My method is pragmatic and data driven. Research shows that pitch is only a small aspect of the difference between genders. Additionally, men and women’s voices vary in terms of speed and volume variability, breathiness, and use of pauses. Content-wise, variations exist between the number of adjectives/adverbs used, topics discussed, the use of paralanguage, interruptions and conversational elements. I’ve done graduate level research and study on the vive la diffèrence between male and female communication patterns.
I meet clients in my home office for one-hour training sessions. Practice opportunities exist with welcoming partners who want you to succeed in social situations. I also offer wardrobe consultation and shopping excursions and have a rolodex of helpful resources for everything from hair styling and waxing to tailoring, undergarments and ear piercing.
Safety and health are my paramount goals. Many clients arrive with vocal nodes, hoarseness and neck pain from trying to adjust their pitch too high or low or too abruptly. I begin by teaching students about the anatomical features that produce the human voice. Next, we work to raise or lower pitch by using these anatomical features. Moving the breath from the chest to the throat or mouth, for example, can also alter pitch. Additional changes can be made by making use of oral anatomy (e.g. soft palate adjustment, scalene tension, widening or opening the mouth during speech and reducing glottal stops).
(the other 90%)
I focus on the kinesthetic differences between male and female body language. Walking, sitting, posture (moving the natural center of gravity from chest to pelvis or in the reverse, as the client needs), standing, getting into and out of vehicles, and putting on coats are just a few of the basics.
Male and female vocal content varies widely, so clients also learn about the differences that exist in word choice, topics, pitch and volume variation. Nonverbal interpersonal dynamics, which include the different ways men and women sit together socially and in business situations, body space adjustments, and gender-appropriate touching behavior are also included.
My rate is $60 per hour. Sadly, insurance does not cover this service at this time, but I accept checks and cash or money orders. Clients primarily meet at my home office in Raleigh, NC but ‘field trips’ are also available for shopping and practice.
Some vocal work can be done by phone, but initial, face-to-face meetings are needed to create a muscular memory of the physical changes desired to create a new pitch. Most nonverbal practice work also requires face-to-face meetings, but videos can be used later to track progress. Phone work is not good for pitch, but is an excellent practice medium for qualities like volume variation, word choice, breathiness and use of pauses and paralanguage.
The majority of my clients spend anywhere from three months to six months with me, though some move faster or slower. Everyone is different, so I do not use a standard syllabus. “Graduation” is dictated by the client’s ease and comfort with their transition.