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Vocal health seminars coming to APSU April 16-17


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On April 16 and 17, the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts will sponsor an interdisciplinary collaboration between the music and theatre departments to bring Dr. Rachael Gates to the campus for two days of lectures, demonstrations and informal talks about the use and care of the speaking and singing voice. Gates is a singing health specialist and part of the Michigan State University Musician’s Wellness Team where she teaches vocal health for singers and professional voice users. She is in demand for vocal health talks for singers and music education students, as well as for students and faculty in theater, speech-language pathology, pre-med, nursing and broadcasting. She often presents for interdisciplinary audiences.

During the APSU residency, Gates will address real-time issues and situations that affect voice users (whispering, resonant speaking, vocal abuse and misuse, lifestyle, diet, medications, nutrition, classroom challenges—especially for student teachers in education), practical information for actors and teachers (PMS, allergies, voice modulation), as well as medical/pathology/surgery information. The information will enable professional voice users to improve their own vocal care, as well as the care of their students, and use a vocabulary that allows them to effectively communicate with medical professionals. 

Several interactive lectures and demonstration sessions are scheduled that will benefit majors from both areas, as well as general University students, faculty and members of the surrounding community (including choral singers, choir directors, public speakers and others who use the voice professionally). All of the sessions are open to students, faculty and the general public and are free of charge. All sessions and locations are listed below:

Wednesday, April 16

• 11 a.m.-noon – Musical theatre master class (Trahern Theatre)

• 1:25-2:20 p.m. – Vocal Pedagogy Class – informal question and answer session

       (Room 147, Music /Mass Communication Building)

• 6:30-8:30 p.m. – The Owner’s Manual to the Voice - Part I (Trahern Theatre) – This lecture will be wide-ranging and contain information about subjects such as leading a preventative lifestyle, singing anatomy, identification of common vocal problems in singers, as well as medical, pathology, and surgical information for vocal problems.

Thursday, April 17

• 12:15-2 p.m. – The Owner’s Manual to the Voice – Part II (Room 147, Music/Mass Communication Building)– This lecture will include numerous topics such as healthy speaking for teachers, preventative lifestyle, diet, nutrition, medications, cross-genre singing without vocal abuse, and real time laryngoscopy of vocal folds in action.

As a soprano, opera director and vocal health specialist, Gates has performed in Germany, Russia and Italy and throughout the United States. She was assistant opera director at Northwestern University, and she has taught at The Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, and has guest directed operas for Yale University, where she served as assistant director to Sir Colin Graham. Gates holds degrees in music from Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Ohio State University. Oxford University Press published her new book, “The Owner’s Manual to the Voice: A Guide for Singers and Other Professional Voice Users” in 2013.

            For more information, contact Dr. Sharon Mabry at, or Dr. Christopher Bailey at