About Dr. Sadhana Nayak
Dr. Sadhana Nayak is an internationally renowned vocal medicine specialist, voice coach and communication & performance consultant, based in Mumbai, India. She specializes in training, therapy, clinical care and medical treatment of professional and artistic voice users. She is currently a consultant laryngologist and vocal arts medicine specialist at Nanavati Superspecialty Hospital, Mumbai. Combining her expertise as an E.N.T surgeon and laryngologist with her training in vocology, mind-body medicine and Hindustani classical singing, Dr. Nayak brings a unique insight, vast experience and a holistic approach to her work with clients in India and from around the world.
After her Master of Surgery in E. N.T, Dr. Nayak did a fellowship in ‘Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice’ at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, U.S.A. She is a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, a vocal training methodology, taught in world-class performance training programs at the Yale School of Drama, Harvard University and other institutions in the U.S.A and Europe. She is an associate of Dr. Ann Utterback, broadcast voice coach in Washington D.C, for CNN, NBC and CBS. Dr. Nayak has been honoured with prestigious national and international awards and fellowships, including the Fulbright and Commonwealth fellowships. She is on the editorial advisory board of ‘Voice and Speech Review’, a scholarly journal of VASTA, U.S.A.
Dr. Sadhana Nayak is recognized as a top voice doctor and coach for professional vocalists. She has a conservative approach to the rehabilitation and treatment of voice disorders. As a voice doctor, she helps vocal artistes and performers recover from a voice disorder through voice therapy and non-surgical adjunctive approaches. As a vocologist and voice coach, she goes beyond therapy and medical treatment, and helps optimize the voice, to achieve peak performance levels for singing, acting and public speaking.
Dr. Nayak has trained corporate & business leaders, singers, newscasters, sports commentators, television anchors, voice-over artistes, actors, entrepreneurs and professionals, helping them make an impact, every time they speak, sing or act. She has helped rehabilitate the voices of some of the leading vocal artistes and performers of our time.
She has been invited as visiting faculty at drama, film & music departments, and educational institutions in India and the U.S.A. She has designed and implemented training programs for corporate organizations, television networks, theatre groups and NGOs. She has been invited as a keynote and guest speaker to share her expertise on the benefits of collaboration between voice science and the vocal arts. She has written extensively in leading national publications, including the Times of India, Indian Express, Mid-Day and Maharashtra Times.
Professional and Academic Experience
Dr. Sadhana Nayak has worked in academic and clinical settings, as professor of otolaryngology at Somaiya Medical College and as faculty at Seth G.S Medical College, Mumbai. As visiting faculty, she has taught internationally at New York University Tisch Department of Drama, Film & Television, and at Ithaca College Department of Theatre Arts & Music, U.S. A. She has conducted workshops for Whistling Woods International, The Drama School and the National School of Drama in India. She has collaborated on international research projects with the Universities of Maryland and Minnesota, U.S.A.
She has published scientific articles in the Journal of Voice, Voice & Speech Review, Journal of Laryngology & Otology, among many others. She has made scientific presentations and has been invited as a panellist at international and national conferences, including the Annual Voice Foundation Symposium Philadelphia, International Voice Symposium New York, Annual Conferences of the Association of Phonosurgeons of India, Association of Otolaryngologists of India, Indian Medical Association and Indian Association of Occupational Health.
Academic Qualifications and Training
After her M.B.B.S. and M.S. (Master of Surgery) in otolaryngology from Mumbai University, Dr. Sadhana Nayak specialized in ‘Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice’ at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. She studied vocology at New York University, Steinhardt Music Department. She is a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, a leading vocal training approach, taught at drama, film and music departments around the world. She has also received speciality training in otolaryngology at the Universities of Tubingen and Erlangen, Germany, and University of Graz, Austria. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Health Promotion from the Public Health Foundation of India. Dr. Nayak has trained in Hindustani classical singing.
Her interest in an integrated approach to health and well- being, inspired her to study Eastern and Western psychology and mind-body approaches including medical yoga, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, music therapy, transpersonal & humanistic psychology, broadening the dimensions of her work as a voice specialist.
