I have talked differently my whole life. My parents have taken me to several doctors and speech pathologist, but nothing worked. It was so FRUSTRATING. I got tired of little kids coming up to me and asking me why I talk weird. I didn’t feel my speech was affecting me, but my mother said I was withdrawing socially and choosing to not speak. I have been seeing providers since I was 3 years old. I am 12 now and developed a love for acting, but I got turned down for a part due to my speech. I was lucky enough to get referred to Dr. Ziegler. He treated me like a partner in my care and in 6 weeks he has completely fixed my speech. I was able to go to acting camp and NO ONE asked my why I speak funny.
I made more progress in my first appointment with Jennifer than I did in twenty appointment with another vocal coach. Jennifer’s approach is logical and effective, assuming of course that you practice. She found alternative approaches when a specific training technique was too challenging; it was a relief knowing that there was more than one way to achieve my goal. In addition to being an incredible teacher, Jennifer is kind and compassionate. She always made me feel comfortable and valued, and I think the transgender community is very, very fortunate that she wants to help our community find its true voice.
As the result of a rare virus I lost the ability to effectively speak or sing for nearly a year. Following successful surgery in Portland, OR, Dr. Aaron Ziegler began working with me in both speech and singing therapy. The ability to speak is essential to me in my business. Over about a four month period of intense therapy I regained my ability to not only speak for extended periods of time but again to sing. His experience and professionalism successfully brought me through this very difficult time in my life. I highly recommend Dr. Ziegler to anyone needing help with healing and therapy for speech and singing. Please, do not hesitate to contact me directly for further information.
“Aaron and Jenn are vocal wizards. I came to Aaron 4 years ago when I knew something was wrong with my vocal cords, and sure enough he found nodules forming. After a few weeks of utilizing what Aaron gave me, I was producing the notes I lost in my high range again and after a few months I was shocked to feel that my baseline was stronger than before the one and only session I had with him. I am a completely different singer because of the skills Aaron gave me. This year I am leading a 1st Broadway National Tour and performing a challenging score 8 times a week. I consult with Aaron and Jenn to keep my stamina strong, and I am proud to say that despite the difficulty of the show, I feel more consistent than ever. When I first met Aaron, I was often calling out of a show I was working on because I tired out quickly. I am proud to say I have not called out of a show since working with Aaron and Jenn, and one number I sing at the end of act two has even gotten mid-show standing ovations. They are my secret weapon. I cannot recommend them enough!”
I went to Aaron to help me establish a new voice for myself as I work my way through this transition from male to female. Aaron’s gracious, welcoming, positive and calm demeanor immediately made me feel comfortable in what could have been a very awkward encounter. He is not a clinician. He is human, he is compassionate and he is genuinely concerned about you and what it is you want to achieve with your voice. Not a preconceived notion of what your voice should sound like. His goal is to help you achieve the best voice that is right for you and that you are comfortable with. I am grateful that he is a part of my transition. For whatever reason we are seeking voice coaching there is some level of personal struggle we are also facing. If it’s to reestablish a voice after a stroke, correct a stutter, become an orator or to transition. In addition to having exceptional skills we need our coach to be compassionate.
I did a session with Aaron and Jennifer a couple of weeks ago and I found it to be extremely helpful. I was preparing to do some recording in a studio and needed some coaching specifically for proper breathing. I found them to be very encouraging and easy to work with. I did my session over zoom, and I was amazed at how in touch they were with my singing even though they weren’t right next to me! The distance doesn’t seem to be a barrier at all. They worked great as a team. I have been practicing the doable exercises they gave me and have noticed my confidence improving. In fact, last night I sang at a local open mic and noticed that I felt more bold and enjoyed myself by using the techniques they taught me. I would recommend The Wellness Group for Voice and Speech to anyone who needs help using their voice more effectively, whether it be for health reasons, or for singing (like me).
My work with Dr. Ziegler was one of the most important parts of my transition. He helped me get in touch with who I wanted to be, as well as work through dysphoria and my expectations for my voice. It was half therapy, half voice work, half having a supportive and friendly ear. After 6 months of intense, daily work I’ve rediscovered my voice and my identity, found a capacity for expression I never knew I had, and have the knowledge to keep changing my voice if I choose. I can’t recommend Dr. Ziegler enough, he’s amazing.
As a transmasculine person who also considers themselves a singer, I didn’t think I’d ever find someone to check all of these boxes in an SLP: someone with solid technical speech-language pathologist training, particularly for gender-affirming speaking voice, plus a deep sensitivity to the specific needs surrounding language and identity of the trans/gender-nonconforming/queer community, AND a strong background in voice training for singing. However, Jennifer and Aaron of The Wellness Group are exactly in this niche, and they rule it! I’ve worked primarily with Jennifer, and our sessions are dynamic, informative, relevant, efficient, and effective. She has a gift of knowing exactly when to stay on a topic and when to move on, and how to vary the pace of the information she gives so as to avoid burnout. She balances her expertise with deferral to my knowledge of my own body regularly, which feels empowering. Additionally, I appreciate the methodical way Jennifer sums up our sessions by having me answer specific questions that will guide my self-study in the interim. The Wellness Group is the epitome of patience, perceptiveness, thoroughness, and professional integrity. And a giant bonus: they also go out of their way to build community among their clientele on an opt-in basis, which feels so gentle and resourcing. I cannot recommend The Wellness Group highly enough!