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Musings on Mastery

I recently started reading Adam Gopniks new book, "The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery." It's a fascinating look into the foundational human question: how do we learn- and master- a new skill? After reading, you learn that mastery is hidden in plain sight, in every field, and in everyday life. Mastery almost always is broken down before it is put together. The larger task turns into several smaller tasks. The several smaller tasks are mastered individually before they are mastered as a whole.


Jo Estill, world renowned researcher and voice scientist, definitely thought about mastery too. After all, it served as the inspiration for her research into "how she was doing it." The mastery of her own voice, befuddled her. She couldn't explain it. It was confusing and contradictory. And when she went to find answers from others they couldn't explain it as well. Jo Estill was unsatisfied and in search of answers, so she investigated the voice herself. She found that the voice COULD be mastered by isolating, exercising, and gaining control of the tiny parts that make up the larger part that we call your voice.


Estill breaks down the bigger task of vocal control into several small steps by identifying thirteen structures that influence voice quality. They all can be isolated, exercised, and controlled. Then after mastering the small movements of these structures, you make choices based on the given options for each structure. It's the mastering of the craft, before the artistry, before the performance magic.


Estill Voice Training® is designed to help you master your own voice. Just as Gopnik explores the small task before the whole task of drawing, making magic, and driving, the same approach can be applied to singing and speaking thanks to the work of Jo Estill and Estill Voice Training®.


Gopnik explains that the most satisfying and sustaining feeling is; "I know how to do this, and this is the thing I know how to do." This is the end goal of voice training. It's the confidence that comes with mastery.

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