Voice Clinic

VocaLab Voice Clinic in North Adelaide provides voice therapy and rehabilitation
services for people with voice disorders and voice difficulties, with a special interest in singers, professional voice users and transgender voice training and care.

VocaLab is run by Elle Nichelle who is a Speech Pathologist, Singing Voice Specialist and LSVT LOUD certified clinician. You can read more about Elle here.

VocaLab’s goal is to not only rehabilitate your voice, but also teach you how to monitor it and provide you with strategies to prevent the problem from returning, leaving you with a voice you trust and love.

Where to find us?

VocaLab Voice Clinic can be found on Level 2, Suite 19, 183 Tynte Street, North Adelaide.

Call (08) 8361 8182 to chat to our friendly staff or book online from the link below.

What is a Voice Disorder?

The voice is produced by the interplay between 3 components: breathing, vocal fold vibration and resonance. Air moves from the lungs which helps the vocal folds vibrate and make sound. This sound is then sculpted by the vocal tract (throat, mouth and nasal passages) to create our desired resonant sound quality.

A voice disorder can be caused by a breakdown of a singular component or combination of the above 3 components.

Symptoms of a voice disorder can include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Roughness
  • Breathiness
  • Consistent voice loss
  • Strained voice
  • Weak voice
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Throat pain when speaking
  • Pitch instability

Possible causes of the adjacent symptoms, may include:

  • Vocal nodules, polyps or cysts
  • Vocal fold haemorrhage
  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia
  • Spasmodic dysphonia
  • Vocal fold paralysis
  • Laryngitis
  • Reflux
  • Parkinson’s disease and other
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Laryngeal cancer

Alongside voice therapy at VocaLab, an evaluation of your vocal folds by an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat specialist) or laryngologist is highly encouraged for a professional voice user, to document the functioning of your vocal folds and to rule out any deviant vocal pathology. An ENT evaluation can be organised through your GP. VocaLab will provide a report of your voice assessment throughout your treatment course with VocaLab.

What happens in Voice Therapy?

 The goal of voice therapy is to improve your voice to meet your vocal needs through guided change in vocal behaviours and lifestyle changes. Voice therapy is a partnership between you, your GP, laryngologist, and your Speech Pathologist. It consists of a variety of tasks designed to eliminate harmful vocal behaviour, shape healthy vocal behaviour, and assist in vocal fold wound healing after surgery or injury. Voice therapy for hoarseness generally consists of one to two therapy sessions each week for 4–8 weeks over 2-3 months (Hapner et al., 2009). 

However, the duration of therapy is determined by the origin of the voice disorder and severity of the problem, co-occurring medical therapy,and, importantly, patient commitment to the practice and generalisation of new vocal behaviours outside the therapy session (Behrman, 2006). Attending your therapy sessions, completing your home assignments, and taking control of your vocal environment is important to achieving the best outcomes. Your commitment to home practice will make a difference in how fast you complete therapy and how successful your therapy outcomes are. We understand that life is busy, so we work with you to schedule sessions as conveniently as possible with your other life commitments. 

Are Speech Therapy and Voice Therapy the same thing?

 
Speech Therapy is a term that encompasses a variety of therapies, including voice therapy. Most insurance cpompanies refer to voice therapy as ‘speech therapy’ but they are the same service, if provided by a Speech Pathologist
 

For Singers & Professional Voice Users

VocaLab offers a specialised service for singers & professional voice users (e.g. actors, teachers, lawyers) who rely their voice for their livelihood.

VocaLab provides therapy and ongoing assessment for the voice behaviours that commonly cause the symptoms listed below:

  • Raspy, hoarse, rough or weak
  • Deviant laryngeal pathology (nodules, polyp, scar, etc.)
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Vocal fold hemorrhage
  • Laryngeal muscle strain or stiffness
  • Chronic cough, tickle or feeling of constant phlegm or lump in the throat
  • Pain when singing/speaking
  • Difficulty controlling pitch
  • Loss of power

For Transgender clients

The voice can be an important part of gender affirmation for trans and gender diverse people.

Voice training can help change or expand your vocal register and range. This is sometimes called ‘masculinising’ or ‘feminising’ one’s voice. Please note these terms are used to describe directional voice changes, and not genders. Voice training will also help you achieve a voice  that is comfortable and sustainable.

Our voice is made up mostly of muscles. This means we can strengthen, stretch, and train them to achieve our desired sound. VocaLab voice training works to reach your voice goals by establishing functional and sustainable:

  • pitch
  • articulation
  • voice quality
  • inflection
  • tone
  • style

Accessibility to Voice Therapy

If you are accessing an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan with your GP, you can access up to five Medicare rebated speech therapy sessions per calendar year, which includes a $55.10 rebate back from Medicare, per session.

To book a consultation with VocaLab or to speak to our friendly staff about what you might need, click the booking button below.

 

References

 

Behrman, A. (2006). Facilitating behavioral change in voice therapy: The relevance of motivational interviewing. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15, 215–225.

Hapner, E. R., Portone-Maira, C., & Johns, M. M. (2009). A study of voice therapy dropout. Journal of Voice, 23, 337–340.