About Speech Pathology for Singers
While recognising that speech and singing are left and right hands of phonation (vocalisation), the professional associations of speech and singing development, pathology and therapy have begun to recognise that the historic, separate-but-equal stance they have taken relative to the functions and procedures of these disciplines should merge. The physiology and functional approach of vocal disciplines really amount to the same patterns of vocal development, diagnoses of disorders and treatments, so trying to insist on differentiation just because the results of their applications have different tonal and pitch qualities makes little sense. A speaker should be able to demonstrate expressions of pitch and tempo while the singer should likewise be able to produce resonance and linguistic articulation.
Today, when a professional applies speech pathology for singers, he or she may employ the same techniques as if the patient were a public speaker. From a physiological perspective, exactly the same organs and tissues are involved in phonation, from the beginning to the end of the process. They include the diaphragm, lungs, trachea, larynx, vocal folds, the oral cavity (consisting of the tongue, cheeks, palate, teeth and lips), the nasal cavities and, for some, the rest of the head and chest.
The last three in the list are involved to a lesser or greater degree depending on a person’s ability, either naturally or by training, to apply projection and resonance to the voice. The only difference between speaking and singing in the use of these elements of the process is the degree to which they are employed and the ability of the singer to add pitch variation, range and timbre, or color to the voice. Also, a singing voice reshapes the position and alignment of the vocal folds relative to the air path of the trachea and larynx as opposed to a speaking voice.
As a result, the singer’s approach to pathology of vocal improvement uses virtually identical breathing and vocalisation exercise techniques, with the exception of adding sliding scales through the singer’s range of pitch. Speech pathology for singers addresses breathing techniques, lung capacity and control of airflow. It also addresses vocal technique (refinement of respiration, resonance and articulation), extending the range of the voice (pitch), vibrato (the ability to add timbre to a voice by applying a sustained quivering variation of rapid transition above and below the targeted pitch) and posture (to aid the capacity of the lungs).
A speech pathologist for singers provides essential training and therapy for vocal quality enhancement.
If you have questions about speech pathology for singers contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns.