Jo Estill in New York City
One woman’s journey to figure out “how she was doing it”
By Luke Steinhauer, Customer Experience, Estill Voice International
Jo Estill, founder of Estill Voice Training, was an inspirational singer, inventive teacher, and innovative scientist who believed that: “Everyone has a beautiful voice.”
Early on, Estill observed that voice research had an aesthetic bias toward classical singing and did little to explain how the voice works. Jo Estill realized that more work was needed in voice research.
Early Research Upstate
From 1972–1979, Jo Estill was employed as a research associate in the Department of Otolaryngology, at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York. She worked under Dr. Ray Colton, and Dr. David Brewer, two of the top voice researchers in the United States and began her pioneering research on six voice qualities: speech, falsetto, sob, twang, opera, and belt.
In 1982 at the Julliard School in Manhattan, the team of Colton, Brewer and Estill presented their seven years of research with the discovery that all humans have the same vocal structures that can be independently controlled. Their research to the ‘Care of the Professional Voice’ conferences of the Voice Foundation in New York City as well as to other professional associations throughout the world revolutionized the way we understand the human voice. She subsequently published over 40 professional articles reporting on her scientific studies of the voice.
Jo Estill in Manhattan & Beyond
Between 1980-1984, Jo completed her PhD course work at the City University of New York and continued formulating the revolutionary Estill Voice Model. Based in Manhattan, she worked on a variety of research projects with key leaders in the fields of voice science all over the world including appearances on television and radio programs like Ira Flatow’s, Newton’s Apple.
She concurrently taught seminars for performers and others in her voice method which transformed sophisticated research concepts into accessible and meaningful vocal exercises. She traveled to five continents training singers, actors, teachers, speech pathologists and others. Included on her resume were four 2-month sessions-in-residence at the Shiki Theatre and the Shochiku Dance Company in Tokyo, and two visits to London’s Central School for Speech and Drama. Jo’s success in teaching and research led to the formal development of Estill Voice Training in 1992 to protect her work and certify instructors. She produced a variety of materials for use by voice instructors, whom she tested herself. In June 2004, the business was sold to a partnership known today as Estill Voice International, LLC.
Estill Voice International Today
The mission of Estill Voice International today, is to lead the way in voice training and rehabilitation by providing simple tools that enable speakers and singers to achieve their personal vocal goals. Estill Voice International provides unparalleled educational opportunities, software solutions, specialized healthcare products, and world-renowned Estill Voice Training. Central to its mission is the balance of vocal health and aesthetic freedom. Estill Voice International accomplishes its goals by merging science and art through progressive research, accessible technology, and innovative teaching techniques. Whether training or rehabilitating performers, every-day speakers and avocational choir singers, or corporate speakers in board rooms or call-centers, Estill Voice International offers unsurpassed products and services for unlocking the vocal potential in everyone.
Voice Training Summit in New York City, June 2022
In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Jo Estill’s landmark presentation at the Julliard School in Manhattan, Estill Voice International returns to New York City and is proud to host a North American Summit, June 25-26, 2022 at The High Line Nine in Chelsea. The summit, fully open to the public, will feature master classes, workshops, lectures, performances, and meetings from Estill leaders in the scientific, medical, and arts communities. Experience “Estill Voice Training in Action” spanning The American Songbook, Higher Education, Choirs & Ensembles, Voice in Film & TV, Musical Theatre, Professional Speaking, Diction & Articulation, Gospel, Speech Language Pathology, Live Scoping, and more! You can learn more at: https://www.estillvoice.com/nasummitnyc/
About the Author
Luke Steinhauer is an Estill Master Trainer based in New York City and the Customer Experience Manager for Estill Voice International. He currently teaches at The Krowne Vocal School in Chelsea, Manhattan and maintains a private voice studio in Hells Kitchen. Luke has a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan and is an AEA actor.