Vocal function exercises for normal voice: With and without semi-occlusion

Maria Bane, Megan Brown, Vrushali Angadi, Daniel J. Croake, Richard D. Andreatta, Joseph C. Stemple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined the effect of varying degrees of vocal tract (VT) occlusion used during Vocal Function Exercises (VFEs) on attainment of maximum phonation time (MPT) goals in normal voice. Greater VT occlusion was expected to result in increased MPT. The overarching goal was to determine whether the semi-occluded vocal tract (SOVT) posture used during VFEs could be modified while preserving efficacy. Method: Twenty-six females ages 18–30 participated in this pre-post longitudinal group study. Participants were randomly assigned to three experimental groups and completed a six-week VFE protocol. The first group performed exercises using the prescribed SOVT posture; the second group used the vowel /o/; group three used the vowel /a/. The primary outcome measure was MPT as performed on the exercise tasks using the assigned vocal tract posture. Result: MPT significantly improved in the prescribed SOVT group, but did not significantly improve in the modified /o/ and /a/ groups. Conclusion: The SOVT posture used during VFEs is modifiable to a small extent without significantly undermining efficacy. Changes in MPT are less robust with reduced VT occlusion. Research in a clinical population is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2018 The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited.


  • efficacy
  • maximum phonation time
  • semi-occluded vocal tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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