Gender Affirming Voice with Donna Gonzalez
Updated: Feb 7
When I tell most people I am a vocologist and a vocal coach, they look at me with a question mark. They understand that a vocal coach is a person who helps singers or actors prepare for auditions, work on vocal repertoire, or perhaps assists a business person to create a strong, expressive voice for an important presentation. That is part of my skill set.
People understand that a Speech Language Pathologist helps people understand language and speak with clarity. They also treat voice disorders, chewing, swallowing disorders, tongue ties, and stregthen the jaw, lips, and tongue required for breathing, swallowing, and speaking.
But is being a Vocologist a real thing? Unequivocally, yes!
Vocology is the science and practice of voice habilitation. Basically, it’s the study of how we make sound and how we teach people to make the sounds they want to make. Vocology’s ultimate goal is to help all voice users gain a greater understanding of their instrument and all of its wonders, and to begin to relate to their voice through measurable, predictable, and repeatable information in order to develop confidence and clarity.
Vocology draws on the fields of Vocal Performing Arts, Logopedics, Speech and Hearing Science, Audiology, Neurology, Laryngology, and Otology, and relies on knowledge of vocal anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, perceptual-motor learning principles, acoustics, the physics of sound, and vocal pedagogy and practice. This includes research about the voice, vocal training for singing and speaking, and detecting and treating pathologies through therapy.
My personal journey began as a child singer which led me to study classical singing in college where I received a degree in vocal performance. In other words, I trained to become an opera singer. Although I have performed opera roles, I knew very quickly it was not my love. My love was and is Musical Theater, Jazz and Cabaret singing. I spent about 20 years singing these musical styles, and sang in a successful cabaret group called Howard and The Fine Sisters for ten years.
I became interested in vocology after a vocal injury prevented me from speaking and singing. A skilled Speech Language Pathologist rehabilitated my voice after surgery. I learned that my speaking, and not my singing, was the reason for my injury. She introduced me to another way of working with my voice. A scientific way.
After years of practicing and sharing what I have learned personally and professionally, Marcia Campagna, MS, CCC-SLP, COM® invited me to co-teach workshops in Gender Affirming Voice at the Gender Voice Center in Dallas, Texas.
These skills combined with 30 years of experience as a professional performer and speaker, my extensive background as a teacher of movement, music and drama and theater direction, made me an ideal person to help in this area.
Using our voice is “who we are.” It is how we express ourselves to the world.
If you have a voice that you want to sound differently, to agree with who you are and , serve you dependably for your day to day work, I can help you find that.
As part of the Voice Dream Team, you get to spend time with an SLP and a Vocologist to ensure your goals are met. The first step to get started is to book an evaluation with an SLP to make sure you have a healthy voice prior to starting voice and communication training.
Start today. Click here to schedule an Evaluation.
For virtual appointments, click here.
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