As a professional performer, I'd just finished touring with a Juno-award winning band, headlined the CBC television New Year’s Eve special, and I had sailed on to a performing gig with Disney Cruise Line.
It was all my dreams come true. But the demands of the job took their toll.
I ran into vocal fatigue and strain, then my range started to suffer. Singing was uncomfortable. My speaking voice was pressed and felt forced.
In an effort to get back to singing the way I knew I could, I saw a ton of really amazing professionals - everyone from ENTs to SLPs to voice teachers.
But 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 kept thinking - I was too well trained for this to be happening! How could I be doing it so wrong? What was actually wrong with me? I thought I was the only person going through something like this.
I felt totally alone.
What I needed was a clinician who was also a performer - someone who understood the actual demands of my work and lifestyle.
But I couldn't find that person, so I became the clinician I'd always needed!
I went back to school to do my MSc in speech pathology, but I was actually there to fix my own voice. Little did I know I would find myself down a hugely rewarding path.
Now, I help others just like you.
I know how much your voice means to you. There's nothing I won't do to try and help, and I’m always up to date on the latest tools and techniques.
I couldn't be happier helping you get the voice you need to get back to doing what you love.
Hi! I’m Melanie, and my superpower is voice therapy.
Let me optimize your voice so you can be
the best version of yourself and do more of what you love.
So tell me… what is your best voice?
- free and easy; it just comes out beautifully when you need it
- effortless and comfortable, no pain or strain
- strong, reliable, and clear, even in noisy environments
- flexible, confident, and expressive, with a huge range you can access easily
- a comfortable pitch
- smooth, with no breaks
- comfortable to breathe for speaking and singing
- free from coughing, throat clearing, and irritation
- ready to last for a full day, a full performance, or anything life throws at you
- optimal for all the things you need your voice to do
If even one of these is something you’ve wished for, you’ve come to the right place.
Why Choose Melanie Tapson Voice Care?
My training and experience working with the voice is both broad and deep, and it spans my careers as a professional singer, a Singing Voice Specialist voice teacher, a voice educator, and a registered speech-language pathologist.
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 is shaped by your experiences in this world - and to optimize it, we 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. Together, we’ll dig deep into what’s keeping your voice from being in effortless balance, and we’ll make it right – right away.
My ultimate goal in voice therapy is to make you independent. Sure; I’d love to see you every week – I bet we’ll really enjoy working together and I’ll be sad when you don’t have to come back regularly! And I’ll be here for as long as you need me, whenever you need help; whether that's in-person in Toronto, or online via video, I'm here for you. But my best work as your voice therapist lies in giving you the 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.
Who Do I Work With?
- Public speakers
- TV personalities
- Transgender and gender non conforming folks
- Coaches and Cheerleaders
- Call Centre Agents
- ...and many more!
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 without their permission (because your confidentiality is one of the most important parts of my practice), I can say this: many of them have graced incredible stages and screens. And it is an honour and a privilege to keep them at the very top of their game. To give you an idea of the kinds of people who keep someone like me on their voice care team, here are a few of the affiliations my clients have had:
But here’s what’s most important: 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. This is just a reminder that even celebrities who seem like they’re already at the top of their game can benefit from a little TLC. I'm so happy to help anyone make their voice shine, no matter what their goals.
