You can teach trans voice lessons too!
Use your singing teacher skills to spread trans joy throughout your community.
This course is a 5-week live program that is run once per year. Applications for the 2024 cohort are now closed.
(or 5 monthly payments of $139.40 USD)
Online access to course materials + live weekly Zoom classes
The next Learn to Teach Trans Voice Alteration in 5 Weeks runs in five five-hour blocks (10am to 3pm EST) every Wednesday from July 3 to July 31, 2024. [Applications are now closed]
To be notified when registration opens for the next cohort, fill out the contact form below.
Calling all voice teachers...
For ten years, I was a singing teacher exclusively. I love singing, I'm obsessed with vocal anatomy and singing processes, and I adore watching my students improve and see their own dreams realized. Sound familiar?
Then, in 2018, I noticed a gaping hole in voice services for trans people in my community of Montreal. I'm trans myself and I spend a lot of time with other trans people. It became immediately clear that as a singing teacher, I could use my skills to help trans people develop their ideal authentic speaking voice.
But it wasn't easy to get started. There were no centralized resources and no certification programs for singing teachers looking to add this skill to their skillset - until now...
In September of 2021, I launched my first online course, Trans Vocal Exploration, designed to help trans voice students reach their goals. Their feedback was clear: they also need affordable, accessible, private instruction.
My goal now is to help kind, empathetic, and motivated teachers just like you answer that call and become the trans voice teachers that are sorely missing from every community.
You too can teach trans voice lessons and help spread trans joy throughout your community!
Video testimonial by Robin Love
Learn to teach trans voice alteration in 5 weeks runs in five five-hour blocks (10am to 3pm EST) every Wednesday from July 3 to 31, 2023, over Zoom.
Classes will be a mixture of lectures, group activities, Q&A, and live demonstrations. There will be periodic small breaks, as well as one half-hour break at 12pm EST.
This course will be limited to 25 participants.
Note: Due to the high-touch nature of this course, syllabus items are subject to change without notice based on the time available and the needs of the participants.
Gender Identity and You
How do you know that you are your gender? We open the course by unpacking and defining gender identity, attraction, and gender expression. We will cover the nuance of language around trans identity and how it differs from person to person. We will deconstruct the false binary of biological sex and de-gender vocal anatomy, as well as cover trans-specific vocal concerns such as hormones, puberty blockers, surgeries, and binding.
You will leave this week with a deeper understanding of the emotional and physiological nuance of being trans, as well as a deeper understanding of your own gender identity.
Pedagogical Framework & Developing Awareness
What are the primary components of trans voice alteration? How can we identify which aspects of our voice are causing our students distress? In the second week of the course, we will dive into the building blocks of trans voice alteration - pitch, resonance, vocal fold mass, and inflection. We will also spend time this week looking at developing vocal awareness (a key aspect of preparing for this work) in more detail.
You will leave this week with a framework through which each of your trans voice students can be seen and supported.
The Magic of Resonance
What are the main physiological differences between masculine and feminine-perceived voices? How can we use this knowledge to help our students create a voice that better aligns with their gender expression? In week three, we will take a close look at resonance, the voice characteristic that has the biggest impact on how a voice is perceived.
You will leave this week with the ability to identify, distinguish, and combine two of our building blocks: pitch, and resonance, as well as begin to freely control those characteristics yourself.
Pitch & Vocal Fold Mass
How do we create lightness or heaviness in a voice? In what ways are light and heavy voices coded with respect to gender across different societies? How do pitch and register play into modifying the voice? How are these two characteristics connected? In week four, we will look at the roles that pitch and vocal fold mass play in the gendered perception of a voice.
You will leave this week being able to distinguish and combine three building blocks of trans voice alteration.
Inflection, Endurance, & Cognitive Load
How do practice a new voice until it becomes second nature? How do we help our students to create their target voice without thinking? In the final week of the course, we will focus on endurance, practice strategies, and increasing the cognitive load. Many students can create their ideal voice when in a state of deep focus, but slip when their attention is split.
You will leave this final week with a library of exercises designed to slowly increase the cognitive load, as well as strategies to help students who aren't accustomed to keeping up a regular voice practice. You will also have several resources to help your students go from saying single-syllable words in their target voice to long practice phrases.
