Jo Estill cited the following ‘philosophical positions’ regarding diction in Operatic musical performance:
- WORDS are more important than MUSIC. (Camerata c. 1590)
- The VOICE is more important than DICTION.
- Communication and true artistry demand both.
Jo Estill had many high standards and one of them was that diction should be intelligible on first hearing – to anyone in the audience who spoke the language in which she was singing. She was in favor of Philosophy #3. She had her reasons: she came from a world of stage performance with large orchestras and no amplification; however, she also sang from the American Songbook in Radio Broadcasts. She adapted her effort, but intelligibility was always foremost in her performance practice.
In today’s world of abundant amplification, noice suppressing technology, and the general desire for a more “natural” sound, why study diction?
Effective communication is important for your well-being and your survival. When your listener hears a clear message, your goal for being understood is achieved. Matching clarity with style and intent will allow you to work smarter, not harder.
The science behind speech is empowering. In our new online, self-directed, course, The Power of Diction™, you will:
- IDENTIFY the anatomy that moves as you speak.
- UNDERSTAND how your choices influence how you are heard.
- DEVELOP predictable control to meet your personal goals.
Just as Estill Voice Training® promotes choice in control of the anatomy & physiology, acoustics, and perception of the voice, The Power of Diction™ takes a parallel approach to increase awareness and control of the anatomy & physiology, acoustics, and perception of speech. Your voice is your choice, and now your diction is your decision!
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