Nothing is like the human voice for its power in human relations. Is there any question of that? With our voices we ask for understanding from others, and we strive to understand ourselves. All sounds, it would seem – maybe even all perceptions – immediately have a name in our minds, and that name arrives on the sound of our “mental voice”, subtle but clear.

With physical or mental impairments, our voices, physical or mental, can’t be expected to behave as they would un-impaired. Yet, through music combined with the voice we can find common factors for communicating and understanding.

Anyone whose existence both depends on and sustains a social welfare agency has thereby generated mountains of written notes regarding his or her history and condition. But by listening closely to their voice, with one’s emotions in check, it is possible to hear something new and use that information to help foster an improvement in communication and well-being. Here are some voices to consider. You might be a little startled by the sound, but it is useful to ask, “what is the condition of this person,” just from the sound of the voice. I welcome your comments.

Polly sings “Georgia”

As stated above, Polly’s voice may startle you, but what does it tell you? Physically straining, yet happy? What would you say about it?

Patrick sings “Sunny Side”

Patrick knows way more songs than I do. His sense of lyric and melody leaves mine in the dust. Am I jealous?

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