The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role


All genres of vocalists may at one time or another experience vocal problems. Some common problems may include:

Upper respiratory tract infection

Gastroesophageal reflux-related voice abnormalities

Overuse syndromes

Vocal abuse syndromes

Misuse of the speaking voice

Environmental factors

Singing out of range

Substance abuse


The role of the Speech-language pathologists in the treatment of singers with vocal problems is in performing the diagnostic in conjunction with the Otolaryngologist and doing most of the behavioral voice therapy.  The SLP attains information regarding:

  • baseline voice documentation
  • acoustical voice analysis
  • therapeutic manipulation
  • independent diagnosis
  • performance of therapy
  • determining dismissal criteria

Certain types of singing are more prone to the development of "functional" voice disorder or one that is related to abuse, misuse, or overuse of the intact system or organ.  Mariachi is one of the genres that is most susceptible because of the smoky environment and the other behaviors that accompany the spirit of the music.  As the popularity of this type of music rises, especially amongst young performers, speech-language pathologists may begin to see more mariachis on their caseloads. 


What is Involved in Singing?    What is a Mariachi Ensemble?    The History of Mariachi Music     What is the Difference in Training Between Genres?    Vocal Problems in Mariachi Singers      Glossary of Terms Related to Singing    Links    References