Written by: Admin / Voice / November 6th, 2017
November is “voice month” at Well Said, which means we will be exploring all the ways in which the voice can be improved. So to kick it off, the team has written a blog post designed to answer frequently asked questions such as, what is voice therapy and who can benefit? Perhaps you are required to give presentations at work and want to have a more confident voice. Maybe you are looking to develop a more mature voice, or to become more captivating, more authoritative.
Enjoy our voice therapy blog, filled with interesting facts and helpful information that you can use to ensure you are as happy with your voice as possible.
What is voice therapy?
Our voice is our primary tool when communicating who we are and our sense of self.
Voice therapy is not just for singers. We understand that it can be frustrating when your voice doesn't reflect your best self. Through voice therapy, we can help you to improve your vocal quality (raspiness, breathiness, etc.), resonance, pitch, and volume. We can also help you to take care of your voice, how you feel about your voice, and how your voice is reflecting who you are.
Who can benefit from voice therapy?
There is a wide range of people who can benefit from voice therapy. To illustrate, consider whether you identify with any of the following statements:
My voice gets tired at the end of the day.
I am looking to improve the quality of my voice, like the tone and pitch.
I am looking for more vocal confidence when giving presentations.
At Well Said, we call this a “confident voice” or “professional voice”.
I am hoping to develop a more mature voice.
I need more flexibility and endurance in my voice.
I am wondering how to make my voice more captivating.
I want to sound more authoritative.
I am someone who uses my voice all day at my job.
You could be a lawyer, a teacher, a yoga instructor, or anything in between.
I have pain when speaking or singing.
I have trouble projecting my voice.
My voice wears out quickly.
My voice sounds rough.
Through reading this wide range of statements, you can see that there are many different situations in which someone would benefit from voice therapy.
If you identified with any of the above statements, voice therapy might be for you.
Identifying with some of these statements might also indicate a voice disorder.
What is a voice disorder?
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a voice disorder is present when an individual expresses concerns about having a voice that does not meet the needs of daily communication.
Signs and symptoms of a voice disorder may include:
A strained voice quality that requires effort
A pitch that is too high or low, or limited in range
Loudness that is too high or too low, or decreased in range and steadiness
A voice that is hypernasal or hyponasal
A voice that breaks
Variable voice quality throughout the day
Running out of breath quickly when using your voice
Pain associated with the use of your voice
How do we assess your voice?
When screening for a potential voice disorder, your SLP evaluates vocal characteristics related to:
Vocal range and flexibility (e.g., pitch, volume, pitch range, endurance)
If a voice disorder is suspected, a thorough assessment is conducted using both standardized (formal) and non-standardized (informal) measures. Diagnostic therapy may also be performed in order to determine whether voice therapy is right for you.
Voice therapy treatment
Voice therapy is an art as much as it is a science. You can expect to spend your therapy time working one-on-one with the clinician. During this time, you might start off with voice warm-ups. Sometimes we use non-speech sounds ("mmmmmmaaahhhhh"), singing scales, humming, chanting, or meditation to get our clients warmed up and ready to show off their best voice. Afterwards, we will give you instructions on how to change your sound and how to get there, then you get to try it out while receiving feedback about your sound.
Voice therapy is very much a dynamic process of moulding and tweaking your voice towards your ideal. This requires constant monitoring and feedback as well. We require that clients commit to daily practice and the therapeutic process. Life long change doesn't happen over night and we're committed to work with you until you are confident and satisfied with your voice.
Be prepared to end up with a voice that you love!
At Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy, we have a committed team of adult-focussed clinicians who are ready to help you with your communication goals. Call or email us anytime to learn more about voice therapy at our clinic.