Is karaoke bad for you?

We know that karaoke can be hard on the ears, but could karaoke also be bad for your voice? A James Cook University researcher wants to learn more about what karaoke does to our vocal cords.

Dr Christopher Plant is investigating if people who participate in karaoke notice changes to their voices, which could lead to long-term damage.

“Voices can be impacted by a range of factors including misuse and overuse,” he said. “Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to think that engaging in karaoke may be a vocally strenuous activity for some people.”

Dr Plant said that although karaoke singers may wake up the next morning feeling hoarse but recover quickly, there may be increased risk of long-term problems if people experience repeated instances of these symptoms.

“Repeated exposure to vocally damaging behaviours can have much longer-term consequences,” he said. “These include vocal nodules, which may need surgery to remove.”

Although there is a huge amount of research into voice disorders of professional singers and other people who regularly use their voice for work, such as teachers and call centre operators, there’s limited research on karaoke.

Dr Plant is asking Australians who participate in karaoke to take an online survey about their karaoke use so he can learn more about what it does to the voice. Take the survey here: https://jcuchs.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bkJx7B8bbQZy61v

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