Welcome to the 2017 Northwest Voice Conference: The Art & Science of the Performing Voice! The conference is in Alder Auditorium at 1310 40th St NE, west of the UW Campus.

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Submitted Papers [clear filter]
Friday, April 21


Submitted Paper: Hearing Vocal Nodules and Polyps
Lesions and swellings located on the central vocal cord’s vibratory margin are almost always located in the midportion, presumably the location where vocal cords encounter the greatest impact. It is relatively easy to detect this type of injury by listening to the voice at various pitches and volumes. Patients can even learn to monitor the size of the swelling by regularly performing these vocal tests on their own. Outcome objectives - Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to. … understand how to vary pitch and volume during an audible examination of the voice in order to detect vocal swellings. … understand how to monitor the size of a vocal swelling by listening to a voice Vocal capabilities testing is a clinical method of listening to the voice while varying pitch and volume and noting where vocal impairments occur. Each type of vocal cord vibratory impairment will have a different pattern which is detectable merely by listening, even before putting an endoscope into a patient. The pattern of vibratory impairment for nodules and polyps is one of the easiest to detect.

avatar for James Thomas, MD

James Thomas, MD

Physician, James P Thomas MD
James P. Thomas, M.D. has practiced laryngology since 1998, after studying with numerous experts in the field from Europe to China, among them Robert Bastian, Guy Cornut, Marc Bouchayer, Steven Zeitels and Murray Morrison. He is well known around the world for his website voicedo... Read More →

Friday April 21, 2017 10:45am - 11:00am
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105


Submitted Paper - Smartphone-based Endoscopy: A Low Cost Alternative to Laryngostroboscopy
Laryngostroboscopy has been demonstrated to improve the diagnostic accuracy of laryngeal diseases by 10 to 47 percent when compared to standard laryngoscopic exams alone. However, despite its proven efficacy, the stroboscopic exam is still noticeably absent from many physician’s diagnostic algorithms. In part, the use of stroboscopy has been limited by the large upfront cost associated with the accessory tower which provides the alternating light source and compatible video recording. Access is further limited by the large size and poor portability of most stroboscopy accessory towers making use in many inpatient settings impractical. Thus, there is a significant technological gap which prevents low cost, highly portable, high fidelity stroboscopy. We have designed a low-cost, highly portable stroboscopy system built on a smartphone platform which obviates the need for all other accessory equipment. In this exploratory study, we aim to test the hypothesis that images from a low cost smartphone-based stroboscopy system are equivalent to those from traditional stroboscopy accessory towers. We have designed an exploratory, randomized, blinded trial where Senior Laryngologists judge images obtained from a cohort of patients that have had exams with both smartphone and standard stroboscopy systems. Equivalence between smartphone and traditional accessory towers suggests a viable path towards lower cost, wider acceptance and increased access to stroboscopic examinations.

avatar for Anthony Law, MD

Anthony Law, MD

Resident, Otolaryngology, University of Washington Medical Center
CLINICAL INTERESTS My clinical interests are still developing. As a junior resident I still enjoy all aspect of Otolaryngology and have yet to decide on an area of focus. RESEARCH FOCUS My PhD work focused on protein structure, protein dynamics and protein function. Specifically... Read More →

Friday April 21, 2017 11:00am - 11:15am
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105


You Want Me to do What? Facilitative Voice Techniques
This presentation will discuss various facilitative voice techniques commonly used by speech language pathologists during evaluation and treatment of patients with voice disorders. Examples and demonstration of these techniques will be provided in order to promote a better understanding of how to improve phonatory efficiency during evaluation, laryngoscopy, and voice and singing rehabilitation with a special consideration for use by speech pathologists, voice teachers, and laryngologists. 

Learning Objectives
  • Participant will be able to identify at least three facilitative voice techniques to use during evaluation and treatment of patients with voice disorders.
  • Participant will be able to recognize at least four different types of muscle tension patterns visualized on laryngoscopy. 

avatar for Lisa D'Oyley, MS, CCC-SLP

Lisa D'Oyley, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, University of Washington Medical Center
Lisa D'Oyley, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist at the University of Washington Medical Center specializing in voice, swallowing, and upper airway disorders as part of the multidisciplinary Laryngology clinic. She received a Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology... Read More →
avatar for Emily Wilson, MS, CCC-SLP

Emily Wilson, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, University of Washington Medical Center
Emily Wilson, MS, CCC-SLP received her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Washington. She currently works alongside the UWMC Laryngology team as a Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of voice and upper airway disorders... Read More →
avatar for Juli Rosenzweig, MS, CCC-SLP

Juli Rosenzweig, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, University of Washington Medical Center
Juli Rosenzweig, MS, CCC-SLP, SAG-AFTRA, is a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in Laryngology at the University of Washington Medical Center where she has worked for the past 16 years. Prior to her work as a speech pathologist, she herself was a radio, stage, and film actor... Read More →
avatar for Patricia Waugh, MS

