Ad ID: 571
Added: December 13, 2018
Location: South Africa
State: Western Cape
City: Cape Town
Country: South Africa Region: Western Cape City: Cape Town PostalCode: 7441 Address: 120 Vryburger Avenue, Bothasig Mobile number: 846254000 Availability Date: 11/06/2018
So, how does speech therapy work for
someone who’s transitioning? What does it involve?
You come once a week, sometimes
twice a week if you’re really eager to speed things up, and you do different
vocal exercises. Pitch is one of the most important markers. Men on average
speak at 110-120 [Hertz], gender neutral is 145-165, and women are 210-220. In
most cases the goal is to try to get to gender neutral, which basically means
that if you called somebody on the phone, and they speak in what’s known as the
gender neutral pitch, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell if they were a man
or a woman.
So that’s the first piece, but along
with that, they have to learn other things, like posture and speech intonation.
Speech intonation is how much your voice goes up and down in a sentence. Men
tend to speak in a very monotone, even tone. Women speak in many, many
different pitches; as they speak they go up and down, they go high, they go
low. So that’s really important–a person who’s transitioning needs to learn how
to use that range in their voice.
They also practice moving the
resonance of their voice up higher. Men speak in their chests. If you’re a man
and you say a word, if you put your hand on your chest you’ll feel a vibration.
If you’re a woman, you speak in your face. So that’s another thing they try to
work on—they move that resonance from deep in their bodies higher up.
Another thing is women speak more
precisely. They enunciate their words. Men don’t do that as well, so men
actually have to learn to articulate their words more precisely to sound like a
Volume will also be something to
look at as a man will just speak with greater volume—so he’ll speak louder—and
a woman will tend to speak higher, tend to raise her pitch higher.
The problem with just going with
pitch, even though it’s a very important marker, is that if a man speaks like a
man in every aspect except for pitch, he’s going to sound like a man talking in
a falsetto. So all of these other aspects are about trying to come up with a
voice that is real and like the way people actually speak, rather than just trying
to talk as high as you can.
The idea is that you deliberately
practice a new voice until it becomes habit?
EG: The key is that you have to
practice it in your lives. You get homework in each session about what to
practice in the real world, and go out and practice it.
Many of you start your speech
therapy before they have fully transitioned in their lives, so they might be a
person who is fully committed to transitioning but hasn’t told their
workplace. In that case, learning can be slower because you have to be
able to practice your voice all day long. If you’re going back and forth, it’s
a slower process. So you practice your new voice in conversation, and over
time, it just becomes your learned voice. It does seem to sink in to the point
where you find it difficult to access the voice you used to have.