Want to keep your voice healthy? Meet Baylor’s expert on vocal health
Our voices matter — in what we say, and (more specifically) how we use it. Whether you’re chatting with a friend, giving a class presentation, or cheering for your Bears on the sideline, it’s important to take care of those threads in your throat — and on that subject, Baylor professor Brittany Perrine has the mic.
Dr. Perrine, an assistant professor of communication sciences & disorders (CSD), came to Baylor in 2018 after finishing her doctoral degree at Bowling Green. In coordination with her teaching responsibilities, she directs Baylor’s Vocal Health and Voice Physiology Lab, where she conducts research in the area of voice physiology using measures of vocal aerodynamics and vocal acoustics — in other words, the pressure and flow of air in the voice.
“I’m interested in how we keep the voice healthy,” says Perrine. “My past research has focused on stress in the voice under different circumstances. What happens to the voice when someone is under a social evaluative stressor? A public speaking-type stressor? How does it change between healthy and unhealthy individuals?”
The goal of this study (and future studies in this line of research) is the development of highly predictive, more effective evidenced-based and tissue-based voice screening questionnaires. Ultimately, it will lead to more effective evaluation tools for voice disorders and to increase training tools for students.
Perrine has partnered with the Baylor Spirit Squads and the School of Music to analyze voices after different sorts of performances. Day-to-day, you can find her working with CSD students to analyze vocal aspects of singers, cheerleaders and speakers. Perrine is dedicated to this early, hands-on approach with her students, just as she was exposed to research as an undergrad.
“Conducting research as an undergrad changed my whole career,” says Perrine. “That’s what I want to do for Baylor students — provide them with a well-rounded experience and enhance their education.”
Sic ’em, Dr. Perrine!