No matter where on the gender spectrum you sit, Voice training for all trans and gender diverse clients will have a number of similarities. These sessions can take place in person or via Skype (see pricing for more information).
- Information gathering
The first step a Speech Pathologist will take is to gather as much relevant information about their client as possible. For trans and gender diverse clients, the ultimate information lies in what your goals for training are. Voice training should be tailored specifically to what you are looking to achieve. Expect to fill out a questionnaire or two about your voice and how it currently affects your life. You will also be asked about your current stage of transitioning and your privacy requirements.
Informal Assessment: This process starts with you and your Speech Pathologist talking about your voice goals. With a well-trained ear, your Speech Pathologist may be able to conclude as to whether there are any underlying voice issues that need to be addressed along with your modification training.
Formal Assessment: Your Speech Pathologist may ask you to perform a series of tasks such as reading a passage of text, singing up and down a scale, holding a ‘note’ for as long as you can, all while being recorded. This is so your voice quality can be later analysed using computer software and compared to your future voice post therapy (No one but your voice therapist and yourself will hear such recordings and you do not need to be able to ‘sing’ to perform these assessments).
- Voice Education
An essential aspect of voice training is to learn a little about how voice is made. With a basic understanding of what’s involved when we speak, we can start to work on what you need to adjust in order to change your voice.
Whether you are looking to ‘feminise’, ‘masculinise’ or just change one aspect of your voice, your training may include:
- Promotion of correct voice use.
- Daily exercises to warm-up and improve voice quality, tone and range
- Resonance training – Masculine voices typically have a lower, chest based resonance when speaking while feminine voices usually employ higher head and nasal cavity resonance.
- Intonation training
- Pitch extension – Although pitch modification alone should not be considered the ultimate goal of training.
- Social Pragmatics – As communication includes our body as well as our voice, your Speech Pathologist will discuss how you can enhance your communication through altered body language, gesture and movement.