Q&A with Speech Language Pathologist Grace Cutchin

photo of Grace and Brian Cutchin at Auburn football game
Grace Cutchin and husband Brian share one of their favorite pastimes - Auburn football.

After a vocal injury inspired a career change, Speech Language Pathologist Grace Cutchin now finds satisfaction helping professional singers return to peak performance.

What has your career path looked like?

I have been a speech language pathologist (SLP) specializing in voice and upper airway for almost three years now. It took me a little while to get to this career, but looking back it seems like a natural progression. My first career was as a high school choir teacher in North Carolina. I taught at my alma mater and my younger brother was a student in my class. I then went on to get a masters degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at University of North Carolina Greensboro and a Masters in Communication Science Disorders at Auburn University. After completing a clinical fellowship at Emory Voice Center in Atlanta during the peak of COVID, I found my first job as an SLP at Washington University.

photo of Cutchin family
Grace and Brian Cutchin with daughter Caverly on Candy Cane Lane this past Christmas.

What do you like most about your work here?

As a singer and performer myself, I love helping patients rehabilitate their voices and return to performing again. The voice is very connected to our identity, so for singers this is often very challenging to navigate. It requires a lot of counseling, patience and knowledge about the singing voice. It is so rewarding to see our patients return to the stage, record again, and get back to their normal lives.

What was your childhood like?

I grew up in the suburbs of Charlotte, N.C. I am the oldest of three kids and still very close to my parents and siblings. I participated in a lot of arts activities including ballet, then transitioned to school chorus, extra-curricular singing and school musicals.

Did something influence your desire to become an SLP?

I decided to become a voice specialized SLP following a voice injury I experienced in 2014. At that time, I was auditioning for graduate programs in vocal performance while also teaching high school chorus and the vocal demand was too much for me. I ended up in voice therapy and successfully rehabilitated my voice. I was still able to pursue my graduate degree for vocal performance, but ultimately decided I wanted to pursue a career as an SLP. I get to use my knowledge and experience from both of these programs every single day in this job.

photo of Cutchin family
The Cutchin family celebrating Caverly’s first birthday.

What spare time activities bring you the most joy?

I like to spend time with family and friends. I have a 1.5 year old who I’m obsessed with. We’re involved in our church here in St. Louis – Storyline – and have met most of our friends there. I also love to exercise. I do Pure Barre and jog, mostly in Forest Park. I also love to eat good food and try new restaurants. I’m always open for recommendations of new places to try!

Is there a special something at the top of your bucket list?

I’ve been dreaming of traveling to see all of the castles along the Rhine, but probably won’t be able to take that trip anytime soon.

Do you have a favorite indulgence?

We watch a lot of college sports in my house, but my favorite is college football – War Eagle! I grew up going to Auburn games, so when fall rolls around we get very excited.

What would most surprise your colleagues to learn about you?

I have a freckle in my right eye. And, I worked at Dollywood one summer.