|Pedro Amarante Andrade, Ph.D.
This project explored the benefits of using Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) devices (originally designed for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) for professional voice users (PVUs) (e.g., singers and actors).
Phonation into PEP devices produces large changes in intra-oral pressure that works as a massage of the laryngeal muscles from within the vocal tract. They also promote greater vocal output by improving the configuration of the vocal tract and vocal folds. This combined effect improves vocal efficiency (ie., makes the voice more powerful with less effort). In this project we were able to explain the physiological principles of phonation into PEP devices and how these may be used to improve voice quality. Our future project will look at the long-term effects of using PEP devices on the voice.