Singing Voice Therapy



Written by: Admin / Voice / November 13th, 2017

Are you a singer or performer who is being held back by voice concerns?

Learn how to maximize your vocal potential and get back to having a voice that you love.

- What is vocal trauma?
- Why a speech-language pathologist?
- When is singing voice therapy relevant?
- How we treat your singing voice

When working with clients, I combine my knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the voice with singing and performance techniques, terminology, and metaphors.
— Alyssa McCarthy, M.Sc Singing Voice Specialist

What is vocal trauma?

Vocal trauma is a type of stress that can affect the vocal folds - which are in the larynx - or voice box. The vocal folds are strips of muscle that vibrate when air passes through them. Stress in this area is generally a result of overuse, misuse, or straining. This can lead to deterioration of the voice, also referred to as vocal fatigue.

It’s important to note that not all speech-language pathologists provide singing voice therapy.

Why a Speech-Language Pathologist?

The benefit of finding an SLP who is also a singing voice therapist (sometimes called a voice coach) is their knowledge of the singing voice within a medical model. This means that the singing voice therapist can:

  • Apply a deep knowledge and understanding of the medical model, with respect to the anatomy and physiology of the voice.

  • Become an important member of your “voice team”. Other professionals on your voice team might be an ENT, an otolaryngologist, another singing voice coach, or other para-healthcare professionals (such as a massage therapist).

  • Work collaboratively to support the development of your singing voice within your repertoire, while improving:  

  • Vocal tone

  • Clarity

  • Transition through the registers or passaggio

  • Increasing range

  • Access to dynamics (singing quietly, singing loudly)


When is singing voice therapy relevant?

Singing voice therapy is applicable to all singers, since the voice is both an instrument and a muscle of its own. It’s important to remember that the voice needs tune-ups, maintenance, and injury prevention to avoid vocal trauma.

Singing voice therapy is relevant across all different styles and genres.

Singing voice therapy can also be for rehabilitation for the singing voice in the case of voice difficulties, such as:

  • Improving vocal endurance and hygiene

  • Prevention of voice challenges common to singers

  • Addressing specific problems and diagnosis

How do we treat your singing voice?

It’s important to note that although many singers seek therapy because they have concerns about their singing voice (with respect to strain, voice breaks, range, and so on), the way the voice gets used outside of performance and rehearsals is equally as important for vocal health. Someone might have a fabulous singing technique, but misuse throughout the day can undermine these efforts.

Voice therapy that is focussed on the singing voice includes strategies that apply to both the speaking voice, as well as the specific factors behind the singing-related challenges, in order to overcome the problem. These strategies are recommended with the objective of maximizing the health and performance quality of the singing voice, developing stamina, and preventing future damage and difficulties.

Voice Coaches in Toronto

At Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy, we will provide therapy and expert techniques for not only the singing voice, but for appropriate care for speaking and everyday use. We are Canadian trained speech-language pathologist living in Toronto and we have numerous specialist training credentials on the areas of voice, voice rehabilitation, singing voice and transgender voice.


We are located on Bloor street west, just a stone's throw west of Bathurst subway station. Call (647-795-5277) or email us today to learn more about how we can help with your voice.