Welcome to the Professional Voice Care Center, where our mission is to create or restore excellent voices, both speaking and singing. Our Hicksville, N.Y. facility offers state-of-the-art care to service the unique needs of those who depend on their voices for their livelihood. Individuals in this category include performers (i.e. singers, actors, broadcasters, etc.), teachers, executives, attorneys, salespeople, lecturers, customer service representatives, and anyone else who uses his/her voice in a professional setting. Services include Voice Therapy, Singing Instruction, Audition Preparation, foreign and regional Accent Modification, and Executive Speech Training. Our unique Therapeutic Singing Lessons are custom-tailored to meet the needs of singers with voice problems. We offer services for Parkinson’s Voice, Gender-Affirming Voice Training, and Vocal Image Enhancement. We focus on the prevention of vocal problems while improving voice skills through a customized program of vocal abuse reduction and vocal hygiene (i.e., vocal conservation, hydration, avoidance of over-drying medications and caffeine, establishment of anti-reflux regimens, etc.). Additionally, our staff of licensed and certified speech-language pathologists and myofunctional therapists offers evaluation and individualized treatment for a variety of communication disorders, including: Articulation, Fluency (Stuttering), and Tongue Thrust/Reverse Swallowing Pattern. Many health insurance companies reimburse for covered speech, voice, and myofunctional therapy services. Our Center participates in numerous insurance plans. Click here to learn more about the health insurance plans we participate in. The Center serves clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Alternatively, we can provide you with a variety of online platforms for long-distance voice and singing training. We’re happy to offer you singing lessons in the comfort of your Long Island home (depending on location). All services are available for children age 5 through adult. We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve your voice-oriented goals. If you are you in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage, then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today for more information!
Karen Sussman, M.A., CCC, celebrity voice trainer and vocologist, is the Director of the Professional Voice Care Center, located in Hicksville, NY. She has been a licensed speech pathologist, voice therapist, speech trainer, and singing specialist since 1981. Karen has trained thousands of performers, executives, teachers, attorneys, sales reps, and other professionals to achieve excellent speaking and/or singing voices and eliminate voice and speech problems. As a singer-actress, Karen has a special interest and expertise in professional voice/speech training. She has lectured extensively for hospital otolaryngology departments, voice and speech symposia, corporations, choirs, and continuing education programs. She has appeared on television and radio shows devoted to voice care and accent reduction. Karen authored a book chapter on voice care for performers, and wrote a journal article on voice care for fitness instructors.
Karen is certified by, and a member of, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and holds New York and California State Licenses in Speech Pathology. She is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), and VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association), as well as Long Island and New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Associations. Karen Sussman is a Voiceworks® Associate Voice Instructor.
Karen is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Doctors’ Choice Awards DCA Top 100, the DCA City Winner in Hicksville NY, and the Distinguished Woman in Health Services from the Town of Oyster Bay Women of Distinction Awards. Her practice was selected as an Opencare Patients’ Choice Winner. She was also nominated for Best Speech-Language Pathologist by the Bethpage Best of Long Island contest. Karen, a Hofstra University graduate (B.S. in Music/Voice Performance and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology), lives on Long Island. When not working with clients or performing, Karen’s passions include hiking the great outdoors and long walks with her dogs.
Are you in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage? Then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today for more information! At the Professional Voice Care Center, we can help you (or your child) prepare for auditions for college voice, drama, and musical theater programs. Also, our voice and speech instructors can assist with your preparation for community, regional, or professional theater auditions. In addition to song preparation, you can work with us on monologues, sides, scenes, etc. Our Center maintains a close relationship with top-rated musical theater coaches. These Broadway veterans will create customized audition song lists for you. We will then help you master these selections, both musically and theatrically. As a result, you’ll be on your way to achieving success in this competitive field. If you’re experiencing voice problems, we know you don’t want these to interfere with your ability to nail an audition. Our staff of voice therapists and singing teachers has special training in therapeutic vocal techniques. These techniques are designed to reduce vocal strain while improving tone, range, and vocal stamina. Furthermore, we can guide you on ways to improve your vocal hygiene, including how to: Improve hydration and keep your vocal cords moist Avoid foods and irritants that interfere with good voice production Calm those audition jitters using specialized breathing techniques For more information on our Singing Lessons and Therapeutic Singing Lessons, click here. If you’ve been told that your foreign or regional accent may interfere with your ability to be cast in certain roles, you’ll want to read about our Accent Modification Program. In conclusion, for anyone who wants to shine at an audition – come see us at the Professional Voice Care Center: the place to hone all your singing and speaking skills in a fun, professional, educational, and supportive atmosphere!
