Date of Award







Schwob School of Music

First Advisor

Constantina Tsolainou


The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze risks that threaten adolescent vocal health. Qualitative interviews revealed risks associated with vocal over-use, lack of scientific vocal pedagogy, poor tonal ideals, inadequate choral procedures, and vocal difficulties in high school musical theater productions. Anonymous student surveys (N=60) from two rural high schools in West Georgia revealed over-use and lack of knowledge about chest voice singing as risky to adolescent vocal health. Anonymous choral director surveys (N=2) from the same high schools indicated that choral directors may be uncomfortable teaching chest voice production, allowing students to use their chest voice unsupervised. Related studies indicate that a lack of depth in secondary choral education training is associated with an increase in adolescent vocal problems. When systematically analyzed, the data and related studies suggest that the K-12 general certification standards foster limitations in the curricula for Bachelor of Music Education degrees, compromising training for choral educators. More research is necessary to validate the conclusions of the evidence exposed in this study. Recommendations are presented to assist middle and high school choral directors in developing a healthy vocal approach.