If you rely on your voice to make a living, even the slightest vocal problem can be devastating. Typically, the most effective treatment of a voice problem is voice therapy. Speech-language pathologists at Jefferson are subspecialists in habilitation and rehabilitation of the voice.
Once a laryngologist recommends you for voice therapy, our voice pathologists will help you get your voice back to normal. Our speech-language pathologists also work closely with the laryngologists in a team approach to provide individualized patient care and a coordinated plan of medical treatment and voice therapy.
What Does Voice Therapy Involve?
At its most basic level, the process of voice therapy teaches you to allow your voice to flow out on exhaled air and be shaped — and sensed — in the resonating cavities of the mouth, nose, facial and/or skull bones. There are certain bodily sensations that are associated with healthy vocal fold vibration. Recognizing and guiding these sensations in everyday speech and in singing is a major goal of voice therapy. Therefore, practicing awareness is as important as practicing any specific exercises.
Voice therapy is not about changing a person's voice; it is more often about changing the biomechanics of voice production to facilitate vocal fold wound healing and/or allowing the vocal folds to vibrate without overpressure.
Once any underlying respiratory and laryngeal motor issues begin to improve, there are numerous exercises you can do to regain vocal strength, flexibility and stamina. Generally, most vocal exercises for singers and non-singers alike are geared toward re-directing vocal tension away from the throat by developing or enhancing one's awareness.
The Key to Successful Voice Therapy
One of the keys to successful voice therapy at Jefferson is to show you a better use of 'self' to a healthier and stronger voice. The Jefferson Voice and Swallowing Center, a joint program with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and housed within the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, provides voice care to many theatrical performers in the Philadelphia region, as well as visiting professional singers and musicians.