Awards and Honours
Dr. Sadhana Nayak has received international and national fellowships and awards. These include the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship awarded by the United States India Education Foundation [USIEF], Commonwealth Fellowship from the British Academic Committee, Hargobind Foundation Medical Fellowship, Dr. RAF Cooper & AOI-E Merck awards from the Association of Otolaryngologists of India and Dr. S. G Joshi Memorial Award for the best dissertation for M.S [E.N.T].
Philosophy of my work
The human voice is a fascinating instrument at the intersection of the body, breath, mind, emotions and spirit. The ability to express ourselves through speech and song is a wonderful gift we have and we realise the value of it, only when we lose it. As a voice doctor and coach, my vision is to provide everybody who speaks and sings, with the highest standards of voice care and empower them with the ability to access the full potential of their voice.
I believe that all creative processes and artistic endeavours are sustained by a foundation of scientific technique. An expressive and vibrant voice, used for performance and communication, has to be a healthy voice.The premise of my work is to provide performers and professional vocalists with a strong foundation in vocal health and scientific vocal technique, so that they can fully explore the power of their voice for artistic expression and effective communication.
How I got here
When I was training to be an E.N.T surgeon, I could never have imagined that I would someday combine my medical expertise with my passion for the performing arts. From as far back as I can remember I loved music, movies and biology. And I nurtured my love for all of them, while I was in school. I acted in plays, sang in musicals and knew most of the songs that played on the radio. At the same time, I worked hard to ensure that I did well in my science exams. While I was in medical school, I started studying Hindustani classical and Hindi film music, now known world over as Bollywood music.
During my residency in E.N.T, our understanding of the professional and artistic voice was limited. Vocal performers, especially singers often continued to have limitations in the voice following conventional treatment. After I had completed my residency, availability of technology made it possible for us to understand the voice better. I decided to pursue the nascent field of laryngology. My desire to concentrate on the niche area of care of the professional and artistic voice came from my love of the vocal arts. My search for a mentor led me to Dr. Robert Sataloff, a laryngologist and an opera singer, heading a world renowned voice department at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. My training with Dr. Sataloff and his team of acting & singing voice specialists exposed me to the complexities and nuances of working with singers, actors and professional vocalists with vocal injuries and disorders.
I further broadened my understanding of how to enhance and optimize the voice for professional speaking and performance, studying with renowned voice teachers and vocologists, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Saul Kotzubei and Dr. Brian Gill in New York. It helped me combine the aesthetic, expressive and artistic aspects of the voice with scientific and healthy technique. To deepen my understanding of the psychological and emotional aspects of vocal problems, I studied and incorporated mind-body approaches, including Yoga therapy, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, NLP, Gestalt and transpersonal psychology, adding a holistic dimension to my work.
As a clinician and surgeon, I developed a keen eye for pathology on the vocal folds. As someone who studied the art of singing, I developed a sensitive ear for subtle changes affecting vocal expression, range and flexibility in a performer’s voice. I’ve successfully combined these skills to both see and hear the voice and offer the best possible training and treatment for professional and artistic voice users.
Looking back, I can see how all my diverse passions and professional training have come together in my work of enhancing, restoring and treating the voice. And my approach to the voice continues to evolve, as I work with patients and clients from different walks of life, seeking to access and explore their uniqueness and self-expression through the voice.
