Voice and speech training are mainly techniques to improve oral motor skills but some use the voice as the source of a workout on the auditory feedback loop to train the brain.
Oral Motor Control and Speech production
The most famous approach is called LSVT Loud and is dedicated to help people with Parkinson’s. It consists on a series of exercises to control voice intensity, pitch and breath. Other techniques help people with apraxia like the PROMPT Technique or Beckman Oral Motor Method. Both consist of assisting movement to activate and stimulate the facial muscles to help with speech production.
Auditory feedback loop training
Every individual perceives, analyzes, assimilates and continuously adjusts the information received and produced through sound. This is a natural phenomenon necessary in all learning processes and is called audio feedback. By correcting the way we perceive our own voice we correct the way we express ourselves. The auditory feedback principle was adapted for stuttering by implementing an artificial delay (echo) in headphones between voice production and sound reception. This technology is called DAF (Delayed Auditory Feedback) and is now available for free through many apps.
DAF technology is not a training program which educates the brain to speak and learn but is an assistive technology. In contrast, Forbrain is one of the most advanced technologies using the voice as a speech training tool. It is based on the same technology developed by The Tomatis Method which uses both bone conduction and a dynamic filter.
Historically, the first tools to work on the auditory feedback loop were the Toobaloo and Whisperphones. The are both tubes made of plastic which connect the mouth to one of the ears to naturally amplify the feedback of the voice.