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The Ultimate SOVT Training Series (live or virtual). Check in for workshop dates.

This 7-hour series is designed to provide an in-depth, approachable, and easy to understand overview of the scientific principles of SOVT exercises and exactly how to use them to maximize your voice training. There is a lot more to semi occluded vocal tract exercises than simply humming or singing through a straw. For SOVTE’s to be truly effective, they must be executed in a specific way, and this is often the missing component for many who have not found SOVT’s to be useful. Additionally, the way they are taught makes a difference in how motor learning is integrated for carry over into singing.


This class is sometimes offered by me (check website for updates) and can also be tailored for your institution. This extended series was designed to guide each participant through a sequence of instruction and exercises. The goal is to provide every participant with a solid foundation of the scientific principles behind SOVT’s and highlight how and when they should be used to maximize singing and speaking. Each class includes a significant interactive component ensuring that each participant will leave the course understanding how to correctly execute and teach numerous variations of SOVT exercises. Additionally, they will understand the therapeutic value of SOVT’s and how to use them to promote vocal health.


The full series will end with an intensive course on applying SOVT’s to speaking technique and a variety of singing styles, ranging from classical to CCM. For all three classes, extensive time is spent teaching a wide variety of these exercises with ample time for group practice and some 1:1 observation. At the end of this series, participants will have a thorough understanding of how to do SOVT’s and just as importantly, how to use them in your studio.


Class 1- The Nuts & Bolts of SOVT’s: What, When and Why?


This course is open to anyone of ANY singing or teaching level

Limited space to ensure adequate time for the interactive portion of the course. This is similar to the Basic application class listed above.

Materials- straws, cup/pencil


This two-hour* live course is an introduction to everything a voice teacher and/or singer should know about semi occluded vocal tract exercises and why they are so great for voice training. By the end of this class, you will know what SOVT’s are and how they work, why you should use them as a teaching tool, and when you should use them to optimize your voice training. This class is designed to give an introductory and easy-to-understand overview of the science and physiology behind SOVT’s and to demonstrate why they are so effective for training voices. This course is presented as a hybrid lecture/masterclass with opportunity for 1:1 interaction. Participants will engage in active discussion about applying SOVT’s to their own voice in addition to an interactive “how to” section where participants will correctly execute SOVT exercises. Some of the most common SOVT variations, including straw phonation, will be introduced, giving each participant an opportunity for small group practice. Each participant will have access to written materials highlighting key concepts and instructions. This class will be recorded, and you will have access to review for a period of time.


Class 2- Using SOVT’s in Your Voice Studio: Vocal Health and Injury Prevention


This course is open to those who have competed class 1 or who already use SOVTE’s and have a solid understanding of the basic principles behind them.

Limited space to ensure adequate time for the interactive portion of the course.

Materials- Straws, glass/16 oz bottle with 3 inches of water, balloon/rubber band


This two-and-a-half-hour* live course builds on class 1 with further exploration of how to use SOVT’s both in your voice studio and when training your own voice. Building on class 1, this class focuses on application of SOVT’s for general strengthening and coordination with specific emphasis on optimizing vocal health and recovery from vocal fatigue. Other important topics for maintaining vocal health and helping prevent vocal injury will also be discussed including how speech pathologists use these tools as part of a voice rehabilitation protocol. Several SOVT techniques will be taught in a large group setting with opportunity for some to have 1:1 interaction. Smaller breakout groups will be used for group practice. Each participant will have access to written handouts of key concepts and instructions. This class will be recorded, and you will have access to review for a period of time. Introductory content will not be reviewed in this course.


Class 3 – Advanced Application of SOVT’s for Singing Technique: Getting beyond the straw-

Limited space to ensure adequate time for the interactive portion of the course. This course is designed for those who have completed class 2 to ensure continuity of information and group flow.


Materials- all listed above plus the silicone anesthesia mask (see below)


This live, 2.5 hour course is the culmination of the SOVT series placing significant emphasis on singing and teaching singing with specific guidance on how to use advanced SOVT techniques to train both classical and CCM singers.  SOVT techniques not reviewed in the earlier classes will be introduced This final course is the most interactive with 1:1 demonstration on class participants using these techniques in a mock “voice lesson.” Motor learning principles will be introduced and applied to demonstrate maximum effectiveness of SOVT’s. Participants will work with each other to further solidify confidence levels with how to both execute and teach these exercises in different vocal scenarios. Troubleshooting issues will also be discussed with problem solving strategies for some common issues you may encounter.  Video examples will also be used. This class will be recorded, and you will have access for a period. Class 2 is a required prerequisite for this class.


All three classes total approximately 7 contact hours total. Times can be tailored and adjusted.


 *A note about the length of each class. It is important that students have adequate time for Q & A and discussion. Given this, the length of each class is an estimate. While classes are not likely to be shorter than listed, they could be longer, therefore plan accordingly.

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