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What We're Reading

Each month, the AVA Board provides an insight into industry-related articles, books, podcasts, or shows they are consuming, and what it means to their profession.

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Dr Heather Fletcher

AVA President

Music Listening as Self-Enhancement

Elvers, P., Fischinger, T., & Steffens, J. (2018). Music listening as self-enhancement: Effects of empowering music on momentary explicit and implicit self-esteem. Psychology of Music, 46(3), 307-325.

This article examines how music listening can influence explicit and implicit self-esteem, taking into consideration the expressive properties of music and individual responses to them. 


I’m interested in this research as I find the concept of music-listening and social surrogacy fascinating. Identifying with lyrics, mood, and vocal timbre can be strong motivations to engage with songs, and song selection can facilitate positive (inspiration) and non-positive (rumination) outcomes. Why do we listen to music, what do we want from it, and how do we feel during/afterwards?


Find the article here:

The Singing Athlete

Byrne, A. (2020). The singing athlete: brain-based training for your voice. Andrew Byrne Studio Inc.

This book addresses vocal pedagogy specific to physical development, the nervous and vestibular systems, and neuroscience. It includes comprehensive exercises to aid in vocal development.


I had a lesson with Andrew when he came out to Australia in 2019 and I really enjoyed his techniques. His pedagogy brings vocal training to the “gym” through targeting the synchronicity of muscle groups, nerve functions, and neurology. I value his exercises and the content he presents in his book and online.


Learn more here:


Dr Anthony Rotman

AVA Vice-President

Current Approaches to Gender-Affirming Vocal Care

McBrinn, S., Antoni, C., & Al Yaghchi, C. (2024). Current approaches to gender-affirming vocal care. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery, 10-1097.

This is a review article addressing current practices in managing the voice of transgender women. It describes current literature across non-surgical and surgical interventions.


I think this article is a good example of a wholistic approach to the voice. It demonstrates the value of collaboration and also the role of multidisciplinary management to better patient outcomes. From a surgeon’s perspective, the operative techniques are clearly described and importantly, complications are also discussed.


Find the article here:

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Samantha U'Ren

AVA Professional Development Lead

The Flow and Pressure Relationships in Different Tubes Commonly Used for Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises

Andrade, P. A., Wistbacka, G., Larsson, H., Södersten, M., Hammarberg, B., Simberg, S., Švec, J. G., & Granqvist, S. (2016). The flow and pressure relationships in different tubes commonly used for semi-occluded vocal tract exercises. Journal of Voice, 30(1), 36-41.

Acoustic Impedance of an Artificially Lengthened and Constricted Vocal Tract

Story, B. H., Laukkanen, A. M., & Titze, I. R. (2000). Acoustic impedance of an artificially lengthened and constricted vocal tract. Journal of Voice, 14(4), 455-469.

Multidimensional Voice Assessment: The Immediate Effects of Lax Vox® in Singers With Voice Complaints

Matta, R. S. D., Santos, M. A. R., Plec, E. M. R. L., & Gama, A. C. C. (2021). Multidimensional voice assessment: the immediate effects of Lax Vox® in singers with voice complaints. Revista CEFAC, 23, e4520.

Vocal Tract and Glottal Function During and After Vocal Exercising With Resonance Tube and Straw.

Guzman, M., Laukkanen, A. M., Krupa, P., Horáček, J., Švec, J. G., & Geneid, A. (2013). Vocal tract and glottal function during and after vocal exercising with resonance tube and straw. Journal of voice, 27(4), 523-e19.

I have been reading these articles as I use semi-occluded vocal tract (SOVT) exercises everyday, in both my voice therapy sessions and singing lessons. I implement SOVT exercises depending on a particular voice disorder and whether we are using the SOVTs as warm up, to release laryngeal tension, or to regulate the mucosal wave and improve voice quality and efficiency. In all instances, I find that the effectiveness of SOVT exercises is notably influenced by different straw sizes and lengths.


These articles might be useful for both Speech Pathologists and Singing Teachers…and performers.

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