UPDATE!

Melanie is returning from maternity leave in October 2019! She will be taking bookings for the fall very shortly, so watch this space for the link to become available (likely the beginning of July) or email her at info@melanietapson.com if you’d like to book an appointment! 

headshot thumbnail 1 Lo Fi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melanie Tapson

BFA BEd MSc 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 ASHA-certified Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), and my superpower is voice.  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).

*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.  These are two separate professional areas in which I practice, sometimes concurrently.

If your voice is important to you, making it the best it can be is important to me.  I take a holistic approach to voice care; I recognize that your voice is part of you, your whole body, and your experiences in this world – and to optimize it, you can’t just work on the two square inches in your throat.  That’s why my favourite part is the detective work that is behind my assessment.  The questions I’ll ask you in our first appointment will uncover all the factors contributing to what’s bothering you with your voice: whether it’s how the rest of your body is working with (or against) your voice, what’s keeping your voice from restoring itself (sleep hygiene, hydration, voice requirements throughout the day), how you use your voice, and what your goals are, we’ll really dig in to what’s keeping your voice from finding an effortless balance, and we’ll make it right.  Together.

My ultimate goal in voice therapy is to make you independent.  Sure; I’d love to see you every week – I’m sure we’ll really enjoy working together and I’ll be sad when you don’t have to come back regularly!  And it’s a terrible business model, I know.  But the best thing I can do for you is to help you understand your voice and how it works in a way that allows you to stay safe and troubleshoot when you run into problems down the road, whether the issues are the same as what we’re working on or a new beast to tame.  I’ll be here for as long as you need me, whenever you need help.  But I want you to have knowledge, skills, and resources to help you keep your voice in the best possible shape on your own terms so you can get back to doing what you love with your voice.  And know you can always come to me for support whenever you need it.

Who Do I Work With?

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 screens.  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:

Melanie's clients include

 

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 so 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.

Enhancing 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 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!  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?)

Memberships in Organizations

  • PAVA (Pan American Vocology Association) member, NEW! Canadian Governor, Elections Committee and Website Committee member, Member of the Planning Committee for the 2017 Toronto Symposium

  • ViP (Vocology in Practice) mentor as a Singing Voice Specialist and SLP for 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), former National Student Advisor on the board; re-elected, served 2 years

  • OSLA (Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists) member,  Voice Interest Group chair, and conference 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

(A Short Selection Of) Courses and Continuing Education I’ve Taken To Keep On The Cutting Edge

  • OSLA Voice Conference 2019 – conference chair and planner, host, presenter (along with Natalia Evans, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Laurie Russell, Dr Jennifer Anderson, Dr Jun Lin) (Toronto, June 2019)

  • Foundations in Myofascial Release for Voice, Neck & Swallowing (Toronto, May 2019) – hosted seminar with Walt Fritz, PT

  • PAMA Annual Conference (LA, July 2018 and NYC, July 2016) – I lectured in New York with Dr Lucinda Halstead, ENT and as an invited speaker in Los Angeles in 2018 as part of the pre-con certificate program

  • Broadway VoiceBox Master Classes (online, 2014-2019) – 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)

  • 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)