Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Speech-Language Pathology


Vanessa Mueller


Background: Many theories, such as oral motor, perceptual, and sensorimotor deficits, have been posited to explain inaccurate pitch matching abilities. The current study identifies with the sensorimotor deficit theory and found it to be the most plausible explanation for inaccurate singing abilities. The Natural Ear (NE) program was designed to process voice productions in real-time and filter out the discordant harmonics, allowing a person to hear only their F0.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the Natural Ear program in increasing pitch matching accuracy in singers.

Methods: A total of 50 participants were included in the study; fourteen men and thirty-six women, ages 18-57. Female participants matched vocal tones presented via headset in the keys of C4, F#4, and B4. Male participants matched vocal tones presented via headset in the keys of C3, F#3, and B3. Three conditions were administered in random order to each participant: normal auditory feedback (NAF), Amplification of their voice (AMP), and the NE.

Results: As a group, participants were more accurate without any additional feedback when compared by target note and gender. However, males demonstrated increased pitch matching accuracy with amplification across all target notes, indicating additional auditory feedback was helpful. When the NE was presented second or last, the participants demonstrated increased accuracy with amplification when matching the target note C. In addition, singers were more accurate when using the NE across all target notes when the NE condition was presented last, indicating additional practice may affect pitch matching accuracy.

Discussion: It is still unknown if the NE will result in more accurate pitch matching over amplification. However, based on the results of the current study it can be assumed that any additional auditory feedback may result in more accurate pitch matching abilities. Clinicians should consider using additional auditory feedback when working with patients who have difficulty regulating pitch and intonational patterns.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

36 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Kendra Nicole Rosales