I first came across Estill Voice Training® in 2011. A speech therapist friend introduced it to me after I told him that I wanted to learn more about how the human voice works. Prior to that, I had been teaching singing for 10 years (since 2001), and I found myself stuck on a plateau and not progressing in my teaching.
Most people who have never heard of Estill Voice Training® may not understand why am I so intrigued by it, or why they should even be interested to find out more.
Truth be told, Estill Voice Training® is not for everyone. It is a way of looking at the voice as a complete system, and not in the usual paradigm of coming from the diaphragm up. It is a scientific way of understanding the voice, breaking it up into 13 structures that can perform isolated movements, with exercises and figures for voice that are grounded in years of research. For example, one of the most important findings of Estill Voice Training® is that we can consciously constrict or retract the false vocal folds at will! This has profound effects on our speaking and singing tone.
Estill Voice Training® can be difficult to comprehend at first, because most of us are not trained to examine our own voice in such a systematic and detailed manner.
Most voice practitioners (e.g. singers, teachers, coaches and trainers, actors, hosts and emcees) may not want to know so much about how the anatomical structures work together to create different voice qualities. Many of them just want to know how they can create the qualities they need on a daily basis in a safe and healthy manner. This is why they would engage a vocal coach or a speech therapist to guide them.
However, I believe that in order to truly empower ourselves as voice users, we need to be equipped with detailed, accurate knowledge about vocal anatomy and how we move our vocal structures. This enables us to create loud sounds safely without constriction and belt effortlessly without endangering our voice. Knowledge is power!
For speech therapists, the benefits of Estill Voice are immense, as The Estill Figures for Voice™ provide therapists and patients with a focused, goal-based approach to treatment. Most of the therapists who attend our workshops often leave with a wealth of useful knowledge and a practical understanding of the voice and its capabilities.
On a personal note, Estill Voice Training® has done wonders for my vocal teaching. I now have greater clarity on how my students are vocalizing, and can also better understand how to tweak their voices according to their needs. I no longer just have one solution for a vocal problem, but a plenitude of exercises and techniques to train my students to sing higher, to vocalize loudly and safely, to avoid constriction, and to avoid the common voice issues.
And so, I encourage you to embark on your personal journey with Estill Voice Training®, and discover the joys of the human voice!
Aaron Matthew Lim has been teaching voice and singing for the past 18 years now. Aaron is the 1st Estill Voice Certified Master Trainer in Singapore, having achieved his internationally-recognized certification in July 2016, with Estill Mentor and Course Instructor Naomi Eyers as his voice mentor. Aaron has appeared on radio stations like Capital 958FM, Yes 933FM, Love 972FM, 883FM and others, to talk about voice training and also to perform on air! He is also a regular judge for singing competitions, including Sing China 2016 and 2017 Singapore audition rounds, and Huayi ‘U Live’ 2018 Finals at Esplanade Concourse. Aaron released a Mandarin EP in 2014 entitled ‘To Protect’ 《守护》, and has performed at Esplanade venues like the Concert Hall, Concourse and Waterfront Outdoor Theatre, as well as at Suntec City, Bugis Junction and Switch by Timbre.