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"Something very special": taking Estill Voice Training to Portugal

Participants celebrate after completing the Vocal Craft for Choral Singers workshop on Sunday 8th October 2023..

On 7th and 8th October, Stefan Holmström traveled to Faro in Portugal's Algarve region to deliver two introductory Estill Voice Training (EVT) workshops: Introduction to Estill Voice Training and Vocal Craft for Choral Singers.

The courses were delivered in English with Portuguese translation by Francisco Brazão, a singer and singing teacher in Faro.

Stefan Holmström (L) and Francisco Brazão

The first workshop, Introduction to Estill Voice Training (Introdução ao Treino de Voz Estill), was an interactive workshop that covered all the big ideas of the Estill Model, including all 13 figures for voice and the 6 voice qualities.

Participants watched video examples of vocal anatomy and physiology and learned about the Estill concept of isolated, conscious control of the voice.

They continually experimented with their voices throughout the day, experiencing firsthand how this approach can help singers and speakers overcome breaks, control dynamics and vibrato, avoid strain, increase range and projection, beat tongue tension, belt safely, and more.

Veronika Rosova, teacher, entrepreneur and Maestrina of Pequenos Cantores d'Ossónoba, was amazed at seeing the vocal folds in motion for the first time and expanding her knowledge of how the voice works.

She said:

"We are the magicians, but we don't know about it. Stefan is teaching us how to use our magic wands!"

Participants cheer following the Introduction to Estill Voice Training workshop on Saturday 7th October 2023.

The second workshop, Vocal Craft for Choral Singers (Arte Vocal para Coralistas), drew on Stefan's many years of experience applying Estill Voice Training in his work with choirs. It was also an introduction to EVT with a specific focus for choral singers.

Participants learned some practical tools to help them sing more comfortably, improve range, control dynamics and sing with the tone they want. It also gave choral directors insight into how they could incorporate more targeted vocal development into rehearsals and performances.

Nuno Sequeira Rodrigues, composer and Maestro of Coral Ossónoba, said:

"I never thought of the voice in such an analytical, scientific way. I love the combination of science and artistry. I think we can do something very special with this."

The workshops welcomed a truly diverse range of participants, including speakers, conductors, speech and language therapists and singers of many different styles such as fado, choral, classical, opera and rock.

Ana Ester Neves, a professional classical singer, was very excited about the experience. She was eager to continue to deepen her knowledge further and practice it herself.

She said:

"I'm dying to sing with a more complete knowledge of what I am doing. If I know what I'm doing and I am responsible for it, that means I am free!"

Ana Ester continued:

"The way Stefan ran the whole day was very light, fun and passionate. The language and exercises were simple, yet very effective. I am sure that all of the people who were there were very touched, moved. We are taking home lots of food for thought and we are looking forward to the next course."

Thank you to all the participants for attending and being so open to experimenting, Francisco Brazão for coordinating and Grupo Coral Ossónoba for hosting.

Stefan Holmström is a professional opera singer and voice teacher working with speakers and singers of all ages and abilities with a wide range of goals. He offers online and in-person vocal coaching and workshops from his studio in central Brighton in the UK. As an Estill Master Trainer (EMT), Stefan uses Estill Voice Training (EVT) as a baseline for safe and sustainable voice use.


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