Speech therapy covers a lot of different functions: it can help someone make their speech more clear and enunciate his or her words, address a stutter, or even make speaking a new language easier. Therapy to improve speech also can include voice training, to help someone sing better, or even mimic different accents and dialects. For a performance artist, such as a singer or an actor, working with a Speech Pathologist can become an important part of broadening his or her career options.
But there are limitations to speech therapy, especially when it comes to the way someone's voice sounds.
Cassandra Gauthier of Western Washington had found her nasal-sounding voice to be an obstacle in her work as a singer and performer. At the suggestion of her voice coach, she saw a speech pathologist, Doctor Antonio Ysunza, who could help her find a way to develop her voice to sound less nasal.
Dr. Ysunza ultimately discovered that her voice was a product of a deformation of her palate. With surgery, he was able to give Cassandra a less nasally voice, moving her from a nasal score of 64 before surgery to 32. The average nasal score for most people is 32.
The benefits have been immense for Cassandra: she can now sing for longer and higher, before she gets tired. The surgery has helped her also land a role as Morticia in the play, The Addams Family.
Working with a therapist is still useful for many people and should be a first resort in helping one alter their voice. But if your therapy lacks results, seek a speech pathologist who can recommend whether or not a surgery alternative would help your cause.
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