Enhancing My Skills
I’m really passionate about what I do, and I hope it shows! I love what I do so much, I spend all my free time learning, reading, training, lecturing, talking to my colleagues, listening to my patients, and I'm constantly honing my skills. I want to be the very best voice therapist possible so that you get exactly what you need when you come to see me, so I invest deeply in my skills and training. 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, Communications Committee and Elections Committee and past 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 2016 PAMA Symposium in New York City and the 2018 PAMA Symposium in Los Angeles
- SAC (Speech Language Audiology Canada), former National Student Advisor on the board; re-elected, served 2 years; former Awards Committee member
- OSLA (Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists) member, Voice Interest Group chair; conference facilitator/presenter at the 2016 and 2019 Voice Conferences; past Board Director and Website & Social Media Committee member
- ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) - CCC-SLP certified member and an active participant in the Special Interest Group 3 (Voice & Voice Disorders) group
(Selected) Cutting Edge Courses and Continuing Education
- My Shot: What's the deal with Steroids, B12, and Other Injections? A primer for busy singers. (NYU Langone Voice Center, online, September 2019)
- Muscle Tension Dysphonia (Medbridge online, 2019) - Amanda Gillespie, CCC-SLP
- OSLA Voice Conference 2019 (Toronto, June 2019) – conference chair and planner, host, presenter (along with Natalia Evans, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Laurie Russell, Dr Jennifer Anderson, Dr Jun Lin)
- Foundations in Myofascial Release for Voice, Neck & Swallowing (Toronto, May 2019) - hosted seminar with Walt Fritz, PT
- Laryngeal Videostroboscopy (Medbridge online 2019) - Michael Johns, ENT & Edie Hapner, CCC-SLP
- The Aging Voice: Impact, Causes and Treatment of Presbyphonia (Medbridge online, 2019) - Edie Hapner, CCC-SLP
- 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 (NYC, July 2016) - certified by Performing Arts Medicine Association in conjunction with the American Sports Medicine Association
- 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 (University of Utah online, April 2017) - Dr Ingo Titze, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Kittie Verdolini Abbot et al
- Care of the Performing Voice: De-Catastrophizing Vocal Injury (Weill Cornell, NYC, July 2016) - Dr Lucian Sulica, Christine Estes CCC-SLP, Melissa Cross, Shirley Tennyson CCC-SLP/SVS
- OSLA Voice Conference (Toronto, June 2016) – conference chair and presenter; Natalia Evans, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Dr J Anderson, Dr T Davids
- Estill Voice Training Refresher (Live webinar, June 2016) - Tom Burke, CCC-SLP, Master Estill Teacher
- Broadway Voice Box (Web series, 2014-present) - Tom Burke, CCC-SLP
- Holistic Vocology (Web series, 2013-2016)- Tom Burke, Estill Master Teacher & CCC-SLP & Robert Sussuma, Estill Master Teacher
- Approaches to Voice Therapy (Webinar, June 2015) -Linda Rammage
- PAMA Toronto Regional Conference (Toronto, March 2015)
- Toronto Voice Course (Mt Sinai/U of T, Feb 2015) - Gwen Merrick SLP, Marta DeLuca SLP, Dr J Anderson ENT
- Vibrant Voice Technique (Live web training, Sept 2015) - David Ley, Elissa Weinzimmer
- Transgender Voice and Communication Workshop (Live webinar, September 2015) - Sandy Hirsch, Leah Helou, Christy Block
- Intro to Buteyko Breathing Courses (Webinar, September 2015) - Hadas Golan, CCC-SLP
- Toronto Voice Course (Mt Sinai/U of T, February 2014) - Dr Jennifer Anderson ENT, Dr Taryn Davids, Gwen Merrick, Marta DeLuca, Tim Poon SLPs
- ALERT Model: Client-Centred Management of Voice Disorders in Adults (Toronto, February 2014) - Dr Linda Rammage
- Estill Voice Training Level 1 (NYC, January 2014) - Tom Burke, CCC-SLP, Master Estill Teacher
- LMRVT & CSCFT Voice Therapy Spectrum (Webinar, September 2013) - Dr. Kittie Verdolini Abbott, CCC-SLP
- Knowledge/Skills Needed to Become a Singing Voice Specialist (Webinar, September 2013) - Dr Karen Wicklund, CCC-SLP
- Transgender Voice and Communication Workshop (NYC, July 2013) - Sandy Hirsch & Leah Helou
- Resonant Voice Therapy (SAC (CASLPA), St John's NFLD, April 2013)- Dr Joseph Stemple
- State of the Art(s): Vocal Medicine and Phonosurgery (SAC (CASLPA), Montreal PQ, May 2012) -Dr Clark Rosen, ENT
- Toronto Voice Course (Mt Sinai/U of T, Feb 2012) - Jackie Gartner-Schmidt CCC-SLP, Gwen Merrick SLP, Marta DeLuca SLP, Dr Jennifer Anderson ENT