BFA BEd MSc SLP (C) CCC-SLP reg CASLPO
Professional Singer & Voiceover Talent
Singing Voice Specialist
Speech Language Pathologist – Voice Therapist
My name is Melanie, and I’m a CASLPO-registered, SAC-certified, ASHA-certified Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), and my superpower is voice. I’m in good company; there are lots of SLPs out there! However, most of them don’t do the kind of work I do. And that’s a good thing! SLP is a hugely broad field with a wide range of areas to work in. You want your SLP to be well trained and experienced in the kind of therapy YOU require. And if you need help with your voice, you want someone who really, really, really, really, really knows – and loves – all things voice. Which means you’re in luck. I’m not just a speech pathologist whose practice is solely devoted to voice therapy, I’m also cross-trained as a Singing Voice Specialist (SVS) (a different designation altogether, and not to be confused with the word “specialist”, which I’m not allowed to use as an SLP*).
*To clarify: Speech Pathologists are regulated health care professionals and we can not describe our work as either “expert” or “specialized”. I am not claiming specialization here; I am sharing information about the title of SVS that I also hold, which awkwardly has the word “Specialist” as part of the title. This is why I am very clearly delineating the two very-separate-but-very-complementary hats that I wear. These are two separate professional areas in which I practice, sometimes concurrently.
- If you want to know more about my training and experience as an SLP, click here: Melanie Tapson, SLP.
- If you want to know more about what an SVS does, what background skills and training they have, and how I work in this capacity, click here: Melanie Tapson, SVS
- If you want to learn more about me as a professional performer and how that helps me relate to you and your voice, click here to jump down the page a bit
- If you’re a teacher and you’d like to know more about how being an OCT certified teacher and teaching in three public school boards and in several universities can help me help you, click here: For Teachers
- Not sure what kind of help you need? That’s what I’m here for! Just click here to contact me!
Who Do I Work With?
If your voice is important to you, it’s important to me! I’ve had the honour of working with so many incredible people for whom voice is their livelihood. While I’ll never dish about my clients (because your confidentiality is one of the most important parts of my practice), I can say this: they have graced some incredible stages. And it is an honour and a privilege to keep them in the saddle. To give you an idea of the kinds of people who keep an SVS or voice SLP on their team, some of my clients are from the following:
Just remember: it doesn’t matter where you are in your career or what you use your voice for. If it matters to you, that’s what matters to me. Don’t let this daunting list of A-listers keep you from fine tuning your voice. This is just a reminder that even those at the top of their game can benefit from a little TLC, and I’m more than happy to help anyone help their voice shine.
Why Choose Melanie?
I come to voice care from a really personal place. As a young professional performer, I ran into vocal fatigue and strain, and over time, my range really started to suffer. Singing was uncomfortable. My speaking voice was pressed and felt effortful. I saw a ton of really amazing professionals – everyone from ENTs to voice teachers to gastroenterology. And while I was a model patient, as soon as I put that mic on and went back out on stage, I had no idea whether I could trust my voice to deliver what I knew it was capable of. I thought I was the only person going through something like this, and I was afraid and embarrassed. I was too well trained for this to be happening! How could I be doing it so wrong? I needed a clinician who was also a performer – someone who understood the actual demands of my work and lifestyle, and I couldn’t find that person. I felt totally alone.
I’ll tell you a little secret. When I went back to school to do my MSc in speech pathology, I was actually there to fix my own voice. Little did I know I would find myself down a hugely rewarding path where I got to become the clinician I’d always needed! And not only do I understand what happened with my voice now, but it’s stronger than it ever was. And my journey allows me to relate on a level that I can’t accurately explain. But I promise when we meet face to face, you’ll know.
I know how much your voice means to you. And knowing how to keep you in your best voice is my life’s work. There’s nothing I won’t do to try and help, and there’s no end to the learning. I couldn’t be happier helping you get back to your own happy place.
Selected Continuing Education I’ve Taken To Enhance My Skills
Listen. I don’t know if you’re picking up what I’m putting down yet or not, but I’m really into voice. Like, really really into voice. I don’t just sit around playing Angry Birds in my free time (although I could seriously use a hobby and am open to all suggestions…). I am constantly out there learning, reading, lecturing, engaging, talking to my colleagues, listening to my patients, and I’m constantly honing my skills. If I did have free time, I’d probably spend it on more voice stuff! But the reason I don’t have any free time is because I literally can’t get enough of all things voice. So here are a few of the associations I’m proud to be involved with and a selection of the extra things I’ve done above and beyond “basic training” to help me become the kind of voice therapist you lie in bed at night dreaming about. (Please don’t do that. I’m more than enough excited about voice for the both of us. You get back to whatever it is you love doing this much and let me take care of your voice. K?)
