Seattle Voice Lab, we offer you a curriculum that works. Our step-by-step method demystifies the art of vocal masculinization, and gives you the ability to strengthen and deepen your voice, with or without testosterone. After 6 lessons with your personal coach, you’ll have found your true masculine voice.
At SVL we celebrate your individuality, and understand that your journey will be completely unique. You may choose to incorporate hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or voice masculinization surgery into your process. Or, you may decide to use voice training alone to achieve your masculinization goals. Whatever your decision, we’re here for you every step of the way. Our individually tailored lessons are formulated to address your specific needs, and create a roadmap for success. We are passionately dedicated to this work, and are proud to have helped thousands of trans people on their journeys of self-discovery and vocal alignment. Sign up today and take your first step towards your true voice.
How Does Voice Masculinization Work?
Trans voice training for voice masculinization is a system of physical exercises that gradually alter the way your voice is produced, thereby altering the way your voice sounds. Your voice is created by the vocal mechanism, which is the passage inside your body that starts in your neck, goes up through your mouth, and ends at your lips. Your vocal mechanism has the ability to move, and each time you speak it performs a precise series of movements that create the sound of your particular voice. What you may not realize is that your vocal mechanism is entirely fluid, and it is capable of creating an endless spectrum of gendered tone. It is only when your voice is untrained that the mechanism will unconsciously produce the same voice it has learned from daily repetition. At Seattle Voice Lab we set your voice free from this rigid pattern! Our precise and efficient training method transforms the function of your vocal mechanism, releasing you from the past, and giving you the power to embody a voice that is masculine, confident, and authentically you.
Relaxation of your voice is a crucial component of vocal masculinization. Your voice is created by the vocal folds, two pieces of mucosal tissue that are housed inside a cartilage box called the larynx (voice box / Adam’s apple). In order to achieve a masculine tone your larynx must be trained to sustain a low position. When done correctly, this is a completely healthy process: relaxation of your muscles, combined with breath work, will allow your larynx to drop effortlessly. By contrast, if your larynx is forced into a low position, it will make your voice overly harsh and uncomfortable to maintain. This tension can also compromise the gender presentation of your voice, allowing feminine qualities to peek through. At Seattle Voice Lab we believe that healthy vocal training is the key to your success. Our method is always easeful, and incorporates special laryngeal massage techniques to ensure that your voice is relaxed. Everything we do is tailored to give you the most efficient and sustainable development of your unique masculine voice.
Resonation is the process of amplification that your voice goes through inside your vocal mechanism (the passage inside your body where the voice is created). Resonation creates your volume, pitch (how low or how high your voice sounds), vocal timbre, and frequency range. It is the complete tonal impression of your voice, and it is the foundation of trans voice training for female-to-male people. Your successfully trained masculine resonance will sound full, dark and deep. It will also be devoid of qualities that are common in the feminine voice, such as nasality and pitch variation. At Seattle Voice Lab we achieve this by training your vocal mechanism to behave differently. Here’s how it works: As your voice travels up through the vocal mechanism it moves through three resonance chambers. These chambers are alterable, and are controlled by your breath and musculature. When the chambers are constricted your voice will sound brighter, lighter, and more feminine; when the chambers are expanded your voice will sound deeper, darker, and more masculine. Our coaches use targeted exercises to help you expand your resonance chambers. Then, with careful repetition, we train you to sustain this expansion full-time. This powerful method will fully transform the way you speak, revealing a new voice wonderfully masculine, healthy, and uniquely you.
Our training program at Seattle Voice Lab addresses all aspects of your voice masculinization, including your style of speech, which is called prosody. Prosody is made up of inflections, embellishments, and subtle nuances that commonly distinguish masculine speech from feminine speech. In prosody work it’s all about the details: how you pronounce consonants, how slow or fast you speak, or how you shape your sentences. All these elements add up, and without correct prosody, your voice will not sound convincingly masculine, even if you’ve achieved the correct resonation. The many details of prosody can be overwhelming to think about, but at Seattle Voice Lab we have broken it down into a straightforward 5-step method for success! Your coach will help you to understand and command each distinct element. There’s no guesswork involved, you’ll know exactly what to do to achieve the voice you’re looking for.
