Check out the top 3 myths about voice feminization. Learn why the swallowing maneuver won’t help with a higher pitch, why a higher pitch alone won’t help you pass, and more! For more tips like this and all of the lessons and exercises you will need for a successful feminine voice, stay tuned for the Musser Voice Membership site coming soon!
Hi everyone, I want to take a few minutes and do some myth busting. When it comes to voice feminization, I could generate a much longer list, but these are three of the most common ones I come across.
Okay, let’s start with one of the most cringe worthy myths out there, that you can practice swallowing, and hold your larynx or the Adam’s apple and a high position in your neck. Somehow isolate and strengthen these muscles. And that will somehow carry over to assisting you with a higher pitch.
False. This is so false.
Not only is this not based in anatomy and physiology, which I teach by the way at the graduate level, but it could be adding excessive muscular tension, which will only impede your progress and potentially jeopardize your vocal health.
Here’s why this is bad Intel. We have a group of laryngeal elevator or muscles that helped to raise the larynx in the neck when we swallow. This helps close our airway off so that food and liquid don’t go down the wrong way. And by airway, I’m referring to the windpipe or trachea. When this happens, the vocal folds tightly close and you stop breathing. So if you’re not breathing, you’re also not using your voice. So there’s zero carryover with this maneuver. Simply put, these are not the muscles that will help you raise your pitch.
Okay, so then how do we raise pitch? We have two other muscles within the vocal folds themselves that alter the length and tension of the vocal folds. So if you take a rubber band, the farther you stretch it when you pluck it, the higher the pitch will be. That’s how the vocal folds work. Part of voice feminization is learning how to smoothly engage these muscles thereby changing the length intention of the vocal folds to your desire pitch.
Myth two – timeline for voice, feminization.
This will take years and years you can do this in 30 days, and pretty much everything in between. So which is it? The answer depends on you.
I’m wary of any program whether I’m learning a new language or trying to have a killer golf swing – programs that promise outcomes and a certain length of time, and you should be too. The timeline for voice feminization is highly variable, you’re learning a new motor skill. So you need to learn it. It needs to be habituated. And then it needs to be tweaked as you progress.
Where you are in your transition, how often you’re able to practice or use this voice, what your desired outcomes are, and how mentally taxing any given element of this is for you, will all influence your timeline.
Myth number three, a successful feminine voice relies on a higher pitch.
This is simply not true. And I find many people stuck at this point in their vocal development of a feminine voice. A feminine voice is not a higher pitched version of a male voice. In fact, it’s quite different.
Research shows that higher pitch alone is not enough to create a perception of female pitch. Not only will you still be read as male, but outcome studies of trans women who work on pitch alone show a high dissatisfaction with their voice. It is so much more than pitch. Feminine communication has to be looked at in a holistic way. And what you’ll learn is that your speech vocabulary, facial expressions, intonation, even your language characteristics, all contribute to feminine presentation.