you can help your singers maintain a vocally healthy lifestyle. 


  • The Singing Teachers Talk podcast will be airing its 100th episode on the 1st of March, 2023. And so to celebrate this milestone and thank all of our amazing listeners, we are giving away an incredible prize to one lucky winner. Keep an eye out for more details. 
  • In the late eighties and early nineties, the only vocal health advice you would get was that you needed to drink a lot of water and avoid reflux. That’s what the vocal health experts were saying, and even doctors were too. Joanna did a little research and decided to make the information that was only in textbooks available in a more accessible form. 
  • In her book, Joanna advises the reader to understand and tolerate that contradiction is part of the health journey, referring to how sensations we feel can be contradictory to what is actually happening.
  • A fundamental bit of information is that it feels like the mouth and the throat are all one thing, but they’re not. We think: ‘If I drink something, it should help my voice’. We have all this folklore about what to put in your tea and so many other recipes that are recommended. But we’re not realising that the vocal cords are further away than we think.
  • One of the functions of having a daily warm-up routine is that it becomes self-diagnostic, and everybody should know their typical range at each time of day. If that starts to change consistently, then there’s a problem. If it takes a little more effort to get sound going, you make a note of that. So it’s really about getting to know your own instrument.
  • There are many different ways singing teachers can encourage a student to do a particular task or exercise. Use simple, sensory language when instructing students and pay attention to how the student is responding. Figure out what works for that particular student and reinforce that. 


‘I was afraid to tell anyone about it. I had no clue what was going on. I had no idea of going to a doctor’

‘Contradiction is part of the health journey’

‘That system is designed by survival to be out of mind and unconscious’

‘We’re balancing this seesaw of considering vocal health, but also not becoming neurotic’


Guest Website:

Social Media: 

Book Link – Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers by Joanna Cazden:

Relevant Links & Mentions: 


Joanna Cazden is a voice rehabilitation specialist, singer-songwriter, and educator in Santa Cruz CA, recently retired from the Voice Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, where she was a senior speech pathologist for 18 years. Her book Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers (Hal Leonard, 2012) is widely used in vocal performance and pedagogy programs, and her lectures to national and international groups are regularly praised for her ability to bridge medical, artistic, and humanistic points of view. Other publication credits include the Journal of Voice, Voice and Speech Review, and numerous music magazines and guest blogs. 

Joanna toured widely in the feminist-folk circuits of the 1970s-80s, released six solo albums, and continues to perform with local folk, jazz, and chamber ensembles. In addition to her musical and clinical credits, she has also trained deeply in theatre arts, counselling, and energy healing. Consistent themes throughout her work include preventive wellness education and advocacy for performing artists; the interdisciplinary nature of voice training and care; and the need for improved communication and understanding among all voice care professions. She is Certified in health care by the Performing Arts Medicine Association.

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