Financial Disclosure: Ms. Hirsch receives royalties from Plural Publishing. She also receives a percentage of fees from courses taught with colleagues and through consulting.  

Non-Financial Disclosure: Ms. Hirsch has the following Non-Financial Disclosures: 

Contributing authour: ASHA’s Voice and Communication Services for Transgender and Gender Diverse Populations page

Contributing authour: Dacakis. G. (2022). A history of voice and communication training in Speech Pathology Practice with Trans and Gender Diverse People: Online course La Trobe University Melbourne

​​Paper Presentation - A Discussion of Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions resonance approach in Gender Affirming Voice Training and a Move Towards Evidence-based support. 

Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions (Hirsch, 2017) is a systematic approach to resonance modification in gender affirming voice training (GAVT). The approach is predicated on the understanding that vowel second formant (F2) manipulations plus F0 changes can affect gender perception of voice (e.g Gelfer and Bennett, 2013; Hardy et al. 2020; Hillebrand and Clark 2009; Kawitzky & McCallister, 2020; Ladefoged, 1957; Lee et al. 2015; Lindblom & Sundberg, 2005; Peterson and & Barney, 1952; Titze, 2005, 2000). Heretofore, Hirsch’s approach has been supported by positive qualitative outcomes (Hardy, 2020). This presentation will describe Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions approach and introduce research in progress towards qualitative evidence in support of it. All voice ranges will be discussed.

​Practical Application: Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions: Fine-Tuning Resonance Instrument by Instrument in Gender Affirming Voice Training

​The fine-tuning of resonance in gender affirming voice training with transgender/gender nonconforming (TGNC) clients might be described as the certain something in the soup of our work. It is the aspect of training that gives people the tools to develop their unique sound, and requires the melding of scientific, clinical and artistic approaches that allow for the development of their sound with confidence. TGNC people are faced with myriad resonance puzzles. Over almost 30 years of working with TGNC people, the authour has developed a set of specific acoustic solutions called Acoustic Assumptions (Hirsch, 2017). The approach is based in Source Filter (Fant,1960), and Coarticulation (Kent and Minifie, 1977) theories as well as vowel formant research (e.g., Bozeman, 2013; Gelfer and Bennett, 2013; Hardy et al. 2020; Hillenbrand and Clark 2009; Howell, 2016; Kawitzky & McCallister, 2020; Ladefoged 1957; Lee et al. 2015; Lindblom & Sundberg, 2005; Peterson and Barney, 1952; Titze, 2005, 2000). This workshop will provide participants with the therapeutic applications of Hirsch’s Acoustic Assumptions in order to solve resonance puzzles, including how to modify non-speech sounds (coughing, throat-clearing and laughing). It is assumed that participants will have some experience working with the TGNC population, however, the workshop will provide voice clinicians and voice teachers of all levels with organized, creative, thought-provoking, functional solutions to resonance challenges. Participants will take home materials that they will be able to put to immediate use in their practice and studio. 

Sandy Hirsch, MS, CCC-SLP

Sandy Hirsch, MS CCC-SLP is owner of Give Voice in Seattle, WA. Gender Affirming Voice Training, professional, performance voice and accent modification are areas of focus in her practice. She is an internationally recognized expert in the area of gender affirming voice training and co-author and editor of the three editions of Adler, Hirsch and Pickering Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/Gender Diverse Client: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide. Plural Publishing 2019, 2012 (Adler, Hirsch and Mordaunt), 2006 (Adler, Hirsch and Mordaunt).