The History of Estill Voice Training™

Jo Estill, world-renowned educator, researcher, and singer, founded Estill Voice Training™ (originally called Estill Voice Craft™) and the Figures for Voice™ (originally known as Compulsory Figures for Voice™) in 1988.

Jo began her career as a “classical” singer of Lieder and Opera. Now she may best be known for her work with “Belting,” a voice quality heard in Pop and Music Theatre singing. Her unique approach separates the mechanics of singing from artistic and aesthetic preconceptions.

With nearly 25 years of experience in research in the vocal physiology, acoustics, and perception of voice quality, Ms. Estill was published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, Journal of Voice, Medical Problems of Performing Arts, and, most recently, in Vocal Fold Physiology: Voice Quality Control, and Vocal Fold Physiology: Controlling Complexity and Chaos.

Jo Estill taught voice at college and professional levels for over 30 years, and conducted workshops in Compulsory Figures for Voice™ from 1988. 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.

To see clips of Jo Estill in her own words, visit the Estill Voice Training YouTube channel here.

“Jo Estill’s work is pioneering in that she was the first to separate voice quality clearly into source and filter components! Her basic vocal tract shapes associated with sob (yawn), twang, and sing (opera) are fundamental to our current understanding of how the source and the filter interact.”

Ingo R. Titze, PhD , World-renowned voice scientist and Director National Center for Voice and Speech