Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Esther Jane Hardenbergh

Second Committee Member

Robynne Redmon

Third Committee Member

Tony Boutte

Fourth Committee Member

David Rosow


Vocal pedagogy is a discipline steeped in traditions that have been passed down for generations, from voice teacher to singer. The mature singer then takes on the role of teacher and the cycle continues. For the twenty-first century voice teacher, the revered tradition of pedagogy must also include science. A voice degree program at most universities will include courses covering laryngeal anatomy, vocal production, and voice disorders. Widely used textbooks by authors such as Barbara Doscher, Scott McCoy, James C. McKinney, and Richard Miller provide a very useful and extensive study of the functionality of the singing voice, but little information is comprehensively dedicated specifically to understanding the lifetime of complexities in the ever-changing relationship of sex hormones and vocal function as it pertains to the female singer. The female voice’s relationship to hormones, which was once relegated to assumption and conjecture, is now backed by evidence-based, scientific, and objective proof. Based on science, a familiarity with how vulnerable the human voice can be in response to changing hormones is imperative for singers as well as singing teachers. This paper explores much of the available literature on the subject, based on scientific research by experts in this field, and presents compelling findings that are useful for voice professionals.


influence; sex; hormones; female; singing; voice