Voice Therapy for Disorders of the Singing Voice
This section deals with voice therapy to improve the function of the singing voice. Focus is centered on the patient who enjoys singing, but has not necessarily had musical instruction or training in professional singing. Work with professional artists is described in the section Vocal Rehabilitation for Professional Singers.
Voice therapy of the speaking voice mainly deals with a limited vocal range, in other words, a range that poses normal effort for the patient during phonation. By contrast, therapeutic work on the singing voice takes place across a broader vocal range. In this context, the average speaking pitch is extended to above and below the medium range.
Because the vocal folds must exert greater tension at higher tones, the therapist needs to structure the program incrementally. The exercises should be transposed for semitones or half-steps to enable the patient to achieve a flowing, transition-free voice at the higher registers without pressed phonation.
Initially, it may be advisable to not exceed the upper mid-range to prevent driving the patient’s voice into a disproportionately strong degree of vocal fold tension and thereby help them avoid excessive phonation. Particularly a less trained or untrained voice needs careful accompaniment when practicing higher notes.
Qualifications Required of the Voice Therapist
In contrast to work on the speaking voice, work on the singing voice places much higher demands on the therapist, who should possess above-average musical talent and have undergone basic musical training. In principle, the voice therapist should have acquired personal singing experience and learned the basics of voice pedagogy.
The voice therapist should also have elementary training in piano playing in order to accompany patients during their singing voice exercises.
At the forefront, however, is the ability of analytical listening. A voice therapist who lacks the skills to judge the quality of the singing tones produced with certainty should not venture into the realm of voice therapy for the singing voice.
Network of Therapists
Dr. Wohlt frequently prescribes voice therapy programs for the diseased singing voice. The search for a suitable therapist can pose considerable trouble for patients who do not live in Berlin or Vienna.
Thanks to his many years of continuing education activities, Dr. Wohlt has built up a vast national and international network of therapists he can rely on and recommend. Obviously, it is ultimately the patient who makes the final decision as to which therapist they entrust their case with.