A Guide to Vocal Function Exercises by Dr. Joseph Stemple: Improve Your Voice Quality and Strength
Vocal Function Exercises Stemple Pdf Download
Do you want to improve your voice quality, strength, and endurance? Do you suffer from a voice disorder or a vocal injury that affects your communication? Do you use your voice professionally or intensively and need to maintain its optimal performance? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might benefit from vocal function exercises (VFE).
Vocal Function Exercises Stemple Pdf Download
VFE are a set of therapeutic tasks that aim to strengthen and coordinate the muscles of voice production. They were developed by Dr. Joseph Stemple, a vocal pathologist and professor at the University of Kentucky. VFE are based on the principles of exercise physiology and can help improve vocal function in various populations and conditions.
In this article, we will explain what VFE are, how they work, what benefits they offer, what evidence supports them, and how you can access them online. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of VFE and how they can help you achieve your vocal goals.
The VFE protocol
The VFE protocol consists of three main steps: warm-up, stretching, and power exercises. Each step has a specific purpose and goal for enhancing vocal function. The exercises should be done twice a day, twice each time, using a soft but engaged voice. Here is a brief description of each step:
Warm-up: The warm-up exercise involves sustaining the sound /i/ (as in "see") for as long as possible on the musical note F (for female voices) or C (for male voices). The goal is to reach 45 seconds with an uninterrupted tone flow. This exercise engages the vocal mechanism and emphasizes the importance of respiration for voice production.
Stretching: The stretching exercise involves gliding from the lowest to the highest possible pitch and vice versa on the sound /o/ (as in "go") as softly as possible. The goal is to avoid any voice breaks during the glides. This exercise induces stretching of the vocal folds, increasing their flexibility and muscle coordination.
Power: The power exercise involves sustaining five notes (C, D, E, F, G for female voices or G, A, B, C, D for male voices) for as long as possible on the sound /o/ as softly as possible. The goal is to reach 45 seconds with an uninterrupted tone flow for each note. This exercise modifies the tone of voice and promotes respiratory drive to sustain pitch.
The VFE protocol should be done under the guidance of a qualified voice therapist who can monitor your progress and adjust the exercises as needed. The therapist can also provide feedback on your vocal quality, pitch, loudness, and resonance.
The benefits of VFE
VFE can help improve vocal function in various populations and conditions. Some of the benefits of VFE include:
Reducing vocal fatigue and strain: VFE can help reduce the effort and tension required to produce voice, especially for high-intensity voice users such as teachers, singers, actors, lawyers, etc. By strengthening and balancing the laryngeal muscles, VFE can help prevent vocal injury and preserve vocal health.
Improving vocal quality and range: VFE can help improve the clarity, smoothness, and richness of voice, as well as the ability to modulate pitch and loudness. By increasing vocal fold adduction and coordination, VFE can help eliminate breathiness, hoarseness, and harshness of voice.
Restoring vocal function after injury or surgery: VFE can help restore vocal function after trauma or surgery that affects the vocal folds or the surrounding structures. By stimulating blood flow and tissue healing, VFE can help reduce inflammation, scarring, and stiffness of the vocal folds.
Enhancing vocal performance and confidence: VFE can help enhance vocal performance and confidence for elite vocal performers such as singers, actors, speakers, etc. By improving vocal stamina and control, VFE can help optimize vocal expression and delivery.
Managing age-related voice changes: VFE can help manage age-related voice changes such as presbyphonia or presbylaryngis, which are characterized by a decline in vocal quality, range, and power due to aging. By maintaining vocal fold flexibility and strength, VFE can help counteract the effects of aging on voice.
VFE can also help with other voice disorders such as nodules, polyps, cysts, spasmodic dysphonia, paradoxical vocal fold motion, etc. However, VFE are not a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment. If you have any concerns about your voice or suspect a voice disorder, you should consult a physician or an otolaryngologist (ENT) before starting any voice therapy.
The evidence for VFE
VFE have been widely studied and found to be effective across many patient populations. Several studies have shown that VFE can improve objective and subjective measures of vocal performance, such as auditory perceptual ratings, acoustic parameters, aerodynamic measures, visual perceptual ratings, and self-report questionnaires.
For example, a study by Angadi et al. (2019) found that VFE had mild-to-moderate effects on objective measures of vocal performance and moderate-to-strong effects on subjective measures of vocal performance in patients with various voice disorders. The study also found a link between compliance and efficacy, meaning that the more patients practiced VFE at home, the better their outcomes were.
