Voice therapy

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Voice therapy

Voice therapy, also known as speech therapy or voice training, encompasses a myriad of techniques employed in the management of voice disorders[1] or for improvement of the human voice for the purpose of singing or acting, or for achieving a specific gender intonation, as in the case of transgender people. It is provided by speech-language pathologists or voice coaches.

Differences between male and female voices[edit]

There are differences in male and female voice although considerable overlap exists between male and female vocal characteristics.

Broad types[edit]

Voice feminization

Voice feminization is the desired outcome of surgical techniques, speech therapy, self-help programs and a general litany of other techniques to acquire a female-sounding voice from a perceived male sounding voice.

Voice masculinization

This is the opposite of voice feminization, being the change of a voice from feminine to masculine.


Voice scientists, speech pathologists, language pathologists and ENT physicians (otolaryngologists) organize voice production into five components.[citation needed] They are:

Vocal surgeries[edit]

While hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgery can cause a more feminine outward appearance, they do little to alter the pitch or sound of the voice. The existing vocal structure can be surgically altered using procedures that include

  • Cricothyroid approximation (CTA) (is the most common)
  • Laryngoplasty
  • Thyrohyoid approximation
  • Laryngeal reduction surgery (surgical shortening of the vocal cords)
  • Laser assisted voice adjustment (LAVA)

Voice prosthesis[edit]

Voice prosthesis is an artificial device, usually made of silicone that is used to help laryngectomized patients to speak.


Voice disorders[edit]

Voice disorders and speech disorder are managed effectively with voice therapy.[2]

Vocal pedagogy[edit]

While many trans women wish to sing like cisgender women, it will require a lot of training for one to achieve a feminine-sounding voice. This is why most prepubescent males who begin hormone replacement therapy have a higher chance of retaining this quality. See castrato for more information.

Voice therapy in transgender individuals[edit]

Non-surgical techniques undertaken by transsexual women as a part of gender transition to make their voices sound female.

Professionals involved[edit]

Professions that practice voice training include:


  1. ^ Aronson, Arnold Elvin (2009). Clinical Voice Disorders. Thieme. ISBN 978-1-58890-662-5. 
  2. ^ Speyer, R. (September 2008). "Effects of Voice Therapy: A Systematic Review" (PDF). Journal of Voice. 22 (5): 565–580. doi:10.1016/j.jvoice.2006.10.005.