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Balance in Phonation™ - Voice Training

In teaching voices I use Balance in Phonation™-Voice Training (BiP™). I am Certified Master Teacher (CMT) in both classical and CCM singing and teach all genres based on BiP™. I am also trained to be Certified Course Instructor (CCI) in classical singing, which gives me the right to further train voice pedagogues in BiP™-Voice Training.

Balance in Phonation-Voice Training™ has been gradually developed over the years by the Finnish Voice therapist and Voice pedagogue Ritva Eerola. Its aim is to discover everyone's personal, unique voice quality and how it works easily in its' best when there is balance in the vocal fold vibration and in the whole body. Originally there has been a stimulus to combine vocal physiological and acoustical researches to the training details, so that they could give the basic facts for exercises. When the different functional parts connect to each other and form the seamless wholeness, this leads naturally to Balance in Phonation. It shows as a positive result of all functional details.

The functional details in the voice production influence in many ways to the vocal fold vibrations. And nowadays it is quite easy to examine the function of the voice. How the vocal folds close, how even are shimmer or jitter, how thick or thin is the mass of the vocal folds etc. Is there a balance in phonation? However nothing can take the ear's place. No equipment can replace the human sensitive ear.

Balance in Phonation-term has been used in the book Ihmeellinen ihmisääni (The Wonderful Human Voice 1999) by Anne-Maija Laukkanen and Timo Leino. Balance in Phonation means a suitable relation between the adduction of the vocal folds and the subglottal pressure. When this is happening, vocal folds begin to vibrate with smaller pressure and at the same air pressure can be achieved larger vibration and more volume in the voice. Vocal fold adduct faster and glottis closes tighter. The onset of the voice starts softer and there is no hard attacks in the words that begin with vowels.

The most essential functional parts of the voice training are:

1. the balanced posture,
2. to recognize the difference between normal and phonation breathing,
3. the collaboration of four diaphragms,
4. the functional reactions and natural reflexes in voice production,
5. the functional separation of articulation and phonation.

The functional training is based on the following thoughts:

1. To recognize the function level of the brain in speaking and singing (the conscious - cortical level or the uncouncious - subcortical level).
2. The timing of the different functional parts in communication. The mainline of thinking model and timing in training: Excitement of expression - words - voice. This helps the sound to start reflectively and free.
3. To recognize the functional directions in the body. The basic direction should be sensed inwards and with this idea the subgottal pressure dimishes and sound starts smoothly. The functional directions in the body form a wide triangle. Its strongest corner is in pelvis (even down into legs) going to the base of skull by opposite stretch and the third corner is under the collar bones.
4. To establish the energy of the words into the body by interpretation:
a) the will power from the pelvic level as the starting power and the carring power in the words; it can be heard as a focus in vowel line
b) thoughts and feelings: the vowels are filled by emotions that live inside them and expand the torso sidewards creating expressive colour scale

These form the timing of function and help the reflexive onset of the voice.
A. the excitement of the expression prepares automatically the body to expand into the prephonatory state. When we want to express something, this will wake up the whole torso specially inhalation muscles. The torso is expanding and the diaphragm descends and causes tracheal pull, which draws the larynx a bit down for more favourable state for phonation. This expansion causes negative pressure and air comes in automatically. When breathing happens this way, there is enough amount of air for the sentence or frase.

B. the energetic words are combined with the muscles, fascias and the bones in the body so that feelings move and stretch the inner walls in the body.

C. the voice comes like a syncope and reflex and it always stays freely above the ears somewhere, not fixed anywhere.

This BiP™-Voice Training program is based on the scientifical researches about the physiological and acoustical facts and those are used to arise the psychophysical function in the singer's body. When comparing with other voice training systems this method does not concentrate in the voice or how it sounds or make the sound, but gives different kinds of thought models and directions connected to the tools (vowels and consonants) to accomplish a free and expressive voice. In this method the main concentration is how to combine the technique and expression into the text, words and phonemes. They should be united with the body by will power and emotions. When the voice is left sort of outside working automatically, the voice quality will be functionally mixed voice and it eliminates the register problems. The passaggio goes smoothly and the whole range is functionally even.

The essential part of Balance in Phonation™-Voice Training is ABC-evaluation method™ of the vocal function developed by Ritva Eerola. This is based on auditory kinesthetic ability that helps the listener to feel a speaker's or singer's function in the body what she/he hears - like muscle sense. This helps to analyze the relations between reason and consequences in the unbalanced vocal function and gives the ground for the exercises to find out the balance in the energy of voice production. This ABC-evaluation method was presented at the IACT Congress in Auckland 1994 and at a workshop in Las Vegas October 2012 (PAS 6 Conference).

The Balance in Phonation-Voice Training™ has been developed by Ritva Eerola, FM (= M.A.), who has been 45 years at the oice field as a Voice therapist and Voice teacher (as an Instructor at the University of Helsinki for 24 years (teaching voice therapy at the Department of Phonetics/ Speech and Voice Therapeutic section) and as a Voice teacher and an Instructor at Vocal production and care for 30 years at Sibelius Academy). For 30 years visiting Stockholm (as a Vocal coach at the Royal Opera House and at the private studio).

More information at, scroll for English or Swedish.

Senast uppdaterad: 2016-09-01 | © Copyright Vocalux 2016