Ivoicet – Elpida Koutsoumpaki

Training Workshops for English-speaking Voice Specialists

The goal of the Integrated Voice Therapy Training workshops is to train graduate speech therapists, training ENT doctors, singers and voice coaches in the principles of applied Voice Therapy techniques, either for clinical rehabilitation of the voice (speech therapists) or artistic voice training (singers and voice coaches).   

The training is practical, comprehensive and is developed in 3 levels, over the three 2-day workshops.     

Webinar group sizes are limited to 12 participants so that the practical nature of the workshop is secured!

The dates and times of each workshop are Friday-Saturday , 10.00-17.30. 

Each level is complete with :

  • prep material prior to the start of each level
  • complete manual, detailing the techniques we cover in each workshop
  • during the workshop, abundant practice time for each new technique we learn, with individual and group practice
  • video recording of individual and group practice, that is used as preparation for the next level
  • examples of real cases so that we see the actual clinical application of the techniques
  • creation of complete management plan for real cases
  • demonstration of the application of the techniques for therapy

What the Integrated Voice Therapy training workshops lead to

The techniques developed within the framework of the three levels (1,2,3 ) constitute a comprehensive approach to the training of the developing Voice Specialist.

With completion of the training the Speech Therapist will have acquired specific theoretical knowledge hands-on, practical skills that will allow him to handle every dysphonic case, including functional, organic, psychogenic, post-op trauma and neurological cases.  Besides typical dysphonic cases, the approach is also successfully applied to cases with dysphagia, Parkinsonism, dysarthria, hypernasality and stuttering.

It is understood that, despite the comprehensive training,  the multifaceted nature of the techniques and the complex needs of all cases with dysphonia, require from the training voice therapist continuous practice and engagement and persistence with the techniques, primarily on himself but also on third parties. Mastering the techniques takes time, persistence and lots of practice!

With completion of the training the singer and voice coach will have become scientifically literate in the workings of the voice mechanism, for all voice and singing styles.   Singing technique will be enriched far beyond more traditional understanding of the voice mechanism.  All that the singer achieves artistically will be explored in terms of specific parts of the body activating specific movements. The singer will achieve total control of these parts of the body and will be assisted towards being able to guide the singer students towards safe and efficient voice use, based on pure scientific knowledge!  Relating the emotional world to the artistic voice will help the singer unravel the difficulties associated with stage-fright, stress, fatigue, medications, etc.  In short, vocal artistry and vocal science will be in total communication!

Basic Principles of the Integrated Voice Therapy training workshops

The IVT approach to voice rehabilitation considers the person through the prism of the dynamic interplay between the mind-body-emotion synergy.  Dysphonic problems are considered as an imbalance of this synergy. Voice therapy aims at rebalancing the total person.

The person with dysphonia is trained for mechanical mastery of a wide range of options for safe and efficient voice use.  The person in taught how to become mindful of all three parameters of voicing.

At the level of the body, the learner masters how to detect and physically control the sensations created at various parts of the body.  Mechanical expertise of the vocal mechanism is achieved with modified versions of the biomechanical techniques developed by Jo Estill and Alison Bagnals’ Voicecraft approach.

At the level of the mind, the learner becomes aware of subconscious instructions that manifest as habitual movement patterns and learns how to redirect and reorganize these habits.  Principles of learning theory are applied to understanding the clinical application of the techniques.

At the emotional level, the person becomes aware of the emotional patterns related to both the mind and body aspects of the voice difficulty. The approach to emotional aspects of vocal difficulty is informed by developments in the scientific filed of affective neuroscience.

As a result of the training, voice production becomes predictable, easy and safe! It is no longer a function of the body that is beyond the person’s control, it is no longer unsafe or mysterious. Is is fun and is recognized by the learner as a tool with which s/he can listen to what the self needs in order to remain in balance!

Level 1 - Introduction
(This workshop is a 2-day workshop for both speech therapists and singers / voice coaches)

Level 1 Workshop is aimed at speech therapists, training ENT doctors, singers and voice coaches  who are interested in mastering the basic function of their own voice and the principles of the Integrated Voice Therapy approach to voice rehabilitation and training.

Workshops catering to speech therapists and ENT doctors focus on the clinical application of the approach.   Workshops catering to singers and voice coaches focus the same techniques on artistic voice training.

The training requires foundation knowledge of laryngeal physiology and anatomy, but does not require clinical experience with rehabilitation of voice difficulties.

Content of Level 1 Workshop

  • Practical understanding of vocal function and dysfunction
  • Introduction to the principles of voice therapy with the Integrated Voice Therapy approach
  • Hands-on voice therapy techniques for management of vocal fatigue and discomfort, laryngeal muscle pain, tonal range, hypernasality, post-op trauma, functional difficulties and organic lesions:
      • Constriction-Release of laryngeal and body tension
      • Control of laryngeal height
      • Control of 4 voice onsets
      • Control of velar port
      • Effort control, how and why effort impacts on vocal hyperfunction
  • Principles of learning theory applied to the voice therapy setting   
  • Techniques for controlling nasality and resonance     
  • In-depth understanding of the phoniatric case and formulation of a complete rehabilitation program     
  • Understanding voice and emotion and how emotion relates to the dysphonic case     
  • Creating a management plan       

Content of Level 2 Workshop -
(Workshops for singers and voice coaches combine the content of Levels 2 & 3 into one 3-day workshop)

  •  All Level 1 techniques progress to further depth of understanding
  • Understanding muscle activation, fascia, motor control and muscle elasticity
  • Controlling head and neck muscle activity for stabilizing the laryngeal mechanism
  • Controlling the tongue, how the tongue is critical for controlling voice skill
  • Step-by-step skills for Sob technique and modifying the Sob for therapeutic intervention and vocal artistry
  • Step-by -step skills for Twang technique and safe vocal projection in speech and song
  • Compare, contrast and control each variation that the voice can produce
  • Create intervention plans for clinical cases and incorporate all the skills learned up to this point
  • Demonstration of the application of the techniques

Content of Level 3 Workshop

  • Extending Twang and Sob for vocal rehabilitation
  • Incorporating total body muscle activity for further stabilizing the laryngeal mechanism
  • Understanding the value of balance, posture and habitual movement patterns
  • Step-by-step skills for Belting (unravelled)
  • Step-by-step skills for Classical voice
  • Applying Belting to voice rehabilitation and to the artistic voice
  • Understanding laryngeal endoscopy and diagnostic parameters
  • Extending clinical management plans
  • Live demonstration of the application of the techniques