Why don’t People Stutter When They Sing?
Updated: Jan 5
by Lori Melnitsky, MA CCC-SLP
Speech Pathologist and Stuttering Specialist
Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases. It may also include abnormal stoppages or pauses. Stuttering can interfere with communication and cause feelings of frustration and insecurity for those who struggle with it.
Stuttering usually develops between the ages of 2 and 5, but can persist into adulthood. In some cases, it may improve over time or with therapy. However, for many people, stuttering is a lifelong condition that requires ongoing treatment. There are several techniques and interventions available to help those who stutter manage their disorder more effectively.
Stuttering can have a significant impact on the quality of life. It can interfere with interpersonal relationships, cause fear and anxiety in social situations, prevent individuals from pursuing their educational or career goals and make communication difficult. Therefore, it is important to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with stuttering. Speech therapy with a stuttering specialist may help improve speech fluency and provide support to those affected.
Stuttering and Singing: What We Know
People don't usually stutter when they sing because singing involves a different part of the brain than speaking. When we speak, our words must flow in a certain order and rhythm to be easily understandable. Stuttering disrupts this process and makes it difficult for us to communicate effectively. However, when we sing, we are using a totally different part of the brain. We are using our natural sense of rhythm and melody to create a unique vocal performance. This allows us to bypass some of the stuttering issues we experience when speaking, enabling us to sing without difficulty.
Singing is a different form of communication than most speaking:
Stuttering is mostly triggered in voluntary communication, such as when we are trying to have a conversation or make a presentation. In contrast, singing is more about muscle memory. We learn the melody and rhythm of our songs through repeated practice, and eventually our muscles memorize the movements needed to produce the desired sound. This makes singing much less susceptible to stuttering. .Singing is a one-way form of communication that gives the singer complete control over their words. This can be an empowering and liberating experience for people with stutter, as they no longer feel judged or interrupted because of their speech.
It is important to remember that stuttering should still be treated professionally in order to ensure long-term success. With the right kind of therapy, people with stuttering are able to overcome their difficulty and improve their speaking abilities.
If you or someone you know is struggling with stuttering, there are many resources available to help. Professional speech-language pathologists can guide you through the process of finding effective treatments and strategies to manage your stutter..
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