Patricia Waugh, MS

Speech Pathology Specialist, University of Washington Medical Center
Patricia Waugh, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech Pathology Specialist at the University of Washington Medical Center with over 40 years of experience in evaluating and treating speech, language and voice disorders.  Pat is currently the senior speech pathologist in the UWMC Laryngology Clinic... Read More →

Friday April 21, 2017 2:45pm - 3:30pm
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105
Saturday, April 22


Submitted Paper: Vocal Health Concerns Related to Video Game Voice-Over Work

My presentation is aimed at raising awareness around the damage many voice-over actors are incurring when called upon to perform in video games.  It is also intended to initiate problem-solving strategies.  By demonstrating the typical range of video game voice-over (VO) categories, e.g. attacking, dying, taunting, laughing, re-spawning, etc., this talk should help to shed more light on the issues VO talents, their teachers, their agents, and their health professionals grapple with.

Video games grossed more than movies did in 2016.  Western Washington is known as a hub of video game development.   Actors will always want to make money and grow their resumes when they can, as so many new opportunities can stem from them.  For example, I was recently on “The Business of Voice-Over” panel at Emerald City Comicon with several other video game talents; one of them is the voice of Cortana from the video game Halo.  You might also know her as the voice who is basically now on every English-Speaking PC with Windows 10 on the planet. 

What is mentioned far less often, until the recent SAG-AFTRA strike, is how often VO talents are hurting or losing their voices due to poor planning on the part of  

  • directors, who need to limit sessions times, and who need to remember to save the screams for the end of the session, and on the part of
  • under-trained talents, who are simply winging it when it comes to creating extreme voices and vocalizations.

Many of these actors experience not only vocal damage, but also loss of work because they are unable to use their voices for auditions or performances after these extreme VO sessions.

Demand for video game VO will only continue to grow, as will the number of people who want to create voices for them.  Since the problem is not going away, let us put our heads together to figure out as many strategies as we can for helping VO performers maintain healthy bodies and paychecks. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will have a greater understanding of the extreme vocal demands placed on actors engaged in voice-over work for video games
  • Attendees will be able to generate community-wide discussion on how we can help our clients/students prevent vocal damage 

avatar for Gin Hammond, MFA

Gin Hammond, MFA

Voice Specialist, Seattle Voice Institute
Gin Hammond is a Harvard University/Moscow Art Theatre grad and a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework™.  She has performed nationally at theatres such The Guthrie, Arena Stage, The Longwharf Theatre, Seattle’s ACT, The Pasadena Playhouse, the ART, The Berkshire... Read More →

Saturday April 22, 2017 11:00am - 11:15am
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105


Submitted Paper - Jazz and Functional Voice Training
Jazz as a style offers powerful tools for functional voice training. This presentation will discussion how both jazz literature and style can be used to address the physical requirements of healthy singing, while simultaneously training high levels of musicianship. Several songs from the jazz cannon will be used to show the intervals involved in singing jazz repetoire, and how those intervals from note to note can become training devices. Songs from the Great American Songbook, Jazz Bossa Nova, Bebop, and Instrumental Standards showcase the depth of functional voice skills necessary to sing this style. As a young teacher of (elective) jazz voice at the university level, I learned how to use jazz as a tool for training vocal function. It became obvious over time that jazz offers the contemporary singer a wealth of tools for gaining basic skills foundational for other contemporary genres. Graphic representation will be given to show both the complexity of vocal interval training inherent in jazz standards, as well as simultaneous interval awareness that can be built into a voice lesson.

avatar for Liz Johnson Schafer, MM

Liz Johnson Schafer, MM

Voice Trainer, Jazz Instructor, Love Revolution Vocal Studio
Liz has a Master’s Degree in Commericial Vocal Performance, a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and also completed a Certificate in Vocology through the University of Utah and the National Center for Voice and Speech. She has been a professor of Jazz Voice at Vanderbilt University... Read More →

Saturday April 22, 2017 11:15am - 11:30am
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105


Submitted Paper - Musically Spoken: Teaching Vocal Habits in the Workplace
This session will explore an innovative format to disseminate vocal knowledge to a wider spectrum of the general population. After receiving a request from Amazon to train employees on effective communication in a noisy industrial environment, Musically Spoken was created to offer a structured workshop for introducing vocal wellness principles in the workplace. The course uses singing and fun speaking exercises to introduce principles of breathing, posture, resonance, musicality and intention. This unique group approach has potential to introduce healthy vocal function before problems develop by raising awareness among diverse populations including teachers, athletic coaches, sales representatives and executives. The benefits of vocal wellness training become more attractive to the business community when paired with research illustrating the high cost of vocal issues and how vocal training might yield a significant return on investment. Additionally, students have recognized the need to seek medical advice for potential problems and reported benefits including improved confidence in public speaking, increased perceived authority and greater joy in singing with a desire to learn more in private lessons.

