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|
"As a teacher of singing, I have dreamed about a common language for singers, a technical perspective that acknowledges the athletic nature of what we do and the effort that is clearly a part of the package, and a collaborative environment that builds up both teachers and students. I feel that, in order to build a solid program foundation, both teachers and students alike must feel secure in admitting any lack of clarity so that they can open up to continual learning. Treating voice training as an ongoing science, in which we are all helping to flesh out details makes everyone partners in the process, and doesn't invalidate and alienate as some approaches do. In fact, this approach truly invites a team approach to learning."
former Music School Director
and Voice Teacher