When was the last time you played a kazoo? Or for that matter even saw a kazoo?! This simple instrument (most often made of plastic and no more than 1$ in cost) has a wide variety of uses. It can be used to aid in speech production and awareness in children, aid in speech recovery for those relearning to speak after suffering from a brain injury, aid in speech production and awareness for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and can even help increase respiration and oxygenation of the body.
The reason the kazoo can accomplish these tasks is its similarity to singing. In order to play the instrument you must use the vocal cords. Many people when they are first presented with a kazoo quickly put it to their mouth and begin to blow. They are quickly surprised when nothing happens and often comment that the instrument is “broken”. This is because the kazoo requires the vibrations from your vocal cords to make a sound. Blowing air will not get the job done.
Imagine you are a small child who does not vocalize, or perhaps someone who has lost the ability to speak. The moment one sound is created with your vocal cords, the instrument speaks! Shock and disbelief overcome you as you wonder, “how did I do that?” The motivation to create another sound consumes you and you continue to attempt to produce more sounds. Eventually your hard work and determination pay off and before you know it you are humming along to your favorite tunes. This is the first step in speech production… simply making the vocalizations. The kazoo is a fantastic instrument to aid in speech and not only can it help attain goals, it is FUN, MOTIVATING and REWARDING! Oh, and did I mention you can make music with it? 😉