You may have been trying to feminize your voice for some time but have not succeeded like you thought you would. Many women give up early in their voice transition because of lack of progress. But the truth is, you may not have improved because you haven’t had the right program and you haven't been practicing in the right way. What separates the Exceptional Voice Method from others is its overall structure, its exercises, feedback system, practice structure, and transfer strategies.
Eva F provides training exercises and a practice structure that fit your skill level. If you're just starting to work on your voice (beginner level) there are specific and important things to do to gain the skills you need to move forward. Intermediate learners are looking to be challenged. To meet this challenge, new, more complicated Eva Vocals are provided by combining the Nine Elements in unique ways. Advanced students primarily want to ensure that no matter where they are–whatever they're talking about and to whomever they're speaking– their voice is exactly as they want it to be and does not drop into the lower register.
To this end — that is, understanding your skill level — Eva F is organized into three courses. These courses provide the programming, or coding so that your sensory/motor system incorporates the nuances of the essential elements that create our voices. The Nine Elements of An Exceptional Voice may be familiar to some of you through other products and courses Kathe has developed.
This web-based learning platform closely follows the three courses in our mobile app. The basic membership provides subscribers with ALL NEW content for these three courses, which will roll out over the course of the year.
- Course 1: Voice Feminization Fundamentals
- Course 2: Beyond the Fundamentals
- Course 3: Mastery of Your Feminine Voice
Each course has individual lessons and specific learning objectives, exercises and material designed specifically for EvaF. Each lesson provides you with three videos: Introduction, Instructional and Practice. Following each practice video, you will work with the self-guided exercises, which is really the heart and soul of Eva. Some of the exercises provide feedback that lets you know if you’re on-target or off-target for that exercise. To get the most out of Eva, work with the Practice Video daily followed by the Self-guided Exercises twice each day.
There are two essential strategies that lie at the heart of all the Exceptional Voice Method programs: proprioception and metacognition. These strategies are incorporated into the lessons of each Eva course.
The proprioception strategy helps you learn to tap into your felt-sense, or the sensory-motor movements in your body. Mastering this strategy makes all the difference in the long-term success with your voice. As you practice any of Eva Vocals, either along with Kathe in the videos or on your own in the self-guided exercises, you'll want to feel your voice.
Metacognition refers to a set of processes used to help you plan, monitor, and assess both your understanding and performance of a specific task. To be metacognitive, means I’m aware that I’m thinking about learning, and that I’m aware that I am a thinker and a learner.
Both of these conditions are necessary to fully master the skill before you.
Lesson 1: Breathe
Guides you to use your abdominal muscles to control the flow of the air
- Lesson 2: Pitch 1
Trains your ear and your voice to the A3 pitch.
Eva’s Breathe lesson helps you explore abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing–the foundation to changing your voice. Eva Breathe and Eva Pitch are paired, meaning that the intention is for you to spend a couple of weeks working with both lessons interchangeably. These introductory lessons are designed for beginners and advanced students. They provide the programming, or coding, so your sensory/motor system incorporates the nuances of these two essential elements: abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing and pitch tuning. Eva's Pitch1 lesson trains your ear to hear the A3 pitch (220 Hz) and trains your voice to tune to that pitch. It’s important to understand that we’re not trying to only speak on one pitch, but to hear, feel and think about this anchoring pitch in order to move you into the feminine pitch range when you speak.
Learning Objectives for Breathing and Pitch Tuning
- Understanding the two key training strategies: proprioception and metacognition
- Understanding the respiratory mechanics principle of valving
- Using belly breathing for quiet and active, or speech breathing
- Making use of the tempo training technique
- Learning to hear and produce the tuning pitch (A3, 220Hz)
Lesson 3: Pitch 2
Trains you to control your pitch in consonant slides from voiceless to voiced sounds
Lesson 4: Pitch 3 (Pitch in Words)
Trains you to control your pitch in ascending slides and words
Lesson 5: Pitch 4 (Pitch in Phrases)
Trains you to control your pitch in descending slides and phrases
This triplet of pitch lessons is meant to be worked together as a group, meaning that you'll send several weeks going back and forth between these three lessons. Lessons Pitch2, Pitch3, and Pitch4 build upon what you’ve learned in the initial two essential voice training lessons – Breathing and Pitch1.
