The Estill Model
The Estill Model is a method for vocal training. The Model teaches the practitioner how to identify the structures in the larynx responsible for producing sound, the structures in the vocal tract or throat responsible for controlling resonance and also the structures which control vocal quality.
The Estill Model uses simple everyday sounds common to everyone as a means of example to explain where and how these bodily structures can be identified, isolated and skilfully controlled. The aim of the Model is to develop in the practitioner a fully conscious, voluntary and predictable control of the voice.
Whether you want to increase your range, learn how to belt or shout safely, manage the passaggio, increase power or improve breath control, the Estill Model provides practical solutions based on solid vocal anatomy for all these vocal production goals, along with much, much more than the mere theoretical or practical knowledge or application of these principles.
The Estill Model centres on a very precise understanding of the larynx, commonly referred to as the "voice box" - where voice originates.
The primary anatomical function of the larynx is that of a valve and constrictor. As a valve, it determines both how air enters and exits the body. The larynx also constricts with any change in muscle effort such as swallowing, coughing or straining. This straining occurs directly above the vocal folds, where voice is made and therefore has an immediate effect upon the efficiency, sustainability and safety of vocal production. Constriction will also occur with much more minor changes in effort such as standing up, sitting down and stretching. Understanding this primary function is crucial to understanding common problems encountered by all voice users, why these occur and how to overcome problems arising from the misapplication of this bodily function.
It goes without saying that a strong performance is about much more than vocal technique. However it is equally the case that to communicate thoughts and emotions effectively is dependent on a flexible, reliable and responsive muscular system.
The Estill Model is in my opinion the best method I have encountered in my career to date capable of delivering outstanding and - crucially - trainable results in my students and of course, in my own voice too.
CRAFT -> ARTISTRY -> PERFORMANCE MAGIC
The Estill Model was developed by Jo Estill, a Singer with a scientific background as a Voice Researcher. Her pioneering academic research greatly developed the scientific community's understanding of the voice. In her research she identified and isolated the separate structures involved in vocal production, allowing a new system of training based on muscular awareness evidenced by physiology, rather than the more commonly encountered imagination, metaphor and guesswork.
Her emphasis on 'craft' - honing the musculature by working in connection with voice production, combined with the 'artistry' connected with style, musicality, storytelling and interpretation - creates the performance magic that all performers strive for.
Gives you complete control and freedom
Allows you to sing in many style
Replaces mystery with fact
Allows you to sing without straining
Has no aesthetic bias; suitable for all styles