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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Tuesday, June 16 • 1:30pm - 4:30pm
The bio-mechanics behind teaching and learning practical vocal exercises: The legacy of Jo Estill (1921-2010)

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As a singer, researcher, and leader in voice mechanics and vocal pedagogy, Jo Estill’s objective was simple, yet daunting: she wanted to teach the world to sing. Though an accomplished singer herself, her ability to see the shortcomings of the then current vocal pedagogy and the questionable science upon which it was based, motivated her to create an efficient and scientifically sound program of voice instruction. Her work led to techniques that are employed across the disciplines of singing (in multiple genres), speech, and speech therapy.

Her investigation started with research into six different voice qualities: speech, falsetto, twang, sob, opera and belt. Each quality required a different configuration of the vocal tract and its various muscles. This led to the development of the figures for voice, the isolation of thirteen anatomical elements, the articulation of which can affect the quality of the voice. This developed into two courses: Figures for Voice Control, and Figure Combinations for Six Voice Qualities.

In this practical session the presenter, who teaches voice skills to lecturing faculty, speech to film and theatre students, and singing to musical theatre students, will outline the Estill Model, including the thirteen figures and the six qualities. A methodical approach for teaching these skills, including a thirteen-point diagnostic will be outlined. Attendees will be introduced to some of the figures suited to projecting the voice in the lecture hall and classroom. Some participants will undergo an Estill diagnostic assessment, and a demonstration of some techniques to enhance vocal presentation.

Tuesday June 16, 2015 1:30pm - 4:30pm PDT
Chehalis Room

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