About Estill Voice Training™
Over 20 Years of Revolutionizing Voice Training
Founded by Jo Estill in 1988, Estill Voice Training™ (also known as Estill Voicecraft™), is an innovative system for developing masterful control of the human voice. It offers a clear and concise vocabulary for describing what voices can do and powerful exercises that allow voices to realize their full potential – be it for better speaking or for better singing. Estill Voice Training™ grew out of ground-breaking research into singing. Actors and singers have recognized its benefits since the beginning, but its principles and exercises apply in corporate and clinical settings, too! Because Estill Voice Training™ has no aesthetic or cultural biases, its common sense approach can be used by any voice, for any purpose, in any setting.
Elegant and Effective Exercises
Figures for Voice™ are the foundation of Estill Voice Training™. These “Figures”, modeled on what were once the “Compulsory Figures” in ice skating competitions, are exercises designed to develop control of specific structures that contribute to the sound and feeling of the voice. Each structure has two to four conditions, or options, that are explained and explored through introductory exercises. The 13 Figures for Voice™ are advanced exercises that challenge the speaker and singer to produce the options in different combinations, at different pitches, on different vowels. Overall voice quality is the result of complex and dynamic combinations of the options chosen by the speaker or singer for each structure.
Hearing is Believing
There are Figures for Voice™ that control the vibrating edges of the true vocal folds, the source of our vocal sound. There are other Figures that influence the shape of the vocal tract that resonates and filters the tone produced. Yet other Figures influence the posture of the body and breath that power the voice. Click on the icons below to hear for yourself. As you listen, please bear in mind that these are simply demonstrations of options available for training, free of aesthetic bias.
Options for True Vocal Fold Body-Cover Control:
|Listen for Thick-Stiff-Thin (low, high), Thick-Slack|
Listen for options above in these Figure Combinations for Six Voice Qualities™
|Estill Speech Quality||Estill Falsetto Quality|
|Estill Sob Quality||Estill Oral Twang Quality|
|Estill Nasal Twang Quality||Estill Belt Quality|
"Why am I an Estill Voice Training practitioner? Obviously, I respect the quality of Jo Estill's research. She has produced a systematic approach to voice training that I have used successfully for the past twenty-two years in my work with undergraduate singers. It is one thing for Jo Estill to have been named one of the most significant voice scientists in the world today. She joins the ranks of many such gifted scientists. However, it is quite another thing to have fine tuned her research in such a way as to offer singers a disciplined approach that meets the demands of the profession today; namely, the ability to sing a variety of voice qualities with confidence, endurance, and artistic sensitivity. My colleagues and I think so highly of Jo Estill's work that we have developed a four-year undergraduate voice curriculum using her published materials. There is no greater "testimony" as to the trust we have in this approach to the training of the singing voice than to offer it to the next generation as a foundation for their professional careers."
Julie T. Fortney
DMA Professor of Voice,
Voice Division Coordinator
Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, NC