Below are testimonials from teachers who have taken this course!
"This was such a lovely and encouraging learning space. For me as a non-binary trans person, it felt really great to connect with other trans people, but it was also very reassuring to connect with the cis members of the group, who were so open to learning. It made me feel hopeful about the future! I think the resonance lesson was the biggest "aha" for me, especially when I figured out I already know how to teach most of this- because teaching singing is ALL about shaping resonance!
The whole course helped give me a lot of confidence that the practices I'm already using and the understandings I already have are in alignment with other practitioners I respect. I will definitely be using this in my future practice- I really hope to be able to offer this kind of gender-affirming voice practice alongside singing lessons. I think it may be my Calling :)"
"I absolutely loved this class and although I do feel I learned everything I needed, I am sad that it's over! I realized a lot about my own speaking voice journey and how I have been masculinizing my voice ever since I started jazz school (partly for social reasons) but in doing so have developed some bad speech voice technique and have been having a lot of vocal fatigue when speaking. I now feel equipped to explore what kind(s) of voice(s) I would like for myself and how to achieve these more healthfully.
I am extremely excited to begin teaching trans voice alteration, and don't think I would have ever been able to do so without this course. I am so grateful for all the tools and framework Renée provided, and am excited to continue learning from their recommended resources. I also feel that these tools will be helpful within teaching singing, and helping trans students explore their singing voices."
"I absolutely loved it! Renée is filled with so much knowledge and has hosted a fun and comfortable learning space. The cohort was also a positive and very supportive community of trans and cis voice teachers with various teaching backgrounds.
I feel that I am equipped with exercises for my students and have gained better knowledge about the anatomy of the voice in relation to transitioning voices. I am so grateful that I learned more about the trans community and also met students who shared their experiences learning from Renée. This class also helped me become more mindful when I am teaching and coaching my trans students as well as my cis students.
Thank you, Renée. I hope many teachers sign up for this amazing course!"
"I have loved this course. I already had a decent knowledge of voice production and anatomy, but this course gave me an added dimension that i had never considered before, mostly to do with the social circumstances of trans people of colour and the extra marginalisation they might experience. I found the pitch and resonance work around gender perception really helpful, and the exercises you have created will be really handy for me.
As someone who generally works with singers, the practical application of this course will be much easier now that I have watched you teach and seen how you apply the exercises. I have downloaded all the resources, and intend to do a lot more reading from the recommended books listed and really hope I go some way to helping the trans community in my studio. I cannot think of anything from the course that could be changed or improved on. Thank you!"
"This course was excellent! As an experienced trans voice teacher, I learned a ton. Ah-ha moments were definitely talking more constructively about resonance. I always kinda knew resonance was important, but I didn't realize that it's the most gendered part of our voices. I have lots of notes, and am planning on using these notes to outline how I teach more efficiently."
"I loved this course so much. It rounded out my practice in ways that feel essential - both in listening to and learning from a group of teachers with varying vocal work backgrounds, and considering the mechanisms and possibilities of voice specifically for gender exploration and the ways of working towards gender euphoria.
Some great ah-has came from the most basic exercises - trying them and becoming more aware of the possibilities (and habits) of my own voice - in ways that have already fed-back into my teaching and ability to identify more specifically what's happening. Another great ah-ha of this course is realising I straight up would love to continue to learn and specifically teach and support trans voice alteration work!"
"As a cis/hetero woman I recognize how important it is for me to understand how to properly hold space for trans folks, especially as they navigate their voices. I am so grateful for Renée and the absolute wealth of information provided in this training. Renée's approach is founded in compassion, knowledge, and science-based pedagogy that will fit perfectly into my teaching. I have been teaching for over 20 years and I have done a lot of work to study pedagogy and anatomy of the voice.
This training includes vital information such as how to care for a voice that is experiencing the effects of HRT and very practical and easy-to-use vocal exercises to navigate any desired voice alteration. Thank you, Renée!"
"I absolutely loved the course, it was a safe place for learning, understanding and having conversations about topics I usually don't have a space to talk about. This course has motivated me to continue learning and trying to be helpful within my community."
