vocology

“Kate Hammett-Vaughan completed the Summer Vocology Institute in 2014, where she brought a lot of wisdom and experience to a group of professionals in voice. She was consistently one of the best contributors to the classes… she wowed everyone with her musicianship and her ability to engage others… A terrific advocate for vocology.” —Dr. Ingo Titze.
Executive Director,
National Center for
Voice and Speech

“Kate’s Vocology workshop made me so much more aware that singing is something that we all can do. It’s all about finding Your Best Voice and opening yourself up to the possibility that you too can be a singer. The fun and supportive environment made it a life-changing experience for me!” - Sue B.

“I thoroughly enjoyed Kate’s Vocology workshops. Learning the science behind voice mechanics and trying out new techniques on fabulous old jazz tunes made for the perfect combo.” – Danna M.

In 2014 Kate received a certificate in Vocology from the National Centre for Voice and Speech in Salt Lake City. A relatively new term in the last couple of decades of voice science, Vocology means many things to many people. Kate’s training as a Vocologist allows her to help vocalists (singers and speakers) understand their instrument in a holistic way, helping them to change harmful habits and move toward their optimal level of vocal activity and expression. She is not licensed to provide therapy as defined by the various recognized medical and therapeutic organizations.

In its broadest sense, vocology is the study of voice, but as a professional discipline it has a narrower focus: the science and practice of voice habilitation, which includes evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention. It is not yet its own professional degree, thus it only assists the voice medicine team. Usually a person practicing vocology is a voice coach with additional training in the voice medical arts, a prepared voice/singing teacher, or a speech pathologist with additional voice performance training—so they can better treat the professional voice user.

Vocology was invented (simultaneously, but independently) by Dr. Ingo Titze, and an otolaryngologist at Washington University, Prof. George Gates. Titze defines Vocology as “the science and practice of voice habilitation, with a strong emphasis on habilitation”. To habilitate means to “enable”, to “equip for”, to “capacitate”; in other words, to assist in performing whatever function that needs to be performed”. He goes on that this “is more than repairing a voice or bringing it back to a former state … rather, it is the process of strengthening and equipping the voice to meet very specific and special demands”.

Vocology’s concerns include the nature of speech and language pathology, the defects of the vocal tract (laryngology), the remediation of speech therapy and the voice training[disambiguation needed] and voice pedagogy of song and speech for actors and public speakers.

The study of vocology is recognized academically by courses and institutes such as the National Center for Voice and Speech, Westminster Choir College at Rider University, The Grabscheid Voice Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Vox Humana Laboratory at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and the Regional Center for Voice and Swallowing, at Milan’s Azienda Ospedaliera Fatebenefratelli e Oftalmico, and recently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The National Center for Voice and Speech and the University of Iowa offer an 8 week intensive course (9 graduate level university credits) and a Certificate in Vocology.

Reflecting the increased recognition of vocology, the Scandinavian Journal of Logopedics & Phoniatrics and Voice merged in 1996 with the new name Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology.