Our clinic offers comprehensive voice care with a number of services available. Having a problematic voice that is unreliable and frequently impaired can be a great source of frustration for many individuals.
Voice issues can be a result of vocal fold injuries, overuse of the voice, and/or inefficient use of or misuse of the mechanism. Poor voice quality and vocal limitations can directly affect the ability to do one’s job and day-to-day activities if the voice is hoarse, breathy, weak, or fatigues easily. This is particularly challenging if the individual is a professional voice user (singer, actor, professional public speaker).
We offer professional assessment and expert, individualized care to treat the full spectrum of voice and airway disorders. It is our mission to provide the highest level of patient care while helping each person develop the skills and tools they need to heal, recover and maintain long-term success.
Professional Assessment: Diagnostic Voice Evaluation
During an initial appointment, the speech pathologist will perform an assessment of the voice, breathing, or presenting problem. This is a 60-75 minute exam and typically involves a detailed discussion of the specific voice issues followed by a series of vocal tasks designed to determine the capabilities and limitations of the voice. An acoustic and/or aerodynamic evaluation may be performed as a part of this assessment. The results of this visit will help to determine appropriate treatment and management options. If the patient has not been seen by a physician, they may be referred to one and required to do so prior to beginning any speech/voice therapy program. If the patient has already seen a physician and received a referral for therapy, it is important to bring the results of that examination to the first appointment.
Speech, Voice & Breathing Therapy
Expert, personalized medical therapy and treatment with a voice-qualified speech pathologist can help you identify better voice production techniques, breathing techniques, establish an ideal vocal hygiene program and daily voice use schedule, and improve voice quality by using voice therapy “exercises” for the speech and/or singing voice. Ideally these new behaviors over time help to eliminate vocal fold injury and restore normal voice quality and vocal fold tissues. Treatment plans and the length of therapy vary depending on the patient’s specific diagnosis, progress and results. A typical treatment plan is 6-8 sessions over a period of several months. Sessions are 45 minutes in length. We offer treatment for the following conditions or problems:
Vocal Fold Injuries (i.e., nodules, polyps, cysts, capillary ectasia)
Muscle Tension Dysphonia of speech and singing
Vocal Fold Atrophy or Bowing
Neurological Voice Impairments
Gender Spectrum Voice
Breathing Difficulty and VCD, Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement
Singing Voice Problems (rehabilitative, post-operative, technical)
Perimenopausal, menopausal, and post-menopausal voice change
Professional Voice Care
Professional voice users may receive specialized therapy services depending on the vocal demands of their specific occupation. A professional or occupational voice user is anyone whose voice is essential to their job. Singers, actors, public speakers, teachers, clergy and many other professions that require voice to perform their duties are included in this group. The speech pathologist will do a thorough assessment of the speaking and/or singing voice if necessary to determine the best course of treatment. Technical problems or poor technique can be addressed in this type of therapy since the speech pathologist is qualified to address those issues.
Vocal Health and
Individual patients and students receive a specialized Vocal Health and Wellness Program as a part of their treatment. This is also a stand-alone service we provide to individuals and groups who want to enhance and improve their baseline voice and technique. Professionals and students who are busy speakers and singers need skills and tools to rely on daily that help them detect and prevent vocal problems. Our goal is to establish your best vocal baseline and create a targeted plan to maintain it no matter the circumstances. We identify risk factors for vocal fold swelling and injury based on personal and professional lifestyle, occupation, vocal load and commitments. This type of service also includes developing a personalized vocal warm-up routine that supports these goals.
Private workshops and lectures on Vocal Health and Wellness for groups are available by invitation and include education on the anatomy of vocal mechanism, how voice is produced, and common vocal injuries. Participants will learn how to identify vocal problems, and tips and tools for establishing and maintaining a healthy voice for the busy vocal lifestyle. This type of programming is essential to understanding the basics of detection and prevention for all busy vocalists. We offer many additional lecture topics and areas of expertise to best serve any audience. Topics and content for speaking engagements can be modified to suit the client’s needs and goals.
Rehabilitative Singing Lessons
We offer highly specialized training for singing voice rehabilitation. As a soprano, life-long musician, and experienced performer and voice teacher, Ms. Sonnenberg’s expertise in this area offers a unique approach to the diagnostic and recovery process. We begin with careful and thoughtful assessment of the underlying problems, whether they be related to injuries of the vocal folds, muscle tension, surgical recovery, nerve damage like vocal fold paresis, hormonal or biological changes, or persistent technical difficulties. Training methods and lessons are rooted in evidenced based therapeutic models with targeted training that involve an “unloading” of the problematic behaviors followed by a rebuilding of the technique to restore clear, free, healthy vocal range and function. Exercises and daily practice regimen are based on a clear understanding of motor learning principles that facilitate reconditioning with slow, steady recovery. The skills and tools acquired in this process are an investment that can serve the singer for many years to come. Students leave with a strong understanding of how to work towards their goals, resolve issues independently, and maintain life-long vocal health and freedom.
Professional Speech Training
Expert, individualized training to help you develop your best strategies for voice and speech, and communication. Make your voice stronger, clearer and healthier with scientifically based technique and care. Learn to protect your voice from fatigue, loss and injury while improving your sound and skills. Includes individualized warm-up and cool-down routines tailored to your vocal needs and capabilities and a specialized Vocal Health and Wellness program designed to optimize your voice on a daily and weekly basis. This program is designed to meet your personal goals through our one-on-one work. Each session builds on the previous one. Training the voice and speech system is best done by taking small steps over a period of time. My 12-week program allows you adequate time to practice exercises in between sessions. This approach is ideal for motor learning and development in this process. Continued training is available as requested.