gender affirming voicework

it's time to find your own voice

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GENDER AFFIRMING VOICEWORK

One-on-one sessions where the therapist works directly with you to access and embody a more affirming singing and/or speaking voice through the use of music therapy. This might involve: 

  • working with your physical voice to change vocal habits
  • working with the body to encourage relaxation and groundedness
  • exploring your emotional connection with your voice, body, and/or gender

This work surrounds directly working with the impacts of the gender binary on your experience of your voice and gender by supporting you in listening deeply to your own experience of yourself. A key idea to the way we practice: We are not prescriptive about the voice -- we are collaborative. This means we will support you in identifying your own voice and gender-related goals so that you might speak, sing, move, and live in the most affirming and authentic way you can.

FAQs about gender affirming voicework

WHAT IS GENDER AFFIRMING VOICEWORK?

Gender affirming voicework is a new music therapy method developed by Maevon Gumble which aims to address gender-based vocal needs on a holistic level through the use of singing, conversational improvisation, toning, movement, imagery, relaxation experiences, and other music-based experiences. The method continues to be developed as Maevon continues to work alongside 1) individuals who work with their own voices and 2) music therapists who seek to provide gender affirming voicework services.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL SESSION LIKE?

No two sessions are the same! That said, a typical session will begin with a check-in where we'll establish an intention for the session, engage in a mindfulness and body-focused experiences, and then move into your intention through music- and voice-based experiences. Intentions can include, but are not to:

  • shifting how high or low your voice might be
  • shifting where your voice is resonating/vibrating within your body
  • 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

DO WE NEED TO USE MUSIC?

Yes! As music therapists, we ethically must work within our scope of practice, which means that music is the biggest tool in our therapy toolbox. In gender affirming voicework, we use music to address both speech and/or singing related goals, depending on the kind of services you're seeking. We do recognize that music might not be for everyone, and if we're not a good fit, we'd be happy to support you in getting connected to the right people!

CAN I ALSO ENGAGE IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES?

Absolutely! It can be a really powerful experience to move back and forth between mental health-focused work and voice and gender-focused work. We've had some folx engage in both concurrently or start in one and shift to the other. Gender affirming voicework is intended to work with your experiences of your voice and your gender holistically. It's all about meeting the needs that arise for you in the moment.

WHO CAN OFFER GENDER AFFIRMING VOICEWORK?

Because gender affirming voicework is a specific way of engaging in gender and voice-focused music therapy, only those who have completed their certification in gender affirming voicework can offer these services. At the moment, that list consists of Maevon Gumble, Braedyn "Rae" Inmon, and Karter "K" Schachner.

FAQs about music therapy

WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?

Music therapy is the use of music within a therapeutic relationship facilitated by a board-certified music therapist. Depending on you and what you're wanting/needing to engage in, this can include a wide variety of healthcare needs related to social, emotional, communication, behavior, cognitive, physical/movement, and spiritual goals. A music therapist will support you by engaging in music and relaxation techniques, lyric/song analysis, songwriting, improvisation and active music-making, playlist creation, and using music with other forms of creative expression (e.g., art, poetry, dance, etc.). These creative experiences are often processed mutually within the therapeutic space to gain deeper understanding, make meaning, and relate these discoveries to your everyday life. At Becoming Through Sound, we specialize in mental health-focused music therapy as well as gender affirming voicework.

DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SING OR PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?

Not at all! Sometimes people feel nervous about using music in therapy out of a fear of not being able to "do it the right way" or that they're not a "trained musician." While this makes so much sense, what's awesome about music therapy is that techniques can be used to allow people of all musical and non-musical backgrounds to participate in music therapy in whatever way feels right for them. No background needed!