Understanding the Voice — Both On and Off the Stage

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dr. H. Steven Sims
Dr. H. Steven Sims

Do you know how many parts of the body are involved when a person sings? In order to sing properly the body must combine all of the following: 

  • Nose
  • Oral cavity
  • Pharynx
  • Larynx
  • Lungs
  • Vocal Cord

If just one of these parts isn’t working properly, a singer cannot perform at their best, as Dr. H. Steven Sims knows.

Sims is a board-certified otolaryngologist and director of the Chicago Institute for Voice Care, a complete voice treatment center focused on the care of voice and airway disorders. In his practice, he has treated hundreds of local and national entertainers with voice disorders or injuries including members of Chicago’s Lyric Opera, the casts from “Wicked,” “Jersey Boys,” and “The Book of Mormon.”

Not only does he have the medical expertise to treat professional performers, Sims knows what it’s like to perform in front of a room.

An accomplished musician — he plays the trombone, bassoon, and piano — Sims was singing by age 5. As a Yale University undergrad, he was in an a cappella group, performed musical theater, and directed the gospel choir. He even still found still found time to sing and write music during medical school. Sims’s love for music and singing — in addition to a medical understanding of the human voice — allows him to provide the best vocal care possible to assist performers

“In many ways, I view myself as an interpreter who translates between music and medicine,” says Sims.

This understanding of the voice isn’t just important for performers — it extends to other professionals that depend on their voices. The Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic at UI Health cares for lawyers, teachers, coaches, among others. Our team of highly trained professionals use state-of-the-art equipment and the latest scientific research to make diagnoses and provides each patient a personalized plan to care for and maintain their voice. 

To learn more about the UI Health Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, visit http://ent.uihealth.care/.