Advisory Board Member, Keynote & Guest Speaker, Panellist, Conference Presentations and Workshops
- Appointed on the editorial advisory board of ‘Voice and Speech Review’, VASTA, U.S.A, 2017
- ‘Vocal Practice Routine & Voice Training in Hindustani Classical Singers’, 25 th Annual Voice Foundation Symposium, Philadelphia, June 2012
- ‘Comparison of Hindustani and Western Classical Singing – Vocalization Styles’, 1 st International Voice Symposium, New York, January 2012
- Workshop ‘Hindustani Classical Singing- Vocalization Techniques’ for voice coaches, actors and singers, New York, January 2012
- Guest Speaker ‘Healthy Living for Musicians- ‘Caring for the Singer’s Voice’, School of Music, Ithaca College, New York, November 2011
- Guest Speaker ‘Care of the Professional Voice’, National Student Speech, Language & Hearing Association, New York, October 2011
- Guest Speaker ‘Different Provider Models for Voice Therapy’, Department of Communication Sciences, NYU, New York, October 2011
- Guest Speaker, ‘Voice Image’, Department of Film and Television, NYU Tisch, New York, October 2011
- Invited Speaker ‘Taking Care of the Ageing Voice’ Senior Citizens Association, Shushrusha Hospital, Mumbai, December 2017
- Guest Speaker ‘Vocal Empowerment through Vocal Health’, for Faculty at Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Mumbai University, September 2017
- Voice Workshop for international voice teachers, actors and singers, conducted with Catherine Fitzmaurice, Founder of Fitzmaurice Voicework, Auroville, January 2017
- ‘Vocal Health for an Effective Voice’, Shushrusha Hospital, Mumbai, January 2016
- Keynote Speaker ‘How You Say it Matters’, Quest Medical Academy, Mumbai, January 2016
- Guest Speaker ‘Vocal Health for the Actor’, The Drama School, Mumbai, August 2013
- ‘Voice Workshop’, Whistling Woods International Film School, Mumbai, February 2013
- Panellist, ‘Issues of Professional Voice Users’, 7th Annual Conference, Association of Phonosurgeons of India, New Delhi, February 2011
- Guest Speaker ‘Voice Care for the Educator’, for Faculty at SNDT University, Mumbai, December 2010
- Chairperson, Panel discussion ‘Care of the Professional Voice’, 9th International Voice Conference, The Indian Voice Association, Pune, November 2010
- Invited Speaker ‘How to take Care of Your Voice’, HELP [Health Education Library for People], Mumbai, October 2010
- Keynote Speaker, ‘Caring for The Actor’s Voice’, Academy of Theatre Arts, Mumbai University, May 2010
- Invited speaker, ‘Caring for the Professional Voice’, for Faculty at K. C. College, Mumbai University, August 2006
- Seminar ‘Voice Care by The Voice Doctor’, for voiceover artistes, Darrpan Mehta’s Sugar Mediaz, Mumbai, November 2005
- Invited speaker, ‘Train Your Voice to Suit Your Needs’, Times Wellness and Times Foundation, [Times of India Group], Mumbai, September 2005
- Panellist, Symposium ‘Medical Update’ – Voice Medicine’, 51st Annual Convention, ‘Indian Association of Occupational Health’, Mumbai, April 2003
- Seminar Series, ‘Voice Power & Modulation for Radio Jockeys’, Percept Advertising – Techniche Media, Mumbai, April to August 2003
- Workshop ‘The Actor’s Voice’, Acting Academy, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, March 2003
- Keynote Speaker, ‘Vocal Health for Educators’, Maharashtra State Class Owners Association, Mumbai, December 2002
- Keynote Speaker ‘Your Voice- The Mirror to your Personality’, Asoka Mehta Institute Of Management & Research, Navi Mumbai, July 2002
- Guest Speaker, ‘Care of the Professional Voice- A New Sub-Speciality of Otolaryngology’, Annual Conference, Indian Association of Occupational Health, Mumbai, April 1999
- Panellist, Symposium ‘Disorders of the Voice’, 49th Annual Conference of the Association of Otolaryngologists of India, Udaipur, January 1997
- Guest Speaker, ‘Recent Advances – Laryngology & Care of the Professional Voice’, XXII Annual Conference, Indian Medical Association, Mumbai, April 1993
Selected Scientific Publications
- ‘Fitzmaurice Voicework Pilot Study’ Lynn Watson, Sadhana Nayak, Journal of Voice, Vol. 29, No.6 , 2015
- ‘Fitzmaurice Voicework: Theory, Practice and Related Research’ Lynn Watson, Sadhana Nayak, Voice & Speech Review, Official publication of VASTA [Voice & Speech Trainers Association], Vol. 8, Issue 2, 149-156, July 2014
- ‘Voice Disorders- Current Concepts: Professional Voice Care- A New Subspecialty’, Dr.Sadhana Nayak, Quarterly Medical Review, Vol 49, April- June 1998