"This course taught me so much. I understood the voice itself better. To break it down to the 4 pillars of sound was the aha moment for me! Thank you!"
"This course was fantastic. I'm so glad I took it. I now have this huge catalogue of exercises and techniques to try instead of having to invent my own through trial and error, which is huge after 20+ years of teaching singing and having had to do a lot of that throughout that time. Plus a pre-vetted list of resources for more.
I'm also extremely glad, relieved, and grateful to have been immersing myself in this topic and these stories as I go into a term with a new studio full of university students almost half of whom are trans or gender-nonconforming/questioning! I feel like I'm less likely to mess up with them than I would have been, less likely to project a sense of othering onto them, and if any of them decide they want to explore voice alteration or start a hormone treatment I will be eager to help them move forward however they want to, rather than mostly thinking about my own lack of knowledge. I want them to sense encouragement, not reluctance!
Also, just having a few more people with relevant experience and knowledge in my back pocket is huge.The whole course helped give me a lot of confidence that the practices I'm already using and the understandings I already have are in alignment with other practitioners I respect. I will definitely be using this in my future practice- I really hope to be able to offer this kind of gender-affirming voice practice alongside singing lessons. I think it may be my Calling :)"
"This was just amazing! Even though I know a lot of exercises myself as an SLP, I still learned new things, especially from the guest students. They were so inspiring to me!"
Bram Van Oudenhove
"I have learned a lot about the voice in my own study, but I have never really delved this far into the anatomy of the voice, which was really beneficial for me both personally and as a teacher. What struck me the most was how to manipulate laryngeal height. I’d never really thought about it before and was just unconsciously doing it, but now that I am more aware of it, it is easier to relay these concepts to my students using concrete terms. Being able to have an explanation of what is actually going on in your body is so helpful. I have already started implementing a lot of this knowledge with my current students to help them become more cognizant of what is happening in their voice when they sing.
This course was so amazing and informational and I’m still processing so much of it! I really loved listening to everyone’s perspectives and experiences and learned so much just by taking it all in."
"I loved this course. I'm so thankful for Renée's kindness and warmth. The BIPOC interviews were particularly interesting because Belgium is much less diverse than Canada in terms of ethnic profiles, especially in voice speech therapy practices, which are often elitest and reproduce cultural racism.
Getting back into the voice while I was doing my gender studies also did me a lot of good and made me look forward to starting to work again. The approach of cognitive load games and habit creation also interested me a lot because these are tools that we are not told much about in class and it's good to see a toolbox like that and to be able to discuss everything. Thanks to Renée again for everything!"
"The vocal fold mass week felt like the biggest new piece for me. I think the phrase itself is confusing since your vocal folds weigh the same amount no matter what you’re doing with them, but now I get it! Having worked primarily with folks on testosterone, I have learned so so much about vocal feminization, and I am excited to put that knowledge to use. I took this course because I love supporting trans people in my life to make their vocal dreams come true, and the info I learned will definitely make a positive impact on my community! It’s an extremely thorough and well-organized class."
"A substantial amount of the benefit of taking this course was seeing the ways in which my own teaching philosophy already lines up with a number of best practices already in use, which certainly helps with the Imposter Syndrome we all feel. One moment that stuck out to me was the BIPOC interviews where I realized that my student-centric philosophy already avoided the pitfall of imposing a white, US American voice on students, which admittedly hadn’t initially factored into the construction of my philosophy, since I was already prioritizing their specific goals as divorced from gender expectations as possible."
"I really enjoyed this program. Having the weekly meetings with the cohort was amazing to have and discuss the information and share knowledge with one another. I’ve gone to other discussion groups, and it has been a difficult space for me to navigate since most of the people who attend are very knowledgeable in their delivery of trans voice services, so to be around other people who are in the process of “learning” or “expanding their knowledge” made it feel more comfortable for me to share what I do and don’t know.
Renée made things fun and explained difficult concepts in multiple ways. They were also open to feedback and corrections regarding the information they provided, making things feel more collaborative within the cohort. They also have a very fun and easy-going personality, which I can really relate to, especially in the way you deliver services to your clients.
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed their course and would recommend it to anyone also seeking to do this work."
