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The Y-Buzz and Other Resonant Voice Therapy Techniques

Sarah Schneider is an assistant clinical professor of speech-language pathology and director of Resonant Voice Therapy at UCSF. She has made significant contributions to voice treatment literature and regularly presents locally, nationally, and internationally on voice care issues.

Resonant Voice Therapy Support System ingredients and targets can be divided into orthogonal categories: Organ Functions, Skills & Habits and Representations.

The Y-Buzz

The Y-Buzz exercise is one of the most widely practiced exercises in resonant voice therapy. It is easy to do and helps patients recognize that they can feel their voice in their mouth or throat, as well as teaching them to use it more efficiently. Producing various pitches and loudness levels produces a buzzing sound which creates an immediate buzzing sensation in front of both mouth and throat when produced at various pitches and loudness levels; an important first step to learning how to produce resonant voice by forcing vocal folds to lightly touch each other thus decreasing energy needs to support vocal folds – also teaching production without air pressure or other force being necessary.

Studies on resonant voice therapy techniques have been undertaken to ascertain their effectiveness. A recent research paper reported that Y-buzz training significantly increased perception of voice resonance while decreasing shimmer and irregularity on Hoarseness Diagram, ultimately improving vocal quality overall. Furthermore, its practice led to forwardness and control over one’s own voice.

Another study demonstrated how the Y-buzz can significantly enhance voice quality for healthy adults by minimizing glottal closure and increasing airflow through their vocal tract. Furthermore, this tool helps increase vocal cord size to allow more sound production with less effort from voice production. Authors discovered the device to be effective at reducing breathy, strained and phonated sounds as well as improve voice quality across a range of speaking tasks.

Researchers examined recordings of participants engaging in different speech behaviors and found that the Y-buzz can be an effective training tool for improving voice quality. They speculate that this may be due to its efficient method for teaching voice production without strain, as well as being used alongside Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy (LMRVT), which utilizes performance voice techniques like singing through straws to strengthen and train one’s resonant vocal qualities.

The E-Buzz

Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy (LMRVT) employs voice techniques to teach patients to use resonant vibrations through humming, voiced and voiceless productions that are later combined into phrase and conversational speech. This approach strives to develop the strongest possible voice using minimal impact or stress on vocal cords for reduced risk of injury while increasing vocal health outcomes.

Resonant technique is similar to Flow Phonation in that both techniques train the larynx to maintain vocal balance through airflow by relieving muscular tension. Both therapies use exercises designed to decrease vocal cord granulomas caused by irritation or other damage of vocal folds, teaching patients how to feel vibration in their face/mouth during phonation and encouraging sensations of vibratory sensation during phonation. LMRVT employs various semi-occluded voicing techniques like lip trills, straw phonation and cup bubbles while managing airflow while encouraging resonant vibrations in throat while still managing airflow to allow resonant vibrations of resonance vibrations for increased resonances and resonances in throat while creating space for resonance vibrations during phonation allowing airflow while encouraging resonant vibrations for maximum resonance in throat space while managing airflow while creating space for resonance vibrations to occur during phonation allowing maximum resonance vibrations during phonation process.

Other strategies to increase resonant vibrations include manual circumlaryngeal massage, which stretches neck and larynx muscles in order to relieve tension. Furthermore, teaching patients on vocal hygiene and self-care practices is essential as this will safeguard the voice.

LMRVT programs incorporate voice training to encourage resonant vibrations by strengthening articulation and prosody, two essential aspects of voice quality. These lessons can especially benefit those suffering from voice fatigue, hoarseness or difficulty producing specific sounds; plus it may increase volume as resonant vibrations will make voice volume increase over time.

Resonant voice therapy utilizes exercises that encourage patients to move their head forward during phonation – known as forward focus – for maximum vibratory output in areas of the vocal tract that do not produce enough vibrations, helping therapists and clients identify areas not producing sufficient vibratory output, correct this by emphasizing vowels such as /u/ and /m/ or using other exercises such as y-buzz which involves narrowing oral space during phonation to produce buzzy sensations in lips and mouth.

The F-Buzz

Resonant voice therapy typically instructs its patients to avoid behaviors which could cause vocal trauma (throat clearing, yelling, cheering excessive crying talking over extended background noise etc). They should only use their voices when necessary and keep phone calls brief; short periods of controlled and soft vocal exercises before using the voice may also be used as preparation; it’s recommended they drink water frequently as well as massage under their chin to help avoid dryness.

Resonant voice therapy techniques such as humming in VFE or phonating through a flow-resistant straw are intended to optimize source-filter interaction by increasing inertance of the vocal tract air column and creating source sounds with variable frequencies that target different regions in the oral region. When combined, these exercises create buzzy sensations in the face due to increased acoustic pressure within narrowed oral regions; although their benefits have been demonstrated through laboratory experiments, more research needs to be conducted on connected speech to see their full effects.

Many researchers have concluded that FRT exercises can improve articulation in disorders involving hyperadduction due to their tendency to promote inertive voicing of vocal folds. Meanwhile, other research indicates that resonance voice therapy techniques could cause vowel sounds to vanish as well as increase hyperadduction during production of certain consonants; hence it’s essential for clinicians to evaluate its efficacy when implemented clinically.

Resonant voice therapy is founded on the premise that there are multiple kinds of voice issues which can be effectively treated by changing physical properties of the vocal tract. Some changes may be permanent; others can be temporarily brought about with repetitive phonation such as that used for music production or singing. Finally, surgery may also provide permanent solutions.

Operative procedures may involve extracting nodules, shifting paralyzed cords closer together or adding bulk to them so they center better within the cricoid cartilage; either of these treatments could have immediate and long-term impacts on voice quality.

The S-Buzz

The S-Buzz technique targets the resonant area of the vocal tract (including lips, nasal bridge and roof of mouth or ‘mask”). When done properly, this produces a buzzing sensation in front of face caused by increased acoustic pressures in a narrowed region of vocal tract.

Use of this technique can assist patients in learning to reduce phono-traumatic behaviors like throat clearing, shouting and excessive crying. Furthermore, this approach may assist them with voice fatigue incurred from shouting or singing loudly; SLPs may use this strategy to reduce its adverse side effects and decrease medication that causes dry throat in their patients.

S-Buzz also seeks to teach patients to produce a powerful voice with minimum effort – sometimes known as a “strong, clean” voice quality.

The S-Buzz approach relies on semi-occlusion of both front and back vocal tracts during an exercise to form a rectangular glottal shape (Titze, 2006b). Squared-off vocal folds have the lowest power transmission ratio (PTR) and require minimal vocal fold adduction for optimal results.

Obscenity of the vocal tract also works to prevent posterior tongue thrust (PTT), which occurs when an anterior tongue pushes against the larynx during phonation. According to one study, front larynx occlusion resulted in a 40% decrease in PTP during phonation.

Resonant voice therapy techniques such as “flow phonation” may also help treat dysphonia and aphonia by training patients to focus on the outflow of air during phonation. This technique reduces muscle tension while improving vocal loudness and quality.

Flow phonation may be combined with other treatments, including manual circumlaryngeal massage – which involves gentle manipulation of the thyroid cartilage apex to relieve muscle tension – but should not be seen as an alternative way of treating any medical conditions or psychological stressors that might be contributing to vocal difficulties for clients.