Voice problems occur when vocal pitch, loudness, and/or quality are inadequate or inappropriate for communication. Often these problems are accompanied by pain or discomfort, vocal fatigue, vocal strain, or increased effort to produce voice, during or after speaking or singing. Causes and contributing factors include vocal abuse (e.g. yelling, speaking over noise or across a distance), misuse (e.g. using an excessively deep voice pitch), poor breath support patterns, dehydration, allergies, post-nasal drip, thyroid problems, stress, and laryngopharyngeal reflux (stomach acid backing up into the larynx). Signs of a voice problem can include hoarseness lasting more than two weeks, breathiness, frequent throat clearing, voice breaks, change in speaking pitch, loss of high singing range, and/or loss of vocal projection. Conditions relating to voice problems include swollen or thickened vocal folds (vocal cords), varices (swollen blood vessels), vocal fold hemorrhage, and lesions on the vocal folds such as nodules (“nodes”), polyps, cysts, or contact ulcers. Other conditions include paresis (weakness) or paralysis of the vocal folds, and functional dysphonia, i.e., the structure of the vocal folds is normal, but the muscles of the voice mechanism are being used with too much, or too little, force, resulting in voice problems.
At the Professional Voice Care Center, a licensed speech-voice pathologist evaluates your vocal function and designs an individualized program of vocal rehabilitation therapy, vocal hygiene and vocal abuse reduction to treat your voice problem. We can also help you adhere to an anti-reflux regimen of diet and lifestyle changes, if needed. Practice of effective techniques is reinforced through audio feedback, as well as computerized feedback. We create a customized home practice program and provide you with printed or CD-recorded therapy exercises. (You can even record the therapy exercises on your smart phone or tablet). Additionally, the speech pathologist works closely with your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician on your personalized voice treatment plan. If you are in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage, or, would like to schedule an appointment, then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today for more information!
If you find that a foreign or regional accent has become a hindrance in your professional or personal life, then you may wish to participate in an Accent Modification Program. The Center offers the Compton P-ESL Foreign Accent Improvement Program, recognized as one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind. You will receive an in-depth, individualized evaluation and phonetic analysis of your recorded speech. Your take-home materials include customized practice CDs, pronunciation handouts with target sounds, words, and sentences, and personalized vocabulary that you select from your personal or professional life. All evaluation and training programs for foreign accent modification are conducted by a speech-language pathologist who has been trained by the Institute of Language and Phonology to offer the Compton P-ESL Foreign Accent Improvement Program. If you wish to reduce a regional accent such as a New York or Long Island accent, our customized Regional Accent Improvement Program can help you as well. (For “Noo Yawkuhs,” we offer our very own “Tawk of Lawng Island” accent modification program, featured in Newsday). With training and practice, we can all learn to speak with the “No-Accent” accent! If you are you in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today for more information!
As an executive, attorney, salesperson, lecturer, or instructor, you are often called upon to make presentations. However, even though you have thorough knowledge of the subject matter, your look is sharp, and you understand the client’s/audience’s needs, moments into the presentation you feel as if you’re not connecting. Chances are there may be a problem with your voice. Whether consciously or subconsciously, listeners are affected by your voice and speech patterns. (Studies haves shown that the way your voice sounds is over five times more important than the content of your presentation, in terms of the impact you have on your listening audience!) At the Professional Voice Care Center, a licensed speech-language pathologist works one-on-one with you to enhance your communication skills. You will learn to be more conscious of how you speak and what words you use. Accents, voice quality and pitch, even body language, gestures, and facial expression can be adjusted, using a combination of audio and video feedback. We’ll offer you suggestions for overcoming nervousness, adding passion and pizzazz to your presentation style, and additional tips to improve public speaking skills. You’ll be on your way to becoming the dynamic, powerful, and commanding speaker you’ve always wanted to be. Let communication skills be a key, not a barrier, to your professional success.
