Pitch disorders

How we can help people with a pitch disorder

Pitch disorder is the term used to describe a change in the perception of voice. A pitch disorder occurs when an individual’s voice is higher than usual or lower than usual. A pitch disorder can be caused by a variety of conditions and voice problems.

Speech and language therapy is beneficial for individuals with a pitch disorder and can help restore a client’s pitch to its typical state.

What is a pitch disorder?

A pitch disorder is an impairment to an individual's pitch of voice. This can lead to a client’s pitch being too high or too low. Other clients may experience a decreased pitch range and will not be able to reach the typical range of pitch leading to a monotone sound of voice.

Pitch disorders are usually due to a change in the function of our vocal folds. Our vocal folds need to be able to close fully and periodically in order for us to produce voice effectively.

What causes a pitch disorder?

Pitch disorders can be caused by the normal ageing process but can occur at any time due to poor vocal hygiene. Professional voice users may also experience pitch disorders due to overuse of the voice. Pitch disorders are usually symptoms of another voice disorder, below is a list of voice problems that may cause pitch disorders:

How does speech and language therapy help pitch disorders?

Many of the causes of pitch disorders are not serious and can usually be solved with advice or intervention from a speech and language therapist. Speech and language therapy can be extremely beneficial for patients with a pitch disorder. Speech and language therapy can improve a client’s vocal quality and help them to develop coping strategies to manage their pitch. This may result in a client becoming more confident in their production of speech.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for pitch disorders involve?

Speech and language therapy for pitch disorders may include assessments, reports, therapy programmes, reviews, training, advice and education. Specific treatment for pitch disorders includes voice therapy.

Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT) is a therapy technique used by fully trained speech and language therapists that aims to increase the volume and quality of a patient's voice, this programme is designed for individuals with Parkinson’s disease as this condition commonly leads to changes in the quality of voice, including pitch changes.

An initial assessment will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists. This will highlight any worries and difficulties concerning the voice and communication. It will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve.


Pitch disorders are a change in voice quality and perception, they can affect anyone but can be improved with speech and language therapy. Overuse of the voice is usually to blame; however there are many other causes, ranging from mild to severe.

If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 088 5643.

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