Abstract

Vocal health and job-related stress issues have both become endemic with teaching. Oftentimes, vocal health issues and/or stress lead to “burnout” and can result in teachers leaving the profession entirely. Stress is a confounding variable addressed by researchers in previous vocal health literature, but they rarely examine both as equally contributing factors (Dietrich, Abbott, Gartner-Schmidt, & Rosen, 2008; Gotaas & Starr, 1993; Seifert & Kollbrunner, 2005). The purpose of this study was to examine self-reported vocal health and job-related stress in prekindergarten to 12th-grade school music teachers. A questionnaire containing the Voice Handicap Index (VHI; Jacobson et al., 1997) and Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI; Fimian, 1984) was disseminated to members of a larger music educator association in the United States (N = 3,741). Completed surveys (n = 372) were collected and results indicate that there is a correlation between vocal health concerns and job-related stress. Results also suggest that teachers with less teaching experience report higher levels of stress. Finally, results showed that female music teachers report higher levels of vocal health issues and that choir teachers reported the highest scores of both vocal health issues and job-related stress.

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