We asked Christina Laur, a certified Speech Language Pathologist and an Estill Master Trainer, to give us three Estill Voice Training® options to support vocal health.
Before doing anything, Christina likes to do some sort of warm up or check in using semi occluded vocal tract exercises. You can use your fist, a straw (for straw phonation), a lip trill, a tongue trill, or anything that that creates an occlusion of air on the exhale to help support the more efficient oscillation of the true vocal folds. A recoil breath will help the biomechanical properties of our lung tissue to support just the right amount of air for the semi occluded vocal tract exercises. Exhale through your voice quality and then open the nose and mouth to let air rush back in through the voice quality you have set up. You should have just the right amount of air to do what you are doing and in a good place vocally to perform Christina’s 3 Estill Voice Training® options for vocal health:
1. Smooth True Vocal Folds: Onset/Offset
In a smooth vocal folds onset & offset, vocal folds & air come together at the exact same time. This onset ensures a healthy, minimal impact at the level of the True Vocal Folds.
2. Thin True Vocal Folds: Body-Cover
In Thin folds, the True Vocal Folds are elongated. Less cover flexibility result in vibration without the lower-to-upper ripple with a thin or shallow depth of contact. A facilitating Smooth Onset helps one get into Thin folds.
3. False Vocal Fold Retraction
Moving the false vocal folds away from the midline and up and away from the true vocal folds the vocal folds can vibrate freely and easily in a healthy way.
Try putting all of the options are together: Smooth onset/offset + Thin folds + FVF retraction. Try taking them up and down a scale in most comfortable vocal effort first, and then stretch those ranges and eventually applying it to other vowels, other syllables, and other words.
Want to learn more about these Estill Voice Training® options for vocal health? Take the completely online, self-directed, course: Foundations of Estill Voice Training®. Start your journey to vocal empowerment by clicking here!