How Long Will It Take to Deepen my Voice?
At Seattle Voice lab your training curriculum is split into three parts.
After 6-8 weeks you will find your unique masculine voice. In this time you will learn all the voice masculinization techniques you need for success. You’ll be able to walk away with a thorough understanding of how to find and command your unique masculine voice.
At 8-10 weeks, we introduce guided practice and more refined layers of your voice masculinization. Some examples of this work include learning how to perform a variety of vocal styles such as a loud voice, a flirtatious voice, or learning how to maintain your masculine voice through changing emotions and activities.
At 10-12 weeks, learn to command your voice beyond Seattle Voice Lab. If needed, we will talk about any fears or worries that may be causing you trouble, and put together a game plan to help you succeed.
Sometimes students will need additional training after the 12-week curriculum. This is usually because a student needs additional time to process the emotional component of voice masculinization, or because they have a particular vocal issue that requires additional training to resolve. At Seattle Voice Lab, we believe that every person has a unique path forward, and we know that sometimes there will be a few bumps in the road! You don’t have to worry, we are fully equipped to address the complexities of trans voice and get you to the finish line.
Seattle Voice Lab also has clients who choose to continue lessons long-term because of their profession. Performers, podcasters, and public speakers use our services to keep their voices in top-notch shape.
Will I Sound Convincingly Masculine?
Yes! Our training program covers every component of your masculine voice, all the way from big-ticket concepts down to small precise details. At Seattle Voice Lab we want you to succeed. Sign up today, and you’ll never have to think about your voice again.
You’re considering lessons, sign up now.
The Role of HRT
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a method that some FTM people may choose to incorporate in their process, however you do not need to use HRT to find your masculine voice. Every aspect of your vocal masculinization can be achieved with voice training alone.
HRT works by exposing the voice to the hormone testosterone. Testosterone has been shown to increase the mass of the vocal folds, thereby creating a deeper sounding voice.[i] However, HRT affects each person differently, and not everyone will experience a profound vocal deepening. You may be completely happy with your voice after treatment, or you may be left wanting more. Studies have shown that 12-16% of participants are not fully satisfied with the masculinization of their voice after HRT[ii],[iii] with one study reporting that 31% of participants expressed a desire to further their masculinization with voice training.[i]
While HRT has very positive effects on vocal fold mass, it does not have the ability to fully address another critical aspect of your masculine resonance: your vocal tract length (VTL). The average vocal tract of a cis-gendered male is 10-20% longer than that of a cis-gendered female.[iv] This difference in length causes the cis-gendered male voice to sound deeper. While HRT has been shown to partially extend VTLs in trans men, it does not bring them into the same range as cis-gendered men.[V] HRT’s inability to fully address VTL may be the root cause for such a large percentage of FTM people experiencing dissatisfaction after treatment.[V] The good news is that this is exactly where trans voice training for vocal masculinization excels! At Seattle Voice Lab, our tried and true technique will help you to address both your VTL and your vocal fold mass with success and ease.
Is surgery an option?
Some FTM people may choose to undergo voice masculinization surgery as part of their journey. Thyroplasty Type III is a surgery that causes the vocal folds to change in length, thereby compelling them to retain a position of high mass (thick folds). The result is a deeper sounding voice. A study from 2020 showed that this surgery significantly lowered the average speaking frequency of participants,[vi] however results will vary from one individual to the next.
