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Is trans voice work "inauthentic"? (spoiler: no)

trans voice May 18, 2022

You will never believe what I have to tell you about the following two audio clips in the video above. Take a look! These are two clips that a student in my online course, Trans Vocal Exploration, shared with me. Sounds like a before and after, right?

Here’s the thing - these clips were recorded at the same time, only a month after she started taking my course.

Don’t get me wrong here; the point is not that things have been easy for this student. She works very hard, meets with her study buddy, attends my office hour, and still struggles sometimes, like everyone going through this process.

The point is that this voice has been present in her all along, all of her life, even if she didn’t know it.

Many people think that when we modify our voice, we’re creating a “fake” voice. But the fact is that all voices are created through habits formed from listening and practicing.

When you’re a child, and you’re made to believe you’re a boy, and you are told that Dad is also a boy, then you’re more likely to imitate his vocal habits. This practice develops certain muscles to create the vocal instrument you use now. However, if you imitated mom’s habits, you’d have a different sound, just like you’d have a different accent if you were raised in a different place.

The big take home is that it is not inauthentic to, as an adult, choose to redevelop your voice, just as it’s not inauthentic to work out to create a certain body shape.

So now that you know all this, go back and listen to the clips at the beginning of this post and see how that’s changed your perception.

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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A mini-course introduction to trans voice alteration. If you're brand new on your trans voice journey, or you just want to dip your toe in, this mini-course is perfect for you!

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Get your free, full-colour, hand-illustrated trans guide to vocal anatomy that will demystify your voice.

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You already have what you need to love your voice! This online course contains 60+ videos on pitch, resonance, inflection and more.

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