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Meet Christine Sofiane Katzenmaier of Speech & Voice Works

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Sofiane Katzenmaier.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The making of my business was a serendipitous journey.

I grew up on a farm in a tiny village called Litzelbach, Germany. Playing out in the field, riding my bicycle to school or being on the tractor was part of daily life, which I enjoyed. At the same time, I had this dream of living in a foreign country, in a big city.

Fast forward to adulthood, I find myself in the metropolis of Los Angeles, which I’m fortunate to call my home now. Music was a big part growing up. I played the accordion and piano but soon realized that my passion is singing, so I took up singing lessons, which I enjoyed for many years to come.

When I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 21, I pursued singing professionally and became a performing artist and recitalist. It also gave me great pleasure to teach what I learned so I started giving singing lessons. It was then when the seed for my business was planted.

As a teacher, I wanted to get a better understanding of why some voices get hoarse, why do some people have limited ranges. I had a good understanding of the musicality of the voice but was curious about the science of it. At that time I didn’t even know that the field of speech pathology existed, until one day a friend of mine introduced me to a speech pathologist. She told me what her job entailed and “Bingo!” I thought.

The next thing you know, I was back in school to get a Masters degree in speech pathology with an emphasis in voice. I knew before I even went back to school that I wanted to have my own business. So, five years ago I became a licensed speech pathologist and I’m very excited to say that two years ago I opened my own practice.

I absolutely love what I do, and I’m grateful how my journey unfolded and got me to where I am today. I love having my own business, and it gives me great joy taking care of people and help them get better.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Looking back on when I started my business, I have to say, I’ve been pretty lucky. Not to say it wasn’t scary and challenging at times, but a colleague of mine provided me with lots of support along the way, and I ended up taking over her practice. I still had to build most of my client base but having the support on how to do things made a big difference.

So far in life, my experience has been that the scariest moments and endeavors that seem impossible turned out to be absolutely wonderful. From moving to a foreign country, to pursuing a singing career, to becoming a business owner. I’m living my dream of doing all of it while helping others.

Please tell us about Speech & Voice Works.
My business is about vocal wellness and improving quality of life. Speech & Voice Works is a private practice where I provide voice and speech therapy services for children and adults with voice and communication disorders.

As an ASHA board certified speech-language pathologist, opera singer, performing artist and vocal coach of many years I bring extensive experience to my role as founder and director of Speech & Voice Works servicing the voice community and beyond.

I specialize in voice disorders, helping public speakers, singers, actors, executives, teachers, children, etc. improve their voice and help them maintain a healthy voice. Vocal wellness is critical. It’s a funny thing about the voice.

People don’t think in terms of preventative care for their voice. Only once they lose their voice, they realize how important the voice actually is. I help raise awareness about vocal wellness in the community and on a daily basis in my practice.

I’m also trained in myofunctional therapy, helping people with tongue thrusts and jaw problems. Myofunctional therapy involves retraining the muscles of the mouth and tongue for a proper swallow, so there is no concern anymore for teeth flaring out once braces come off or needing braces in the first place.

My special niche in what I do is myofascial release. For people that have a lot of muscle tension in their throat, neck, and jaw I use this technique, which is a massage-like approach to help relax the muscles in the head and neck area.

It is truly gratifying to have my own business, doing what I love and help people improve their lives and well-being on a daily basis.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is riding on the tractor. Still to this day when I go back to Germany to visit my family, I take a chance to ride on the tractor that my dad beautifully restored.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. TC

    December 4, 2018 at 19:20

    Great article.

    Christine helped me realize I am not a total dud at carrying a tune, she taught me to recognize and carry 9 notes in only one half hour session. A miracle for me who had always been told I was tone deaf and couldn’t sing even though I loved to sing along I was always embarrassed to. She has also given me advice on how to control my gag reflex so that going to the dentist is not as much torture as it has been in the past, something I did not know could be done.

    She is an extremely caring, patient and kind teacher whom I highly recommend.

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