Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Amy Harmon, Marie R. Kerins, Ed.D.

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The Use of Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises in Transgendered Voice Therapy

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Transgendered (TG) individuals undergoing pitch feminization therapy are at risk for vocal misuse due to extended periods of speaking in an elevated pitch. Vocal misuse has been correlated with vocal hyperfunction and associated muscular tension dysphonia. Vocal therapy techniques such as laryngeal massage and vocal hygiene education have been used as part of TG pitch feminization therapy to reduce muscular tension associated with the therapeutic process. Although the use of semi-occluded vocal tract exercises (SOVTE) has been investigated in relation to prevention and rehabilitation of injury due to vocal abuse or misuse, their use has never been formally studied with a TG population undergoing pitch therapy. This proposal seeks to discover whether using SOVTE in traditional TG pitch feminization therapy would increase phonatory efficiency, reduce the risk of laryngeal muscular tension, and accelerating the rate of acquisition for preferred feminine pitch.