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Discover the Full Potential of Your Voice with The Estill Voice Model: Theory & Translation



READ BOOK The Estill Voice Model: Theory and Translation




If you are a voice user who wants to improve your vocal skills, express your vocal identity, and transform your vocal performance, then you should read this book: The Estill Voice Model: Theory and Translation. This book is written by Kimberly Steinhauer, Mary McDonald Klimek, and Jo Estill, who are experts in voice science, voice pedagogy, and voice therapy. In this book, they introduce you to the Estill Voice Model, a revolutionary system for developing vocal control, expression, and transformation. The Estill Voice Model is based on the idea that everyone has a beautiful voice and that anyone can learn to master their voice by understanding and manipulating the anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism. Whether you are a singer, actor, teacher, coach, therapist, researcher, or simply a voice enthusiast, this book will help you to discover the full potential of your voice and achieve your vocal goals.




READ BOOK The Estill Voice Model: Theory and Translation


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What is the Estill Voice Model?




The Estill Voice Model is a comprehensive and practical approach to voice training that was developed by Jo Estill (1921-2010), a world-renowned singer, teacher, and researcher. The Estill Voice Model is based on three key concepts: craft, artistry, and magic.


The Craft of Voice Control




The craft of voice control is the foundation of the Estill Voice Model. It teaches you how to control and manipulate different anatomical structures in the vocal mechanism that affect the production of sound. These structures include the vocal folds, the false vocal folds, the larynx, the velum, the tongue, the lips, the jaw, the head-neck alignment, the torso alignment, the anchoring muscles, and the breathing muscles. By learning how to move each structure independently or in combination with others, you can create different voice qualities and effects that suit your vocal needs and preferences.


The Six Basic Voice Qualities




The Estill Voice Model identifies six basic voice qualities that can be produced by varying the vocal fold and vocal tract configurations. These are speech, falsetto, sob, twang, opera, and belt. Each voice quality has its own characteristic sound and feel. For example:


  • Speech is the voice quality that we use for normal speaking. It has a natural and relaxed sound and feel.



  • Falsetto is the voice quality that we use for high-pitched singing or speaking. It has a thin and airy sound and feel.



  • Sob is the voice quality that we use for crying or expressing sadness. It has a low-pitched and breathy sound and feel.



  • Twang is the voice quality that we use for shouting or expressing excitement. It has a bright and nasal sound and feel.



  • Opera is the voice quality that we use for classical singing or projecting our voice over a large distance. It has a rich and resonant sound and feel.



  • Belt is the voice quality that we use for pop singing or expressing intensity. It has a loud and powerful sound and feel.



The Estill Voice Model teaches you how to produce each voice quality by adjusting the position and shape of your vocal folds and vocal tract. For example:


Voice QualityVocal Fold ConfigurationVocal Tract Configuration


SpeechThick vocal folds with moderate closureNeutral larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow), tongue relaxed (allowing some oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation)


FalsettoThin vocal folds with loose closureNeutral larynx height, velum raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue relaxed (allowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing lip radiation)


SobThick vocal folds with tight closureLow larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow), tongue retracted (reducing oral airflow), lips closed (blocking lip radiation)


TwangThin or thick vocal folds with moderate closureHigh larynx height, velum raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue advanced (narrowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation)


OperaThick or thin vocal folds with moderate closureLow larynx height, velum raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue relaxed (allowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation)


The Estill Voice Model helps you to develop awareness and control of your vocal fold and vocal tract configurations, so that you can switch between different voice qualities with ease and accuracy.


The Figures for Voice Control




The Estill Voice Model also identifies 13 figures for voice control that can be used to modify each voice quality. These are true vocal fold body-cover differentiation, false vocal fold retraction, larynx height, velum position, tongue position, lip position, jaw position, head-neck alignment, torso alignment, anchoring, breath flow management, breath pressure management, and onset-offset. Each figure represents a specific movement or adjustment of a vocal structure that affects the sound and feel of the voice. For example:


  • True vocal fold body-cover differentiation is the ability to change the thickness and stiffness of the vocal folds by engaging or relaxing different layers of muscle tissue.



  • False vocal fold retraction is the ability to widen or narrow the space between the false vocal folds by pulling them apart or together.



  • Larynx height is the ability to raise or lower the position of the larynx by contracting or relaxing different muscles in the neck.



  • Velum position is the ability to raise or lower the soft palate by contracting or relaxing different muscles in the roof of the mouth.



  • Tongue position is the ability to change the shape and location of the tongue by moving it forward or backward, up or down, in or out.



  • Lip position is the ability to change the shape and size of the mouth opening by rounding or spreading, protruding or retracting, opening or closing the lips.



  • Jaw position is the ability to change the distance between the upper and lower teeth by dropping or raising, advancing or retracting, tilting or leveling the jaw.



  • Head-neck alignment is the ability to align or misalign the head and neck by tilting or leveling, turning or facing, nodding or shaking them.



