- Sofie Buchhave Andersen
The study is designed as an exploratory case study, using mixed methods in the investigation of voice analysis and voice assessment. The empirical data consists of selected audio recordings of the client’s voice, from a total of fourteen music therapy sessions, and the client’s self-experiences, as they are narrated and shared in therapy after the voicework.
The CoreTone (Storm, 2013) is a central element in the qualitative analysis of the voice. The quantitative analysis consists of a voice assessment (VOIAS) (Storm, 2013). VOIAS consists of three core exercises: the Glissando, the CoreTone and the Improvisation (Storm, 2013).
Storm uses VOIAS in music therapy with clients diagnosed with depression. This study is the first to explore the use of VOIAS in practice and analysis of music therapy, with a client diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The analysis integrates the client’s self-experiences of voice work to con-textualize and complement the results of the voice analysis.
The client experiences an inability to connect emotionally, and finds it difficult to know the dif-ferences between his symptoms and his true self. Throughout the fourteen music therapy sessions, the focus lies on grounding and centring the client between the affective mood swings.
The voice analysis of the CoreTone finds, that the client in the beginning of the music therapy treatment, is disconnected from his core self. Furthermore, the analysis finds that the client over time develops a stronger sense of self, however still not a sensation fully embodied. This corre-lates with the client’s self-experiences of the voicework. The results from the voice assessment (VOIAS) also show the process from dissociation, to a subtle experience of an integral whole. Additionally, VOIAS shows that two of the exercises – the Glissando and the Improvisation - re-veal important information about the client’s mental state that was not discovered clinically. The client is initially perceived as energetic, but the voice analysis underlines the mixed state that he suffers from. The study finds that voice assessment is a valuable tool in music therapy, in evaluat-ing the psychological state of being. The conclusion is, that voice assessment can be used with positive effect in clinical practice in music therapy - not only as part of the treatment of clients diagnosed with unipolar depression, but also, as this study shows, as part of the treat-ment of clients diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Keywords: voice analysis, voice assessment, VOIAS, bipolar disorder, music therapy.