Another study by Bane et al. (2017) found that VFE improved maximum phonation time (MPT), jitter (a measure of frequency variation), shimmer (a measure of amplitude variation), noise-to-harmonic ratio (NHR), and Voice Handicap Index (VHI) scores in patients with age-related voice changes.
A third study by Gorman et al. (2008) found that VFE improved MPT, jitter, shimmer, NHR, fundamental frequency (F0), semitone range (STR), dynamic range (DR), and self-perceived vocal quality in singers with normal voices.
These are just some examples of the research evidence that supports the efficacy of VFE for improving vocal function. More studies are needed to explore the mechanisms and long-term effects of VFE on voice production.
How to access VFE materials
If you are interested in trying VFE or learning more about them, you can access the Stemple PDF file that contains the instructions and exercises for VFE online. The PDF file is available for free download from the following link:
The PDF file also contains some tips and precautions for doing VFE safely and effectively. You should always follow the advice of your voice therapist when doing VFE and report any difficulties or discomforts to them.
and hypofunctional voice disorders, age-related voice changes, elite vocal performers, and high-intensity voice users. VFE have been supported by research evidence that shows their positive effects on objective and subjective measures of vocal performance. VFE can be accessed online through the Stemple PDF file that contains the instructions and exercises for VFE.
If you want to improve your voice quality, strength, and endurance, you should consider trying VFE. VFE can help you achieve your vocal goals and enhance your communication. However, you should always consult a physician or an ENT before starting any voice therapy and follow the guidance of a qualified voice therapist when doing VFE. Remember, your voice is a precious instrument that deserves your care and attention.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about VFE. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you!
How long does it take to see results from VFE?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on many factors such as your baseline vocal function, your diagnosis, your compliance, your vocal habits, etc. However, some studies have reported improvements in vocal performance after 4 to 6 weeks of VFE practice. You should monitor your progress with your voice therapist and adjust the exercises as needed.
How can I monitor my progress with VFE?
There are several ways to monitor your progress with VFE, such as recording your voice before and after each session, using a stopwatch to measure your MPT and pitch glides, using an app or a device to measure your acoustic parameters (such as F0, jitter, shimmer, NHR), using a visual feedback tool (such as a spectrogram or a stroboscopy) to observe your vocal fold vibration, and completing a self-report questionnaire (such as the VHI) to assess your vocal handicap.
How can I avoid vocal fatigue when doing VFE?
Vocal fatigue is a common symptom of overuse or misuse of the voice. It can manifest as a feeling of tiredness, soreness, or pain in the throat, as well as a loss of vocal quality, range, or power. To avoid vocal fatigue when doing VFE, you should follow these tips:
Do not do VFE when you are sick or have a sore throat.
Do not do VFE when you are in a noisy environment or have to compete with background noise.
Do not do VFE when you are dehydrated or have dry mouth. Drink plenty of water before and after each session.
Do not do VFE when you are stressed or tense. Relax your body and mind before and during each session.
Do not do VFE too loudly or too softly. Use a soft but engaged voice that is comfortable for you.
Do not do VFE too long or too short. Follow the recommended duration and frequency for each exercise.
Do not do VFE without warming up or cooling down. Start and end each session with gentle vocal exercises such as humming or lip trills.
If you experience any vocal fatigue or discomfort when doing VFE, stop immediately and rest your voice. If the symptoms persist or worsen, consult your physician or ENT.
How can I incorporate VFE into my daily routine?
VFE are designed to be easy and convenient to do at any time and place. You do not need any special equipment or materials to do them, except for a pitch reference (such as a piano or an app) and a stopwatch (such as a watch or an app). You can incorporate VFE into your daily routine by finding a quiet and comfortable place where you can do them without interruption or distraction. You can also schedule them at specific times of the day that work best for you, such as in the morning before breakfast, in the afternoon during lunch break, or in the evening before bedtime. You can also combine them with other activities that require minimal attention or concentration, such as walking, driving, showering, etc.
How can I find a voice therapist who can help me with VFE?
A voice therapist is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of voice disorders. A voice therapist can help you with VFE by providing you with a personalized evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment plan. A voice therapist can also monitor your progress, provide feedback, and modify the exercises as needed. To find a voice therapist near you, you can use the following resources:
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website: https://www.asha.org/findpro/
The Voice Foundation website: https://voicefoundation.org/health-science/voice-care-team/
The National Center for Voice and Speech website: http://www.ncvs.org/ncvs/tidbits/find.html
Before choosing a voice therapist, make sure they are licensed and certified by ASHA and have experience and expertise in voice therapy and VFE. 71b2f0854b