Myofunctional therapy is a specialized treatment for individuals experiencing a reverse swallowing pattern (commonly called a “tongue thrust”), which may be accompanied by problems with facial muscles (known as orofacial muscle imbalance), dental structure, and speech production. If not treated, orofacial muscle imbalance and reverse swallowing pattern may result in malocclusion, relapse (i.e., shifting of the teeth) after orthodontic intervention, gum problems, facial pain, headaches, and speech problems such as lisping. At our Center, a myofunctional therapist will evaluate your child’s orofacial muscle function and swallowing pattern. An individualized treatment program of speech and myofunctional therapy will then be designed for your child, to correct the swallowing pattern, remediate the speech sound errors, and retrain the oral and facial muscles. If you are you in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage, then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today to schedule an appointment!
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If you want more information about any of our services, either at our Center or via interactive online platforms, feel free to fill out the form below to schedule an appointment. A Voice Care Coordinator will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you are you in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage, then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today for more information! As a vocologist, I see people in my office every day who have voice problems. They have many different ideas as to what factors have contributed to their voice issues. So, what’s one of the biggest obstacles to having a healthy voice, whether speaking or singing? Reflux? Surely a big problem but probably not the biggest. Allergies? Lack of sleep? No time to do vocal warm-ups? Not enough hydration? All of these are surely enemies of the voice. But there’s one more obstacle that transcends all aspects of our lives and worms its insidious way into many things we do. That obstacle: STRESS!
Stress is pretty much a fact of 21st-century life. Job, family, relationships, finances, health – all can be sources of stress. And stress can manifest itself as muscle tension; specifically for our clients, vocal muscle tension, hoarseness, pain, or even loss of voice altogether. I’ve had clients whose muscle tension dysphonia was so severe, they were forced to take a leave of absence from their jobs. And stress was often reported as a key factor.
Now we’ve talked in previous videos and blogs about ways to deal with stress, including abdominal breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness training, etc. They’re all very valuable. But if you have a performance in 5 minutes, and you’re stressed, you need a tool at the ready that can get the job done FAST. And that tool is circumlaryngeal massage, or as we call it in our office, the Voice Box Massage and Wiggle. Let’s find out why this is so important to have in your Voice Care Toolbox.
With this amazing tool, you can reduce the effects of stress on the vocal mechanism, even if you can’t entirely de-stress the rest of your life! The theory behind this highly effective technique is that stress causes increased muscle tension, which in turn increases vocal symptoms and pain. If you can reduce the muscle tension through direct massage and manipulation, you may be able to reduce those symptoms. Circumlaryngeal massage can be used to help warm up the voice before use, to restore voice quality after use, and to reduce vocal symptoms like tension or strain. As we stress in the “how-to” video below, to learn laryngeal massage properly, you should be instructed by a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist with special expertise in voice therapy. (Note: Karen Sussman, MA, CCC-SLP holds these credentials, and was lucky enough to be personally trained in this technique by the speech pathologist who first formulated this strategy to be used to treat vocal tension, the late Dr. Arnold Aronson). Also, you can certainly try this massage on yourself, but please don’t use it on another person. Without further ado, we invite you to watch our instructional video, which features our talented voice student Ashley. Ashley had been experiencing extreme vocal tension and progressively worsening vocal symptoms, until she eliminated reflux triggers, learned how to use therapeutic voice exercises to warm up her voice, and began using circumlaryngeal massage. So now you know, laryngeal massage can be an important component in your speaking or singing training or voice therapy program. If you have questions, please post them under the blog or under the YouTube video, or send us an inquiry here. Wishing you less stress, and that you achieve the Choice Voice you’ve always wanted! If you are you in search of somewhere to receive a laryngeal massage, then contact the Professional Voice Care Center today for more information!