Gender Affirming Voicework: An Introduction for Music Therapy


gender affirming
music therapy
queer theory

How to Cite

Gumble, M. (2019). Gender Affirming Voicework: An Introduction for Music Therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 19(3).


Informed by personal experiences, my queer autoethnographic research, and literature from the fields of speech-language pathology, vocal pedagogy, and music therapy, I offer an introduction to gender affirming voicework in music therapy, the training that it might involve, and several questions/issues that need further exploration. As a new holistic method grounded in a queer theoretical framework, I envision this work to be a therapeutic space focused on accessing and embodying affirming gender expressions by working with the intersections of the physical voice, the psychological voice, and the body as these each become relevant to an individual. This work involves the use of singing, vocal improvisation, chanting, toning, movement, imagery, and relaxation experiences to address areas of vocal function and emotion/identity. Stigma and trauma can come with living in this incredibly gendered and binary world. As such, gender affirming voicework emphasizes radically and queerly listening to our own vocal, psychological, and bodily expressions and the ways these fluidly shift from moment to moment. This is in efforts to speak, sing, move, and live in the most affirming and authentic way we can.

Copyright (c) 2019 Maevon Gumble

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Articles published prior to 2019 are subject to the following license, see:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the  Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.


Bergen Open Access Publishing