Learning Objectives:
  • Attendees will be able to describe a musical framework for group instruction of healthy verbal communication in the workplace.
  • Attendees will be able to discuss the potential benefits of this approach.
  • Attendees will be able to make a case for vocal wellness training with managers.

avatar for Erin Guinup

Erin Guinup

Voice Teacher, Musically Spoken
I have recently expanded my private voice teaching to corporate presentations for companies including Amazon. These unique workshops foster better breathing, posture and expressive verbal and non-verbal communication through singing and vocal exercises as well as improvisation and... Read More →

Saturday April 22, 2017 11:30am - 11:45am
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105


Submitted Papers: Performing Voice Across the Gender Spectrum
Three 10-minute talks will be presented followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A with the 3 speakers.
Aaron Ziegler, PhD, CCC-SLP: "How to Facilitate a Successful Vocal Transition in Trans Men"

Sixty-four percent of transmasculine participants studied by Scheidt and colleagues (2004) requested professional support for voice problems that developed with Testosterone Hormone Therapy (THT). The purpose of this talk is to review existing literature on the effectiveness of THT for voice masculinization. Methods: A systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines using PubMed and Google Scholar. Original research written in English was reviewed to investigate testosterone as a sole treatment modality for voice masculinization. Based on findings, an evidence-based clinical protocol for voice masculinization management was developed. Results: An accumulation of data from 16 studies of original research indicates that THT produces a lowering of pitch for some, but not all, trans men. Variability in the extent and rate of pitch lowering exists. Data also indicate that the vocal transition and treatment outcomes of some trans men on THT are not always optimal, leaving some dissatisfied with THT. Study participants also expressed non-pitch related concerns with THT including difficulty with vocal loudness, voice quality, and vocal instability, a negative impact to the singing voice. Maintaining gender fluidity was also a concern. Conclusions: Given that THT can cause negative voice changes, referral to a multi-disciplinary voice team should be made prior to THT. Laryngologists and speech-language pathologists can offer services that help trans men achieve desirable voice masculinization outcomes.

Sandy Hirsch, MS, CCC-SLP: "Combining Art and Science in Resonance Training with Gender Diverse Clients"

In the past decade or more, there has been a growing acceptance and body of transgender voice and communication research and literature that supports the understanding that pitch modification alone is not an adequate therapy approach in order to confidently change the auditory perception of gender. This presentation is a resonance training approach, Acoustic Assumptions, that I have developed with a basis in speech and voice science as well as performance voice. It provides vocal tools to help clients understand certain resonance challenges, and how to solve them as they simultaneously work on raising or lowering pitch and developing new inflectional patterns. Participants will be able to apply the Acoustic Assumptions tenets to their clinical work with transgender clients, as well as in their studios with singers and actors. 

Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will be able to explain and apply an articulation rubric (acoustic assumptions) designed to facilitate desired resonant outcomes through the manipulation of physiological gestures.
  2. Participants will be able to apply the tenets learned from the articulation rubric (acoustic assumptions) to voice and communication training with gender diverse populations.  

Emerald Lessley, MM: "Teaching Transgender Singers"

For voice teachers there is a lack of information and resources for teaching transgender and transitioning singing voice students. This is a different area of expertise than that of SLPs who work with trans clients in voice therapy, however almost all of the scientifically-based literature about trans voices is specific to the speaking voice. For her DMA dissertation, Ms. Lessley has researched the effect of transitioning on the singing voice, and has been working with several transgender singers in private lessons as well as in the class voice setting. Most transgender singing information she has encountered recently has been very anecdotal and is limited to a teacher speaking about his/her experience with one student. Ms. Lessley has a wider sample of students-- MtF, FtM, non-binary, wide age range, varied ages at the time of transition, etc. This presentation will share her research and applied experiences, especially how the things we read in the medical and SLP journals actually translate to teaching real, unique students in the voice studio. This includes range and timbre changes, time frames, repertoire, and specific challenges that teachers and students might face (posture and breathing with FtM students who wear binders, for example) and how to overcome them. 

avatar for Sandy Hirsch, MS CCC/SLP

Sandy Hirsch, MS CCC/SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, Give Voice
Sandy Hirsch, MS CCC/SLP is owner of Give Voice in Seattle, WA. Gender Diverse, professional, performance voice and accent modification are a focus of her practice. She is an internationally recognized expert in the area of gender diverse voice and communication training.
avatar for Emerald Lessley, MM

Emerald Lessley, MM

Student, University of Washington
Emerald Lessley, soprano, began studying music and performing at a young age in northern California, where she discovered her love of the stage. She has been actively involved in many musical ensembles as well as performing opera and new music. Ms. Lessley has enjoyed roles such as... Read More →
avatar for Aaron Ziegler, PhD

Aaron Ziegler, PhD

Assistant Professor, NW Center for Voice & Swallowing, OHSU
Dr. Aaron Ziegler is a speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist who recently joined the Northwest Clinic for Voice and Swallowing. Dr. Ziegler earned his Ph.D. in communication science and disorders from the University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Verdolini Abbott and a... Read More →

Saturday April 22, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Alder Commons Auditorium 1310 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA, 98105