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Lecture to examine vocal health and anatomy

  • Photo of Rachael Gates

Posted on March 30, 2017

Where does the voice go when someone loses it?

During an upcoming lecture, Rachael Gates, visiting professor of voice and pedagogy at Grand Valley State University and singing health specialist, will answer this question, debunk vocal myths, and discuss strategies for maintaining and improving vocal health.

"Demystify the Voice" will take place Tuesday, April 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room (atrium level) of the Mary Idema Pew Library.

Gates will also discuss common voice pathologies, medical procedures and treatments that can empower anyone who relies on their voice in their profession.

"Beginning with an overview of vocal anatomy, I will proceed through detailed discussions of caring for the voice and common causes of vocal problems that any professional voice user, whether singers, actors, broadcasters, politicians, teachers, preachers or lawyers, will find essential," Gates said.

Gates comes from a rich background of performing and directing opera. Throughout her career, she has performed in Germany, Russia, Italy and around the U.S. In addition to teaching voice at Grand Valley, Gates currently serves as the vocal specialist for the College Music Society's Committee on Musicians' Health, and recently co-authored a new book, "The Owner's Manual to the Voice: A Guide for Singers and Other Professional Voice Users."

Gates' presentation is in conjunction with World Voice Day, which takes place April 16. World Voice Day is an internationally recognized day designated to spotlight vocal arts, science and pedagogy. The day is celebrated with a series of presentations in various different countries, and simultaneous choral concerts broadcasted live around the world.

For more information about "Demystify the Voice," contact the Music and Dance Department at (616) 331-3484, or visit