The instructional videos for this triplet of lessons consist of specific warm-up routines.
Learning Objectives for Pitch
- Developing your ear
- Understanding why we warm up the voice, including:
- Sensory-motor experience
- Cognitive experience
- Eva Vocals to develop a deeper experience with metacognition
- Daily warm-ups and Cool-downs
- Eva Vocals (includes ascending/descending slides).
- Connect breath flow and pitch in words & short phrases.
- Introducing the concept of resonance.
Lesson 6: Voice 1
Learn about voice quality and why it’s important in your training
- Lesson 7: Voice 2
Develop phonatory awareness in words and phrases
Lessons Six and Seven are intended to be worked with together as a pair. One of our major goals for these two voice lessons is for you to experience the difference between those consonant sounds which vibrate and those which don’t. Being aware of the difference between easy-voice and hard-voice (which leads to voice fatigue) helps you to maintain a healthy voice during your voice transition.
Learning Objectives for Voice Quality
- To introduce the concept of voice quality and discuss its importance in training your voice.
- To reinforce proprioception for voice/phonatory awareness.
- To incorporate present-moment awareness of voice strategy into your daily exercise routine.
- To discuss your voice care program and how to be on the lookout for problems.
- To connect your posture, breathing, pitch and phonatory awareness in words.
- To experience three distinct qualities of voice: glottal fry, breathy phonation, clear normal voice.
- To connect your posture, breathing, pitch and phonatory awareness in words and phrases.
Lesson 8: Resonance 1 (Bright Focus)
Shapes your voice using the “bright focus” technique
Lesson 9: Resonance 2 (Round Sound)
Adding richness to your feminine tone
Lesson 10: Resonance 3 (Mixed Voice)
Blends pitch and voice quality to create a mixed-voice resonance
Feminizing your voice is so much more than just raising your pitch. Resonance is sometimes described along a continuum from dark, or chest resonance, to bright, or head/nasal resonance. There are three resonance lessons which are meant to be worked with together as a trio. You'll spend several weeks working with all three lessons.
Eva Resonance 1 (Lesson 8) will provide the steps and strategies for eliminating the dark (masculine) sound of your voice with bright focus techniques.
Lesson 9 is designed to help you round the bright tones you learned in lesson 08.
Mixed Voice (Lesson 10) is a blend of both your high-chest and falsetto pitch registers. The benefits of learning this technique are to create the most natural feminine resonance. You’ll be less likely to experience cracks or breaks in your voice, and you’ll flow melodically throughout your pitch range as you express your thoughts and feelings.
Learning Objectives for Pitch
- To implement metacognitive strategy for “bright” focus resonance.
- To incorporate present moment awareness of resonance strategy into your daily exercise routine.
- To experience round sound technique for select vowel pairs.
- To implement transfer of learning strategies for feminine resonance to words and phrases.
- To introduce “mixed voice” technique.
- To incorporate proprioception as your basic strategy for sensing which pitch and resonance characteristics you’re experiencing.
- To experience your mixed voice in isolated syllables.
Lesson 11: Articulation 1 — Mumble No More
Blending Pitch, Voice Quality and Resonance
- Lesson 12: Articulation 2 — Speak Clearly
Articulate Talk Technique saying words and phrases
What do you think you know about the way you speak–the actual phonemes you use to express yourself? These two articulation lessons are designed to bring your feminine speech patterns in alignment with your feminine expression. They are paired like many of the other lessons, which means that the best strategy is for you is two work with both lessons over two weeks (or more) before you move onto the next lesson.
Lesson 11 connects Eva's metacognition strategy & bright focus technique with Eva's Articulate Talk Techniques in words.
Lesson 12 is designed to provide you with a specific technique to bring elegance into your daily conversational speaking.
Learning Objectives for Articulation
- To introduce the concept of articulation and why it is important to your full expression of your feminine essence.
- To implement metacognition for Eva’s Articulate Talk Technique.
- To incorporate present-moment-awareness-of-articulation strategy into your daily exercise routine.
- To experience Eva’s Articulate Talk Technique for select words and phrases.
- To implement transfer-of-learning strategies for feminine articulation in to daily conversational speaking.