Anyway, I digress. Here’s a (very, very, crazy condensed) short list of some of the associations I am proud to work with and some (like, barely the tip of the iceberg) really neat conferences and courses I’ve done:
Memberships in Organizations
- PAVA (Pan American Vocology Association) member, Elections Committee and Website Committee member, Member of the Planning Committee for the 2017 Toronto Symposium
- ViP (Vocology in Practice) member as a Singing Voice Specialist and SLP and mentor to voice teachers in the organization; here’s my profile: Melanie Tapson, SLP
- PAMA (Performing Arts Medicine Association) member, 2017 Toronto Regional Meeting planning committee, invited presenter at the 2018 PAMA Symposium in Los Angeles
- SAC (Speech Language Audiology Canada) member, former National Student Advisor on the board; re-elected, served 2 years
- OSLA (Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists) member, Board Director and member of the Social Media and Website Committees, Voice Interest Group chair, and facilitator/presenter at the 2016 and 2019 Voice Conferences
- ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) – I’m a CCC-SLP certified member and I am an active participant in the Special Interest Group 3 (Voice & Voice Disorders) group
Courses and Continuing Education I’ve Taken To Keep On The Cutting Edge
- Broadway VoiceBox Master Class (online, 2014-present) – master classes with SLP/SVS/Estill Master Teacher Tom Burke CCC-SLP
- Twang Farm (online, New York City, 2017 – 2018) – Tom Burke CCC-SLP
- Certificate in Performing Arts Health Care (certified by Performing Arts Medicine Association in conjunction with the American Sports Medicine Association in NYC, July 2016)
- Pan-American Vocology Association Journal Club (online, throughout 2017) – case presentations and journal article review with peers in the areas of clinical voice therapy, singing voice pedagogy, and voice science
- Vocology in Practice Summer Education Extravaganza (online, July 2017) – I also presented two workshops on voice care and demystifying the medical voice care team
- Performance Voice Conference (Dr Ingo Titze, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Kittie Verdolini Abbot et al) (University of Utah online, April 2017)
- PAMA Annual Conference (NYC, July 2016 and LA, July 2018) – I also lectured in New York with Dr Lucinda Halstead, ENT and as an invited speaker in Los Angeles in 2018
- Care of the Performing Voice: De-Catastrophizing Vocal Injury (Dr Lucian Sulica, Christine Estes CCC-SLP, Melissa Cross, Shirley Tennyson CCC-SLP/SVS) (Weill Cornell, NYC, July 2016)
- OSLA Voice Conference – conference chair and presenter (Natalia Evans, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Dr J Anderson, Dr T Davids) (Toronto, June 2016)
- Estill Voice Training Refresher (Tom Burke, CCC-SLP, Master Estill Teacher) (Live webinar, June 2016)
- Broadway Voice Box (Tom Burke, CCC-SLP) (Web series, 2014-present)
- Holistic Vocology (Robert Sussuma, Estill Master Teacher) (Web series, 2013-2016)
- Approaches to Voice Therapy (Linda Rammage) (Webinar, June 2015)
- PAMA Toronto Regional Conference (Toronto, March 2015)
- Toronto Voice Course (Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Dr J Anderson) (Mt Sinai/U of T, Feb 2015)
- Vibrant Voice Technique training (David Ley, Elissa Weinzimmer) (Live web training, Sept 2015)
- Transgender Voice and Communication Workshop (Sandy Hirsch, Leah Helou, Christy Block) (Live webinar, September 2015)
- Intro to Buteyko Breathing Courses (Hadas Golan, CCC-SLP) (Webinar, September 2015)
- Toronto Voice Course (Dr Jennifer Anderson, Dr Taryn Davids, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Tim Poon) (Mt Sinai/U of T, February 2014)
- ALERT Model: Client-Centred Management of Voice Disorders in Adults (Dr Linda Rammage) (Toronto, February 2014)
- Estill Voice Training Level 1 (Tom Burke, CCC-SLP, Master Estill Teacher) (NYC, January 2014)
- LMRVT & CSCFT Voice Therapy Spectrum (Dr. Kittie Verdolini Abbott, CCC-SLP) (Webinar, September 2013)
- Knowledge/Skills Needed to Become a Singing Voice Specialist (Dr Karen Wicklund, CCC-SLP) (Webinar, September 2013)
- Transgender Voice and Communication Workshop (Sandy Hirsch & Leah Helou) (NYC, July 2013)
- Resonant Voice Therapy (Dr Joseph Stemple) (SAC (CASLPA), St John’s NFLD, April 2013)
- State of the Art(s): Vocal Medicine and Phonosurgery (Dr Clark Rosen) (SAC (CASLPA), Montreal PQ, May 2012)
- Toronto Voice Course (Jackie Gartner-Schmidt, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Dr Jennifer Anderson) (Mt Sinai/U of T, Feb 2012)