Singer Savvy: A Fitbit for your voice

You use it for talking, swallowing, and breathing. Your voice box is a vital organ that you use to communicate and live. Now, an app can help prevent your voice box from getting injured.

From operas to recitals and concerts, Theresa Brancaccio has done it all. Now, she’s training the next generation of performers.

“My main goal is to get them singing at the highest levels they’re capable of,” shared Brancaccio, senior lecturer of Voice & Opera at Northwestern University.

The problem?

“When they get really busy, they get also vocally exhausted,” Brancaccio said.

“The biggest detriment that I usually have to my voice is when I get sick and my voice swells up,” said Benedict Hensley, a student at Northwestern University.

“If that isn’t acknowledged and they don’t sort of back off and take care of it, it can develop into something that becomes more like a callus and then that really interferes with how a voice works,” Brancaccio said.

That’s why Brancaccio developed the free Singer Savvy app. The app allows the user to enter what they were doing, how long, and how intensely. As they do activities that may put a strain on their voice, they can keep track to see when they should give their voice a rest.

“You just hideaway, no speaking and it gives the vocal cords a chance to regenerate and start to heal,” said Brancaccio.

But the app is not designed to stop you from using your voice.

“Just checking in with yourself to make sure that you’re not overdoing it,” Benedict said.

Brancaccio said the Singer Savvy app is not just for singers, but for anyone who uses their voice a lot. She said one of the biggest demographics that have a problem with vocal fatigue and even injuries are teachers. To learn more about the app, visit www.singersavvyapp.com.