Lesson 13: Loudness 1 — Can You Hear Me Now?
Learn to control the loudness of your voice
- Lesson 14: Loudness 2 — The Voice of Confidence
Vocal energy: build confidence and power
Have you noticed a weakness in your voice when you speak in your feminine range? This is because you have not regularly spoken or vocalized in a female pitch range and these muscles haven't been conditioned. Additionally, the sensory-motor program for female voice has not been fully developed yet. In order to gain power in your voice, you need to gain strength in your vocal fold muscles at these higher pitches. This will be our focus for the two loudness lessons.
Learning Objectives for Loudness
- To introduce the element of loudness, learn why it’s important, and learn how to avoid the pitfalls that often occur when developing vocal power.
- To implement self-reflection and self-regulation strategies as you find your feminine powerful voice.
To connect your posture, breathing, feminine resonance and loudness for open vowels and words.
- To incorporate present-moment-awareness-of-loudness strategy into your daily exercise routine.
To experience vocal energy for select words and phrases.
- To implement transfer-of-learning strategies to help you incorporate loudness into words, phrases and vocal energy topics.
Lesson 15: Phrasing — Breath Control in Phrases
Breathe consciously as you speak
- Lesson 16: Pacing — Speaking Tempo
Speak dynamically. Learn to vary your tempo
Knowing how to phrase your words as you speak helps you to breathe and communicate your intent more effectively. Lesson 15 is designed to provide you with an experience to breathe consciously when you speak. This lesson is paired with Lesson 16 to help you learn to speak more dynamically.
Learning Objectives for Phrasing and Pacing
- To introduce the element of phrasing, learn why it’s important, and learn how to breathe consciously as you speak.
- To implement a self-reflection planning strategy as you experience conscious control your breath.
- To focus on the cycle of your breath as you speak in phrases and paragraphs.
- To introduce the element of pacing, learn why it’s important, and learn how to vary your tempo as you speak.
- To incorporate our self-regulation-in-action strategy into your daily exercise routine.
- To implement transfer-of-learning strategies to help you speak dynamically.
Lesson 17: Melodic Intonation — Mellifluous and Flowing 1
Speak dynamically. Learn to vary your pitch inflection
- Lesson 18: Fluency — Mellifluous and Flowing 2
Speak fluently in words and phrases
Melodic intonation and fluency are components of spoken language that falls more generally under a linguistic concept called prosody. The word prosody comes from the Greek prosoidia, “a song sung to music,” or simply, “the musical aspects of speaking.”'
Prosodic elements, which convey our moods (happy, sad, irritated, etc.), and our intentions (to question, express sarcasm, etc.), add meaning to what we say. The Exceptional Voice Method breaks prosody into these four elements:
- Phrasing — words per breath or spoken utterance length.
- Pacing — tempo or rhythm of speaking.
- Melodic Intonation — pitch variable of spoken language.
- Fluency — the smooth or choppy way we speak.
Lesson 17 is designed to provide you with an experience to consciously vary your pitch when you speak.
While there are no conclusive studies that examine gender differences in regard to the smoothness or flow of our verbal expression, we do sense whether we’re fluent or disfluent when we speak, and notice it in others when they speak. Lesson 18 introduces for the first time how auditory perception can help you develop a motor memory of your feminine voice, and instructs you on how to flow your syllables and words.
Learning Objectives for Melodic Intonation and Fluency
- To introduce the element of melodic intonation, why it’s important, and learn how to speak with greater pitch variability.
- To introduce Auditory Perception of pitch variability, another transfer-of-learning strategy.
- To focus on the melodic flow of your pitch as you speak in words and phrases.
- To introduce the element of fluency, learn why it’s important, and learn how to smoothly flow your voice as you speak.
- To incorporate sensorimotor integration of fluency into your daily exercise routine.
To implement transfer-of-learning strategies to help you speak fluently.
Lesson 19: Transfer of Learning Part 1
Beyond the Drills. Integrating your new skills.
- Lesson 20: Transfer of Learning Part 2
A dynamic process. Actively monitor your experience
Throughout this entire course, we have coached you to become a better learner in a variety of ways. Knowledge of the skill (knowing that there are Nine Elements of the Exceptional Voice Method) and the strategies for embedding the motor program (metacognitive and proprioception, and all their subcomponents) has been our focus.
