Studies suggest that approx. 1% of people, or around 60 million of people in the world stutter. Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. People who stutter often find that stress makes it harder for them to talk flowingly, which may be accompanied by rapid pulse, blushing, tense lips, tongue and face muscles.
Most children go through a period of disfluent speech that disappear over time. This breakdown in the flow of speech is often called physiological stuttering and it characterises the period of most intensive speech and language development phase.
The exact cause of stuttering is still unknown, and stuttering is considered from different standpoints – genetic, organic and psychosocial. Diagnosis and treatment is the task of speech therapists and the disorder is curable. Still, singing can be exceptionally useful remedy that speech therapists gladly recommend. It is known that people who stutter generally do not stutter when they sing, and one such example of that is Gibonni, a Croatian singer.
By doing research on the link between stuttering and singing, the scientists have reached the following conclusions:
> when we sing, our brain works differently than when we talk
> when we sing we use our vocal apparatus (chords, lips, tongue…) in a different way than when we talk
> during singing there is no pressure because of time-limitation or need to communicate with others
> we mostly sing the songs we know by heart
It does not matter whether you have problems with disfluent speech or stuttering – because singing can certainly help. One of possible solutions for the problem of stuttering is offered by the School for the Uncovering of the Voice. Stuttering is perceived as a fear that affects the organs. By doing specially designed therapeutic exercises with a therapist, our breathing deepens, which has relaxing effect not only on voice apparatus but on the whole body. As the fear decreases, so does the pronunciation becomes easier.