Let’s learn about MTF voice training! Also known as voice feminization, feminine voice training, or voice feminization therapy, depending on who you ask.
Are you wondering if voice feminization training works? Are you worried that you may not be able to sound as feminine as you’d like? Looking for voice feminization therapy near me? Fear not, I can help – and I’m proof that voice feminization works!
I’ve worked with trans feminine clients of all kinds – trans women wanting to sound as feminine as possible with a purely female voice, trans people of other identities wanting to sound more feminine than they do now, and even the cis voice over artists wanting to learn how to sound like a girl for entertainment purposes! I promise I’m not here to judge – I’m happy to offer voice feminization training near me, whatever your motivations are!
Does estrogen change my voice? Will estrogen make my voice higher?
I see this question asked quite a bit in trans groups. Basically, no – if you’ve experienced voice changes from testosterone, taking estrogen won’t shrink your voice box or vocal folds smaller. Feminine hormone therapy can affect thought processing and behavior, however, and voice feminization therapy may be a bit easier as a result. That said, trans feminine people will almost always need voice feminization lessons to some degree to have a feminine voice, if their voice previously deepened due to testosterone
How long does MTF voice training take?
Like anything else in life, results from voice training look like a bell curve. Some people will achieve a sound they’re happy with in just a couple of lessons, others may take a year and still feel like there’s more to do. That said, the average person typically develops a feminine voice they are happy with in 3-6 months, assuming they are practicing daily and taking lessons regularly
What is needed for Voice Feminization?
I use many different voice feminization techniques to help you move quickly and make lessons flexible to your needs and skill level. In my teaching, this includes more conventional speech language pathologist methods, classical bel canto singing technique, the Alexander Technique, and even some exercise science. I typically break down a feminine voice and feminine voice training into these attributes:
1. A slight increase in pitch, into the feminine range
For adult feminine voices, typical average pitch is somewhere in the E3-C4 range (you can check what pitches sound like on a keyboard like this one). To produce a higher pitch consistently, the vocal folds must learn how to stretch longer and do so as the norm – that said, it’s not as huge of a change as many people think! I often see people trying too hard to raise their pitch too much, and have to dial it back down. You will typically only raise your average pitch by 3 or 4 notes for a more feminine voice.
2. Shifting the voice box up and narrowing the throat
The average vocal tract that makes a feminine voice is shorter and narrower than one that makes a more masculine voice. There are many approaches to how to achieve this in voice feminization therapy, what’s important is finding what works best for you. Our goal will be to raise the voice box and narrow the throat a healthy relaxed amount. This will shift your voice’s quality, make a higher average pitch easier, all while not feeling like you’re being strangled!
3. More pitch variance for MTF Voice Training
Feminine voices speak with more change in pitch throughout an idea or sentence. This is known as prosody, and is combined with a brighter quality and higher pitch in mtf voice training. The key is to make this pitch variation like Goldilocks – not too big, not too small, but just right!
4. Stretched vowels in MTF Voice Training
Another feminine quality is to elongate and emphasize your vowel sounds as the center of attention in each word or sentence. This sound will help you be understood when your voice no longer has the chest resonance – it’s important to not only sound great, but get your point across.
5. Consonant softening for a feminine voice
In order to elongate and emphasize vowel sounds, consonants much get softer and airier. Feminine voices convey ideas and sentences very smooth, as if the words are flowing together like soup. This an important step in voice feminization therapy that will prevent your voice from dropping back down – even with a less than perfect pitch, resonance, or other elements, softer consonants can be the saving grace that keeps your developing sound more feminine than not.
6. Projection of your new feminine sound
We have to project our voices in many situations – talking over background noise, speaking in a larger space, singing. Now that you’ve made major changes to how you sound, it’s necessary to learn how to speak up or sing out and keep these new lovely qualities. With the right technique, this can be done! For transgender women wanting a purely female voice, this is very important to master.
7. Nonverbal sounds in voice feminization
The finishing touches on MTF voice training. Relearning how to laugh, sneeze, cough, or cry while still sounding your best is often one of the last steps. With the proper technique, even these nonverbal sounds can sound feminine like the rest of your new voice!
8. MTF Before and After
Lastly, what can an MTF before and after voice change look like? Here’s a video of me and my own voice, showing how my sound changes from its former self as I gradually add some of these changes to it.
I did it, and you can too! Ready to start? I’m excited to work with you if you’re ready!