Gender Affirming Voicework: An Introduction for Music Therapy


  • Maevon Gumble



voicework, gender affirming, transgender, nonbinary, queer, autoethnography, music therapy, embodiment, gender, queer theory


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.



How to Cite

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



Invited Submission - Special Issue