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The Scoop on Estill Voice Technique …

Sep 09, 2021

Hey everybody! 

I hope you enjoyed my last video on Speech Level Singing. In today’s post, I’m going to tell you all about another special vocal technique that embraces contemporary singing … Estill Voice Training. 

Estill Voice Training is a vocal technique created by Jo Estill in 1988. 

Jo was an American singer and voice researcher. Before researching, she was a tremendous singer, singing Opera on the radio and throughout Europe. In the late 1960s, she began teaching voice and became a voice teacher for the Department of Otolaryngology at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York. Because of this, she had access to scientific equipment and was able to see the inner workings of the vocal mechanism while people were singing. She took her findings and created the Estill Vocal Method. 

Basically, Estill Voice Training is a system for singing based on deconstructing the process of vocal production by controlling specific structures in the vocal mechanism. By being able to move each structure consciously, the singer can control their voice for the desired result. 

The 13 structures that are taught to be controlled in Estill are: 

  • True Vocal Folds (Onset/Offset)
  • False Vocal Folds
  • True Vocal Folds (Body-Cover)
  • Thyroid Cartilage
  • Cricoid Cartilage
  • Aryepiglottic Sphincter
  • Larynx
  • Tongue
  • Velum
  • Jaw
  • Lips
  • Head and Neck
  • Torso



Once a singer control over the figures, they can use a recipe of the figures to create different vocal qualities. Estill's vocal qualities are: 

  • Speech
  • Falsetto
  • Sob
  • Twang
  • Opera
  • Belting


The speech quality can be useful for singers, songwriters and pop singers, while Sob may be suitable for folk singers. Opera is excellent for Classical singers, and Twang and Belting are ideal for musical theater. Nonetheless, these qualities can of course be mixed, matched, and altered to get the perfect quality for whatever genre you'd like to sing. 

Estill Voice Training has a foundation in research and science and is used by speech and language therapists across the globe. In fact, in the training sessions I have personally attended, there were singers, actors, voice-over artists, speech therapists, and even medical doctors, all finding Estill Voice Training beneficial in their prospective disciplines.  

If you're someone who wants complete control of your voice and to be able to create or replicate any sound, Estill may be right for you. 

Estill Voice Training, because of its scientific and technical aspects, does require you to be a bit of a science nerd to understand all that's going on. Also, it does take time to master the figures, so being completely proficient in Estill can take many years, but you will definitely see great results along the journey.


Stay tuned … In the next vlog, we will talk about one of my favorite vocal techniques for pop and rock singers!



Got Questions?

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If you are a singer and want to learn how to better your singing voice and or get your name out there, or just simply have a few questions and need some advice … feel free to comment below or hit me up by dropping me an email.