  • Torso alignment is the ability to align or misalign the spine and rib cage by bending or straightening, twisting or facing, expanding or contracting them.



  • Anchoring is the ability to stabilize or destabilize the vocal mechanism by engaging or relaxing different muscles in the head, neck, torso, and limbs.



  • Breath flow management is the ability to regulate or deregulate the amount and speed of air that passes through the vocal folds by controlling the inhalation and exhalation muscles.



  • Breath pressure management is the ability to increase or decrease the force of air that pushes against the vocal folds by balancing the inhalation and exhalation muscles.



  • Onset-offset is the ability to start or stop the vibration of the vocal folds by coordinating the breath flow and pressure with the vocal fold closure.



The Estill Voice Model teaches you how to isolate and manipulate each figure for voice control, so that you can fine-tune your voice quality and effects with precision and flexibility.


The Artistry of Voice Expression




The artistry of voice expression is the application of the Estill Voice Model to create expressive vocal effects. It encourages you to experiment with different combinations of voice qualities and figures to convey your vocal identity and emotions. Whether you want to sound happy or sad, angry or calm, confident or nervous, young or old, male or female, human or animal, realistic or fantastical, you can use the Estill Voice Model to achieve your desired vocal expression.


The Five Parameters of Voice Expression




The Estill Voice Model identifies five parameters of voice expression that can be used to evaluate and enhance your vocal performance. These are pitch, loudness, timbre, duration, and prosody. Each parameter represents a specific aspect of sound that affects the meaning and impact of your voice. For example:


  • Pitch is the perception of how high or low a sound is. It can be measured in hertz (Hz) or musical notes. Pitch can be used to convey melody, harmony, intonation, inflection, and emotion.



  • Loudness is the perception of how loud or soft a sound is. It can be measured in decibels (dB) or sound pressure level (SPL). Loudness can be used to convey intensity, emphasis, dynamics, and emotion.



  • Timbre is the perception of how rich or thin a sound is. It can be measured in spectral analysis or formant frequencies. Timbre can be used to convey voice quality, voice effects, vocal style, and emotion.



  • Duration is the perception of how long or short a sound is. It can be measured in seconds or milliseconds. Duration can be used to convey rhythm, tempo, pace, and emotion.



  • Prosody is the perception of how varied or monotone a sound is. It can be measured in pitch contour, loudness contour, timbre contour, and duration contour. Prosody can be used to convey sentence structure, word stress, tone of voice, and emotion.



The Estill Voice Model helps you to develop awareness and control of your vocal parameters, so that you can modify your voice expression with creativity and versatility.


The Recipe Cards for Vocal Effects




The Estill Voice Model also provides a collection of recipe cards that give you step-by-step instructions for creating various vocal effects using the Estill Voice Model. These are creaky voice, breathy voice, nasal voice, growl, yodel, vibrato, and whistle register. Each vocal effect has its own characteristic sound and feel. For example:


  • Creaky voice is a vocal effect that produces a low-pitched and rough sound. It can be created by using speech or sob voice quality with low breath flow and pressure, high true vocal fold body-cover differentiation, and false vocal fold approximation.



  • Breathy voice is a vocal effect that produces a high-pitched and airy sound. It can be created by using falsetto or sob voice quality with high breath flow and low pressure, low true vocal fold body-cover differentiation, and false vocal fold retraction.



  • Nasal voice is a vocal effect that produces a bright and nasal sound. It can be created by using twang or speech voice quality with velum lowering, allowing some nasal airflow.



  • Growl is a vocal effect that produces a raspy and gravelly sound. It can be created by using twang or belt voice quality with high breath pressure, high true vocal fold body-cover differentiation, false vocal fold approximation, and aryepiglottic sphincter constriction.



  • Yodel is a vocal effect that produces a sudden change in pitch and timbre. It can be created by switching between falsetto and speech or twang voice quality with rapid onset-offset coordination.



  • Vibrato is a vocal effect that produces a periodic variation in pitch and loudness. It can be created by using any voice quality with controlled breath flow and pressure oscillation.



  • Whistle register is a vocal effect that produces a very high-pitched and pure sound. It can be created by using falsetto voice quality with very thin and stiff vocal folds, high larynx height, narrow oral airflow, and high breath pressure.



The Estill Voice Model teaches you how to follow the recipe cards for vocal effects, so that you can add flavor and spice to your voice expression.


The Magic of Voice Transformation




The magic of voice transformation is the ultimate goal of the Estill Voice Model. It enables you to transform your voice for different purposes and contexts. Whether you want to sing in different genres, speak in different languages or accents, imitate different voices or sounds, or recover from vocal problems, you can use the Estill Voice Model to achieve your desired vocal transformation.