The overall goal for this beginners' program is to code specific sensory-motor behaviors into new software for your brain that might be called, my feminine voice. Hard work pays off. So the work you’ve put into this training is making, or will make, a difference.
Lesson 19 is designed to take you deeper into your understanding of, and experience in, mastering your feminine voice.
The manner in which you practice is directly related to the changes you’ll make. Many researchers have described and defined deliberate practice in their own ways. The thinking and approach we use is strongly influenced by the reporting from psychologist Dr. Angela Duckworth.
Lesson 20 recaps the transfer-of-learning strategies that have been taught throughout the course. The strategies are:
- Present Moment Awareness
- Auditory Perception
- Sensory-motor Integration
Lessons 19 and 20 are paired and the intention is to work with both together for several weeks.
Learning Objectives for Transfer of Learning
- To discuss Transfer of Learning in more depth.
- To summarize and implement your training strategies in transfer exercises.
- To create a long-term plan for your continued success.
- To discuss Deliberate Practice.
- To summarize and implement your sensorimotor integration strategy in transfer exercises.
- To create a long-term plan for your continued success.
Success, as a broad concept, has been well studied. We've all been students at some time in our lives. Some of us still are. The study-skills that you learned in that environment certainly apply to your voice training.
Keep these success basics in mind:
- Get organized.
- Learn how to warm up and cool down your voice.
- Be clear about which techniques you're working on and why.
- Keep a written log of what you're working on.
- Write down where you're confused and frustrated and get your questions answered.
- Steer clear of distractions. Turn off your social media notifications when you practice.
- Make a daily plan for when you'll practice.
- Get an accountability partner to help you follow-through on your assignments.
- Talk to others. A part of being metacognitive is to share with others what you're learning and what you're doing to change your voice.
Every lesson has goals and exercises associated with the elements you're learning. First, you'll learn the concepts and ideas behind the element (pitch, voice quality, loudness, resonance, etc.). Then you'll learn the techniques that lead to mastery of specific skills, e.g., belly-breathing, tuning your pitch, bright-focus, etc, to develop your voice. It's richly intuitive that practice leads to mastery, therefore daily practice is essential.
Some people like to jump ahead and begin reading and recording themselves and are then discouraged that they don't sound feminine. Without a foundation, many things cannot built. The human voice is no different. Each assignment leads to development of the abilities you need to build the next layer of your voice.
We encourage our users to practice along with the practice videos and the self-guided exercises of each lesson according to how we've organized the program. This course syllabus provides a quick look at that organization.
As a creative person, I occasionally reread a book that has been very meaningful to me–"Artist's Way" (Julia Cameron, 1992). She has many meaningful, soulful things to say. One of her comments, “The snowflake pattern of your soul is emerging," just tickles me.
Think about it. We are each our own perfect snowflake—your heart, your soul, your voice is uniquely your own.
Over the course of my career, person after person has shared comments such as:
- “I really hate my voice. Can I do something about it?”
- “When I speak, my voice just doesn’t sound like me.”
- "When I hear a recording of my voice it really makes me cringe.”
A voice disorder can do that — cause you to loathe the way you sound. And self-loathing among my transgender clientele is off the charts. Self-loathing can be deadly. Maybe what stands in the way of your progress is your own opinion of yourself!
Part of the process of changing your voice, or changing anything really, is being aware of your self-talk. That inner critic has traveled with you for a long time. I call her Polly Perfect. She's relentless. And she can be so mean. She is not helpful and she'll tell you things that are not entirely true.
Pause for a moment and consider another truth. You are a remarkable, unduplicatable and miraculous person! Of all the people who have come and gone on the Earth, since the beginning of time, not ONE of them was or is like YOU!
No one has exactly your eyes. No one has exactly your face. No one's fingerprints are like yours. No one’s voice is like yours. Like a snowflake pattern, you are uniquely you.
Treasure your uniqueness. It is a gift given only to you.
Together we can,
Kathe created a mobile app and web-based learning platform to help transgender communicate with a voice that matches who they really are. She is the co-founder, CEO at VoxPop, a speech- and voice-training startup, and co-creator of Eva–the world’s first voice training mobile app for transgender people.