Updated: Feb 10
Vocal folds range from 1.25 cm and 2.5 cm in length, or approximately the size of your pinky nail.
Now, I don't know about you but I find that mighty impressive. Especially knowing the decibel that those bad boys can produce. Prior to the Renaissance period, the voice was thought to be 'sent forth by the heart', and after hearing Cynthia Erivo's rendition of 'I'm Here' from The Colour Purple, I can't disagree.
Some of the most non-aesthetic pieces of anatomy to bestow upon, these little bad boys are undeniably essential to a performers work.
After two years of school touring work, I noticed that my voice was becoming fatigued... faster. I found I have to work hard to produce sounds that "normally" would breeze through the folds. Now, this is not to discrediting the fact that I was working through a global pandemic and the psychological impacts of that on the voice are undeniable.
Fun fact: people loose their voices from stress.
So after a time period in which I hate to admit was probably longer than it should have taken... I booked in to see an ENT [ear, nose and throat specialist]. I had heard from colleagues that Dr Matthew Broadhurst was the man to go to in Brisbane, and after walking through his hallway with signed copies of posters from the likes of Jemma Rix, internationally renowned opera singers and punk rockers, I began to see why.
The exam was simple. After a quick spray of the worst, local anaesthetic down the throat, Dr. Broadhurst scoped me. He then asked me to sustain a few different notes in different registrations and wah-boom... done. Dr Broadhurst said "nothing too bad" which instantly made me take a deep breath, ruling out the likes of nodules, polyps and haemorrhaging.
"A slight enlargement of the left fold, making it more difficult for them to close in your higher register"
"It's treatable with a month or two of a speech pathologist's recommended exercises"
It was expensive trip to be told 'do more lip trills'. Four-hundred down the gobbler but [god-bless Australia] received half of that back from medicare. This also doesn't include the costs of the Speech Pathologist.
But the peace of mind it gave me = priceless.
Have you been to an ENT? What was your experience?