"I had never thought of the breadth of ways in which someone would want to alter their voice with regard to gender. I was very excited to see the areas that line up with voice work in general: having a goal, working through an exploration and curiosity-based style. I knew very little about how T affects the voice. I loved how this course reinforces that it’s so, so, so much more than just higher and lower pitch. I’ve already changed my intake forms to include a few more questions about the client/students, and I’ve specifically set up a separate appointment type for trans voice work that includes a full list of intake questions as suggested by you in combination with other questions I already ask. I feel equipped to throw my hat in the ring to officially work with trans/nonbinary students."
"So many thanks to Renée!!! Uff what a ride! This has been such a great, balanced course and I am excited to incorporate not only the techniques but also more of the structures (sound inspirations, practice logs, etc), and more understanding into my practice.
I resonate so strongly with the core principles of joy and exploration and appreciate Renée’s approach so much! It was also helpful to have Renée’s reminder that those students who are not necessarily singers and not living and breathing all things voice will need a different structure and approach too. I loved the weekly live sessions. Especially being able to learn from other people’s lived experiences (both in their teaching and in their own voice journeys).
A few conceptual elements that were a bit of an “ah-ha” moment for me were the understanding that many trans people may have significant disassociation from their bodies and their voices. I’ve already started incorporating some of Renée's targeted exercises into my teaching there. I was working generally on these issues without realizing the root causes – but suddenly the patterns were all clear, I’d just never consciously realized them.
The course equipped me with a larger toolbox of exercises for helping students explore and discover their own voices and qualities. I feel much better equipped to help across the spectrum of (gendered) voice alteration now. I think the course was wonderfully thought out, presented, and structured. Thanks again to Renée!"
"I found the example lessons extremely helpful, because while much (though far from all) of the course material was stuff I already had at least a general grasp on, the example lessons showed me how to integrate it into real lessons, which I previously struggled with.
I think just seeing the way that Renée engages with students, feels out their goals and preferences and introduces them to new concepts opened up my eyes and immediately gave me a better grasp on how to teach. I also found some of the less intuitive details on how to "loosen up" the perception of voice training instructive, because while I already understood that voice training should be more about exploration than achieving a goal, the "silliness" of voice training (I took phonetics after all!) and the importance of being attentive to what different students want, I was not always great at acting on that understanding as I lacked certain teaching techniques that this course taught.
Things like cognitive load games and the general attitude of play in the context of a lesson helped a lot. I don't feel nearly as "aimless" during lessons anymore. Therefore, I can say that this course has already assisted me with my voice teaching practice and will continue to do so, especially as I continually review it so as to integrate new techniques. Thank you so much for everything, Renée!"
"This was globally a wonderful experience. Beeing the only speech therapist of the group, it allowed me to approach vocal training in a new way and to share my experience that was different. Also, beeing a trans person myself, it was enlightening to realise that I already controled most of the caracteristics of my voice without even noticing it. The course as clearly made me more confident in my set of skills. I'm now feel ready to help people reaching the voice that would make them feel comfortable."
"I am a singer and teacher. I teach at a university and have a private studio. I wanted to take this course because I think it is important to keep widening the lens on how to help my students. Currently, I have one trans feminine and several non-binary students who are exploring their gender identity. I have become a safe space for them to talk to. I have been doing my best to do research on my own; finding ways to support and teach my students. I realized no one in my area was offering this support and wanted to do more.
When I heard about Renée’s course I knew I needed to jump on the opportunity. I have learned so much. I am abundantly grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow.
As it has been said, the student is the expert about themself. I am grateful to humbly learn to be an advocate for my students. This course has already been valuable when talking with parents who also want to help their child.
This course and all the teachers in my cohort are five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️"
To be notified when registration opens for the next cohort, fill out the contact form below.
About Your Teacher
Over the past 12 years, Renée has taught thousands of students from all over the world
They have a B.Sc. in Physics, a B.Mus. in Jazz Voice, and an MA in Songwriting
They are proudly non-binary trans and have their own trans voice journey to draw on
They speak three languages (English, French, and Spanish) so they are sensitive to language and cultural speech differences
They are disabled and have worked for years in feminist disability justice so they are sensitive to body differences, different learning styles, and access needs
This Course Includes
Weekly live group calls with Renée Yoxon
Five weekly four-hour lessons where you will dive deep into all the course material.
