Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Voice therapy begins

Yesterday I had my first session of voice therapy. I'm doing it privately with Christella Antoni in London. It went well. I liked Christella, and although I have some way to go to get my voice acceptably feminised, I am undaunted and intend to put a lot of time into this. Really, there is no choice about it: I simply must acquire a good, sustainable female voice.

So last night, despite a sore throat (fallout from the Wild Fruit Party no doubt) I gave myself two hours of practice. As you can see from the photo, I've invested in an Olympus digital voice recorder. With the earphones in, I can speak and playback with CD-quality sound, and tiny variations in pitch and quality are very apparent. I can upload any recordings I want to keep onto the PC for further analysis, and will build up an ongoing record over the months to come.

I did try the Deep Stealth voice DVD, but found that it didn't work for me. I needed the discipline that a formal therapist/client relationship brings.

Until now I have been using a voice that is different from my old male voice - higher-pitched and a bit nasal - and I didn't like it, but at least it wasn't like my old voice. But neither was it a female voice. Now I can see what is required. I intend to speak only female-style from now on. It will sound odd to begin with, but will improve.


  1. Best wishes with the voice therapy, be sure to let us all know how it is working. I made need it eventually, but right now all of my spare change is going to my electrologist.

  2. I'm glad you have found someone good to work with. When I first went semi-full time, I worked with a speech pathologist who was very experienced at helping trans women. She helped me a lot. Lots of practice helped more. And singing with my favourite female vocalists!

  3. We missed each other by 24hrs then - I was up seeing C today :)

  4. I've tried a few Internet Voice Therapy resources but without much success - perhaps because they were American and the one thing I don't have is an American accent.

    Is voice therapy expensive? I'm moderately pleased with my fem voice, which gradually improves after 3 or 4 days of living as Angie, but I know it's not perfect.

  5. Wish you luck or just lots of stubbornness, this can be hard. My more feminine voice vanished some months ago and I am lost without it, waiting to find out what happened. treasure it when it comes.

    Caroline xx

  6. @Jess:
    What a pity. Mind you, that sore throat was definitely the beginnings of a cold, and you wouldn't have wanted that! I have every hope of being OK by next Sunday though (the Angels' Christmas Lunch).

    I paid £130 for the initial consuktation, and then it'll be £90 evry time thereafter. I expect it'll add up to at least £1,000 all told. About the cost of running my car for three months.

    @Everyone else:
    Thank you for the words of encouragement. This isn't going to be easy. I'd like to think that one day I'll make the right noise and remember how to reproduce it again and again without effort. Till then I'm going to get some odd looks when I open my mouth! That said, I think that my voice is already rather gender-ambiguous. But that alone isn't going to be good enough for me.

  7. Good luck with the voice training, Lucy. This is one of the hardest things to do. Finding the voice is not all that hard, but sustaining it is difficult, especially if you are tired, have a cold, or your throat is dry. And as we get older, our voice box expresses the wear and tear of our years, with raspy rattles. I have seen ads for female vocal surgery, but that's a risky prospect.

    Melissa XX

  8. I enjoyed my lessons with Christella, but she was a bit scatty with appointments; I once got a phone call as I approached Hammersmith telling me that she had to cancel the session... so it was off to the V&A instead...

    one fun thing to do (well, I thought so) is to use the M to F option on the webcam effects; this was a good way of moving the voice to somewhere else and revealing the lack of musicality in my voice as it was. Does that make sense?

  9. @Dru:
    I bought a webcam in October, but I haven't installed it yet, and didn't realise that you could do that. I'll have a go tomorrow and let you know!


  10. Hi Lucy
    Christella's lovely. You have the heart of an Angel, soon with her help and a bit of practice, you will have a voice to match.
    Thanks for evertything


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