Surgery alone may not be enough to meet your masculinization goals, and most surgical centers will recommend voice therapy or voice training post op. In addition, there are some aspects of vocal masculinization that are not addressed by this surgery. Your vocal tract length, which we discussed in our section on “Hormone Replacement Therapy,” and your masculine prosody, which we discussed in our section on “Inflection,” will also need to be trained separately. At Seattle Voice Lab we celebrate and support your individual journey. If you decide surgery is right for you, we are ready to help with all of your vocal masculinization needs pre or post-op.
Special Considerations for Female to Male Transgender People
Female-to-Male transgender people can be at risk for vocal injury if their voice training is done incorrectly. If you attempt to force your voice to a lower pitch without addressing your vocal tract length, you may end up with a voice that is overly harsh, gritty, and difficult to maintain. If this is sustained long term, it can lead to vocal injury. At Seattle Voice Lab we believe that healthy vocal training is the most effective way to meet your masculinization goals. We are dedicated to helping you succeed without strain or stress. You don’t have to worry, we’ve got your back!
I’ve plateaued, now what?
Hit a plateau? We’ve got you covered. At Seattle Voice Lab our coaches are trained to tackle this specific issue. Plateaus can feel immovable; but they are often resolved by a simple correction in vocal technique, or by tightening up your practice regime. You can rest easy knowing that our highly trained coaches are devoted to helping you succeed, and are fully prepared to deal with any challenges along the way.
How do I use my deeper voice full time?
Are you having trouble using your voice full time? We’re here to help! The best way to achieve this goal is actually quite simple: double down on your practice! The training at Seattle Voice Lab is designed to condition you both mentally and physically, and the stronger you are in your practice, the more you’ll be able to call on your skills in challenging situations. You can trust in our technique to get you where you want to go.
Practice and Exercises
Mindful and consistent practice is absolutely crucial for your voice masculinization. At Seattle Voice Lab, your coach will create a practice schedule that is customized to your specific needs and goals. You’ll know exactly what to practice and how often, and the more you practice, the more you’ll get out of it!
At Seattle Voice Lab we are dedicated to helping you attain your short-term and long-term goals. We offer a wide variety of services to support your progress, many of which are free!
Our five step process for self-maintenance. After you complete our 12-week training program, our voice masculinization technique is broken down into a 5-step process for self-maintenance. Carry this simple method with you for the rest of your life!
Book a non-commitment consult or a post-grad check in. You have the option to book a single lesson with a Seattle Voice Lab Coach. This is a great option if you’re a self-taught person looking for specific guidance, or a post-curriculum student wanting a tune up. These lessons are highly individual, and are driven by the specific needs of the student.
Free support options on Discord! Join us for group classes, group feedback, and practice nights. These are all provided for free, even if you are not a Seattle Voice Lab student. We also have complimentary office hours for current students and post-grads. Click here to join us on Discord!
[i] Hunter J H, et al. ‘Gender differences affecting vocal health of women in vocally demanding careers,’ Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 2011; doi: 10.3109/14015439.2011.587447
[ii] Korpaisarn S, et al. ‘Effects of Testosterone Treatment on Transgender Males: A Single-Institution Study,’ SAGE Journals, 2021; doi: 10.1177/20503121211051546
[iii] Van Borsel J, et al. ‘Voice Problems in Female-to-Male Transsexuals.’ Int. J. Lang. Commun. Disord, 2000; doi: 10.1080/136828200410672
[iv] Damrose EJ. ‘Quantifying the Impact of Androgen Therapy on the Female Larynx.’ Auris Nasus Larynx. 2009; doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2008.03.002
[V] Hodges-Simeon C R, et al. ‘Testosterone therapy masculinizes speech and gender presentation in transgender men,’ Scientific Reports, 2021; doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-82134-2[vi] Bultynck C, et al. ‘Thyroplasty Type III to the lower vocal pitch in trans men.’ American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. 2020, doi:10.1177/0194599820937675
Let’s Work Together
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Free classes on Discord!
We have group classes, group feedback, and practice nights all free of charge, even if you are not a student at Seattle Voice Lab. We also offer free office hours for current students and post-grads. Click here to join our Discord!