A library of teaching resources
Explore fillable handouts to share with your students as well as lists of exercises, cognitive load games, and more.
Two vocal anatomy e-books
Access to high-resolution copies of The Trans Guide to Vocal Anatomy and the Vocal Anatomy Colouring Book to use yourself or share with your students.
Access to our private peer-to-peer Facebook group
Looking for support? Come join us in our peer-to-peer Facebook community! You'll get exclusive access to our private group where you can get any of your questions - big or small - answered by your talented and like-minded peers.
+ these bonuses!
A certification badge to display on your website
Show prospective trans voice students in your community that you are safe and knowledgeable by prominently displaying a certification badge that will be delivered to you upon successful completion of the course.
Access to Renée's trans voice teaching online directory
After successful completion of the course, you can choose to have your profile appear in the trans voice teacher catalogue, a resource that helps to connect great voice teachers with trans voice students.
Is this course right for me?
This is FOR you if:
- You are a singing teacher, high-level voice student, choir director, speech-language pathologist, or voice professional of any kind looking to learn about trans voice work;
- Or you want to learn how to respectfully support transgender students with whom you currently work;
- Or there is a lack of trans voice professionals in your community and you want to fill that gap;
- Or you are cisgender and want to work on your trans allyship (especially if you don't know what "cisgender" means!)
This is NOT for you if:
- You have no voice teaching experience or voice education. This course is not for complete beginners, but rather for working voice professionals looking to add skills to their skillset.
- You are "gender critical" or think that trans rights are up for debate.
- You are unwilling to examine your existing ideas about gender, including your own gender.
- You feel you may not be able to keep up with the material from week to week.
To be notified when registration opens for the next cohort, fill out the contact form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is this course only for singing teachers?
Q: Can I learn this material at my own pace?
Q: Are the classes recorded?
Q: Do I have to be trans to take this course?
Q: How much does this course cost?
Didn't find the answer to your question? Please contact [email protected].
Below are testimonials from Renée's trans voice students
"Renée's energy and enthusiasm are infectious and they really foster a positive, safe and caring environment. The vocal exercises they taught and their knowledge on all things vocal exploration were exemplary and I would be more than happy to recommend anyone - regardless of where they place themselves on the gender spectrum and beyond - to participate in their workshops in future.”
Lilith Ferreyra-Carroll (she/her)
"I always leave Renée's classes having learned more about my voice and more about myself. Renée's openness and adaptability to accessibility needs make for a warm and welcoming learning environment. As a trans man, they have also been very helpful in helping me explore different aspects of my voice, which has been very gender-affirming. To me, they have been an excellent vocal coach and life coach. Honestly a two for one deal!"
“I took private lessons with Renée for six months and it was one of my best transition decisions. I have tried for years to understand gender-affirming voice lessons from YouTube videos, and workshops, but all of them were beyond the scope of my understanding. Lessons with Renée helped me to understand how the wonderful vocal instrument works. With exercise and taking small steps along the way, I'm now confident I can climb this mountain and succeed."
"Since coming out as non-binary I've been increasingly uncomfortable with the sound of my own voice. I have no desire to go on hormones so my goals were to adjust my voice to sound less feminine without that. When I found out about Renee I was really excited to take their class. They are incredibly knowledgeable about this subject and have a lot of experience working with trans and non-binary folks.
I learned a lot in Trans Vocal Exploration and am looking forward to exploring this more in the future. They gave me hope that I can make small adjustments that will make me more comfortable in my own skin."
"Renée is such a wonderful teacher and facilitator. They brought the group through the key information and exercises, all while constantly reaffirming the importance of each individual finding and appreciating their own voice, not simply conforming to social expectations."
"Renée's workshop was fun and informative. They did a great job making people feel included while making sure to respect boundaries and not make anyone feel out of place or made try their hand at anything they were comfortable with.
I would highly recommend Trans Vocal Exploration as an introduction to anyone unsure of how to begin approaching voice technique."
Cris R (she/they)