The Vocal Profiles for Vocal Styles




The Estill Voice Model provides a set of vocal profiles that describe the typical voice qualities and figures used in different vocal styles. These are classical singing, musical theatre singing, pop singing, rock singing, jazz singing, rap singing, country singing, speech pathology, accent modification, voice acting, and impersonation. Each vocal style has its own characteristic features and conventions. For example:


Vocal StyleVoice QualityFigures for Voice Control


Classical SingingOperaLow larynx height, velum raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue relaxed (allowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation), jaw dropped (increasing mouth opening), head-neck aligned (improving resonance), torso aligned (supporting posture), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism), breath flow management (maintaining steady airflow), breath pressure management (balancing subglottal pressure), onset-offset (coordinating glottal attack)


Speech, Falsetto, Twang, or BeltNeutral or high larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow) or raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue advanced (narrowing oral airflow) or relaxed (allowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation) or rounded (increasing lip radiation), jaw dropped (increasing mouth opening) or raised (decreasing mouth opening), head-neck aligned (improving resonance) or misaligned (creating vocal character), torso aligned (supporting posture) or misaligned (creating vocal character), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism) or relaxing (creating vocal character), breath flow management (maintaining steady airflow) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), breath pressure management (balancing subglottal pressure) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), onset-offset (coordinating glottal attack) or deregulation (creating vocal effects)


Pop SingingSpeech, Falsetto, Twang, or BeltNeutral or high larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow) or raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue advanced (narrowing oral airflow) or relaxed (allowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation) or rounded (increasing lip radiation), jaw dropped (increasing mouth opening) or raised (decreasing mouth opening), head-neck aligned (improving resonance) or misaligned (creating vocal character), torso aligned (supporting posture) or misaligned (creating vocal character), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism) or relaxing (creating vocal character), breath flow management (maintaining steady airflow) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), breath pressure management (balancing subglottal pressure) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), onset-offset (coordinating glottal attack) or deregulation (creating vocal effects)


Rock SingingTwang or BeltHigh larynx height, velum raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue advanced (narrowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation), jaw dropped (increasing mouth opening), head-neck misaligned (creating vocal character), torso misaligned (creating vocal character), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism), breath flow deregulation (creating vocal effects), breath pressure deregulation (creating vocal effects), onset-offset deregulation (creating vocal effects)


Jazz SingingSpeech, Falsetto, Twang, Belt, or SobNeutral larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow) or raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue relaxed (allowing oral airflow) or advanced (narrowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation) or rounded (increasing lip radiation), jaw dropped (increasing mouth opening) or raised (decreasing mouth opening), head-neck aligned (improving resonance) or misaligned (creating vocal character), torso aligned (supporting posture) or misaligned (creating vocal character), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism) or relaxing (creating vocal character), breath flow management (maintaining steady airflow) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), breath pressure management (balancing subglottal pressure) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), onset-offset coordination (coordinating glottal attack) or deregulation (creating vocal effects)


Rap SingingSpeech or TwangNeutral larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow), tongue advanced (narrowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation), jaw raised (decreasing mouth opening), head-neck aligned (improving resonance) or misaligned (creating vocal character), torso aligned (supporting posture) or misaligned (creating vocal character), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism) or relaxing (creating vocal character), breath flow management (maintaining steady airflow) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), breath pressure management (balancing subglottal pressure) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), onset-offset coordination (coordinating glottal attack) or deregulation (creating vocal effects)


Country SingingSpeech, Falsetto, Twang, or BeltNeutral or high larynx height, velum lowered (allowing some nasal airflow) or raised (blocking nasal airflow), tongue advanced (narrowing oral airflow) or relaxed (allowing oral airflow), lips slightly parted (allowing some lip radiation) or rounded (increasing lip radiation), jaw dropped (increasing mouth opening) or raised (decreasing mouth opening), head-neck aligned (improving resonance) or misaligned (creating vocal character), torso aligned (supporting posture) or misaligned (creating vocal character), anchoring (stabilizing the vocal mechanism) or relaxing (creating vocal character), breath flow management (maintaining steady airflow) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), breath pressure management (balancing subglottal pressure) or deregulation (creating vocal effects), onset-offset coordination (coordinating glottal attack) or deregulation (creating vocal effects)


Speech PathologyAny voice qualityAny figure for voice control


Accent ModificationAny voice qualityLarynx height, velum position, tongue position, lip position, jaw position, head-neck alignment, torso alignment, breath flow management, breath pressure management, onset-offset


Voice ActingAny voice qualityAny figure for voice control


ImpersonationAny voice qualityAny figure for voice control


The Estill Voice Model helps you to follow the vocal profiles for vocal styles, so that you can adapt your voice to different genres and contexts.


The Vocal Toolbox for Vocal Challenges




The Estill Voice Model also provides a toolbox of tips and tricks that can help you to overcome common vocal challenges. These are vocal fatigue, vocal strain, vocal injury prevention and recovery, stage fright, microphone technique, and vocal hygiene. Each vocal challenge has its own causes and solutions. For example:


Vocal fatigue is a vocal challenge that occurs when your voice feels tired or weak after prolonged or excessive voice use. It can be caused by poor breath support, poor posture, poor hydration, poor nutrition, poor sleep


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