Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
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Vanderbilt Voice Center offers a wide array of services including:
- Speaking voice therapy
- Singing voice intervention
- Speech assessment, counseling and treatment for spasmodic dysphonia
- Voice restoration following laryngectomy
- Resonance assessment for children and adults
- Velopharyngeal Insufficiency evaluation
- Professional communication enhancement
- Voice Abuse Reduction Program (VARP) for children with voice disorders
Other Conditions We Treat
- Airway narrowing
- Tracheal care
- Swallowing disorders
Understanding the Voice
Your vocal cords, also called vocal folds, are in your voice box (larynx). When you breathe in, your vocal cords open and air goes into your lungs. When you breathe out, your vocal cords open to release the air from your lungs.
The 2 vocal cords form a “V” in the voice box. The “V” is open while you breathe. When you speak, the "V" closes. Short puffs of air pass between the vocal folds. The air causes the vocal folds to vibrate. These vibrations create the vocal sound. Your mouth, nasal cavity and throat then resonate the sound to create vowels and consonants.
The vocal folds have a natural elasticity that lets them vibrate. Singers learn to use their muscles to control the tension in the folds as they sing.
Anything that affects the ability of the vocal folds to vibrate (mobility) can result in a voice disorder.