Phonology, Speech Pathology/Therapy & Vocal Coaching
The following introduction to Phonology, Speech Therapy and Vocal Coaching is based on their respective entries in Wikipedia
Phonology is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use. Just as a language has syntax and vocabulary, it also has a phonology in the sense of a sound system. When describing the formal area of study, the term typically describes linguistic analysis either beneath the word (e.g., syllable, onset and rime, phoneme, articulatory gesture, articulatory feature, mora, etc.) or to units at all levels of language that are thought to structure sound for conveying linguistic meaning. It is viewed as the subfield of linguistics that deals with the sound systems of languages. Whereas phonetics is about the physical production, acoustic transmission and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages to encode meaning. The term "phonology" was used in the linguistics of a greater part of the 20th century as a cover term uniting phonemics and phonetics. Current phonology can interface with disciplines such as psycholinguistics and speech perception, resulting in specific areas like articulatory or laboratory phonology.
Speech-language pathology/therapy, on the other hand, is the study of disorders that affect a person's speech, language, cognition, voice, swallowing (dysphagia) and the rehabilitative or corrective treatment of physical and/or cognitive deficits/disorders resulting in difficulty with communication and/or swallowing. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) or Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) address people's speech production, vocal production, swallowing difficulties and language needs through speech therapy in a variety of different contexts including schools, hospitals, and through private practice.
Vocal coaching is instruction for the improvement of singing technique, development of voice, and preparation for performance of a song or other work. Vocal coaches may give private music lessons to singers, or they may coach singers who are rehearsing on stage, or who are singing during a recording session. Vocal coaches are used in both Classical music and in popular music styles. While some vocal coaches provide a range of instruction on singing techniques, others specialize in areas such as breathing techniques or diction and pronunciation.
Image credit: John Stuart Reid for Dr Martin Allbright/CymaScope.com
The CymaScope represents a significant breakthrough in the study of phonology and as a powerful audio-visual aid in speech pathology/therapy and vocal coaching. The instant production of voice figures or "CymaGlyphs" as a result of the client's own vocalizations can provide visual feedback that not only allows the client to shape their sounds visually, thus improving articulation and intonation, but also provides an effective method of enhancing pitch recognition. In addition vibrato can be taught or modified.