Gender affirming voicework
Gender affirming voicework is a new music therapy method developed by Maevon which aims to address gender-based vocal needs on a holistic level through the use of singing, conversational improvisation, chanting/toning, movement, imagery, relaxation experiences, and other music-based experiences. Gender affirming voicework can be a lot of different things depending on what you're hoping to get out of the work. It could be:
- working with your physical voice in terms of accessing a more affirming sound through changing vocal habits,
- working with the body to encourage relaxation and groundedness as well as working with the ways we express and relate to our voice, body, and gender,
- exploring your emotional connection with your voice, body, and/or gender and ways of feeling more at home with yourself,
- or some combination of these.
The overarching goal of this work, though, is to access and embody a more affirming way of existing within the world. As a trained and certified music therapist pursuing licensure as a professional counselor, Maevon brings a unique skillset aimed at supporting you toward this goal.
Intentions can include, but are not limited to:
- accessing a part of your voice
- exploring imagery/thoughts that are reflective of your experiences of your voice/body
- working on fostering a more sustainable and affirming vocal sound
- learning strategies to ground your voice in your body
practicing interacting with each other within affirming spaces
exploring the various emotions that might come up within this work
healing from gender-based trauma
and so on
Maevon understands gender affirming voicework to be grounded in the belief that we as people often experience a kind of gender trauma through being socialized to interact with and live within the world in limiting ways. Directly working with the impacts of existing within this incredibly gendered and binary world, gender affirming voicework surrounds listening deeply and profoundly to our own experiences of ourselves--our own authenticity--as a way of honoring and fully embodying authentic and affirming gender expressions. By listening in to ourselves, we might begin to speak, sing, move, and live in the most affirming and authentic way we can.
Maevon continues to develop this method as they have been working alongside 1) individuals who seek to access and embody more affirming gender expressions for themselves and 2) music therapists who seek to provide gender affirming voicework services.
Individual gender affirming voicework sessions
In individual gender affirming voicework sessions, you'll be able to work one on one with Maevon, who will support your individual needs through a more personalized gender affirming voicework session.
Group gender affirming voicework sessions
"Finding Voice" is a music therapy group for trans, nonbinary, and/or gender nonconforming adults 18+ to support each other in gender and identity-focused work through music and the arts. In this group we will:
- Explore our relationships with gender, voice, and the body
- Aim to find safety within the voice
- Access and embody affirming gender and vocal expressions
- Learn strategies to avoid vocal fatigue
- Practice voicing in a safe(r) space
- Manage voice-based anxiety related to social settings
- Support and be supported by peers in this work
Group meets every other Thursday from 7pm - 8:30pm EST.
A note for music therapists: Alongside their colleague, Braedyn Inmon, Maevon is in the process of developing a training model specific to gender affirming voicework. If you are interested in learning how to engage in this work, please reach out through the Contact page to let Maevon know you'd like to be kept up-to-date as this training model emerges. Relatedly, "gender affirming voicework" relates to a very specific set of ideas / therapeutic approach. It is requested that if you are engaging in similar work that you do not use the term "gender affirming voicework" without training with Maevon. Thank you!
All services are currently being offered through virtual platforms (such as Zoom) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although in-person sessions will eventually resume for those who are interested in these, virtual options will continue to be available even after the COVID-19 pandemic.