BiP™ Voice Training

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BiP_logoBiP™ BALANCE IN PHONATION
Voice Training
(in Finnish: Ääntöbalanssi-äänenharjoitusohjelma)
by FM Ritva Eerola

BiP™ Balance in Phonation Voice Training has been gradually developed during years. Its aim is to discover everyone’s personal, unique voice quality and how it works easily in its’ best when there is balance in the vocal fold vibration and in the whole body. Originally there has been a stimulus to combine vocal physiological and acoustic researches to the training details, so that they could give the basic facts for exercises.  When the different functional parts connect to each other and form the seamless wholeness, this leads naturally to Balance in Phonation. It shows as a positive result of all functional details.

The functional details in the voice production influence in many ways to the vocal fold vibrations. And nowadays it is quite easy to examine the function of the voice. How the vocal folds close, how even are shimmer or jitter, how thick or thin is the mass of the vocal folds etc. Is there a balance in phonation?  However nothing can take the ear’s place. No equipment can replace the sensitive human ear.

Balance in Phonation -term has been used in the book Ihmeellinen ihmisääni (The Wonderful Human Voice 1999) by Anne-Maija Laukkanen and Timo Leino. Balance in Phonation means a suitable relation between the adduction of the vocal folds and the subglottal pressure. When this is happening, vocal folds begin to vibrate with smaller pressure and at the same air pressure can be achieved larger vibration and more volume in the voice. Vocal fold adduct faster and glottis closes tighter. The onset of the tone starts softer and there are no hard attacks in the words that begin with the vowel.

The most essential functional parts of the voice training are:
1. the balanced posture,
2. to recognize the functional difference in the body between normal and phonation breathing,
3. the collaboration of four diaphragms (pelvic, breathing, cervical and cranial diaphragms)
4. the functional reactions and the natural reflexes in voice production,
5. the functional separation of the articulation and phonation.

The functional parts of BiP™ Balance in Phonation  Voice Training are influenced by different thought models and mental images.
The mainline of the program is: Everything starts from a thought -Excitement of expression (will power) – words (emotions) – tone.
This helps the tone start reflectively and freely.

The functional training is based on the following ideas:

1. To recognize the functional level of the brain in speaking
    and singing (the conscious or  unconscious level).
2. The timing of the different functional parts in communication
3. To recognize the functional directions in the body.
4. To establish the energy of the words into the body by interpretation.
a) the will power from the legs and pelvic level as the starting power
gives the carrying power to the words. That core in function can be heard as a focus in voice.
b) emotions and feelings live in the torso expanding rib cage.

The following parts form the timing chain of the function and help the reflexive onset of the tone:

A. the excitement of the expression prepares automatically the body to expand into the prephonatory state. When we want to express something, this will wake up the whole torso specially inhalation muscles. This expansion causes negative pressure and air comes in automatically. The torso is expanding and the breathing diaphragm descends and causes a tracheal pull, which draws the larynx a bit down into more favourable state for phonation. When breathing happens this way, there is enough amount of air for the sentence or phrase.

B. the energetic words are combined via fascias to muscles and the bones
in the body .

C.  the voice comes as a syncope and reflex.

This BiP™ -voice training program is based on the scientific researches about the physiological and acoustic facts and those are used to arise the psychophysical function in the singer’s body.

When comparing with other voice training methods this program does not concentrate in tone – or how make the sound or how it sounds, but gives different kinds of thought models and directions connected to the tools (vowels and consonants) to accomplish a free and expressive voice. In this training the main concentration is how to combine the technique and expression into the text, words and phones. They should be united inside the body by will power and emotions. When the voice is left sort of outside working automatically, the voice quality will be functionally mixed voice and it eliminates the register problems. The passaggio goes smoothly and the whole range is functionally even.

The essential part of Balance in Phonation Voice Training™ is ABC-evaluation method™ of the vocal function developed by Ritva Eerola. This is based on auditory kinesthetic ability (= creative hearing) that helps the listener to feel a speaker’s or singer’s function in the body what she/he hears – like muscle sense. This helps to analyze the relations between reason and effects in the imbalanced vocal function and gives the ground for the exercises to find out the balance in the energy of voice production.

This ABC-evaluation method was presented at the IACT Congress in Auckland 1994 and at a workshop in Las Vegas October  2012 (PAS 6 Conference)

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The creator of Balance in Phonation™ Voice Training, Ritva Eerola, has nearly 50 years of experience from the field as a voice pedagog and voice therapist. She has worked at the University of Helsinki, the Sibelius-Academy and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and as a lecturer in the field of voice production in Finland and abroad.

The basic principals of BiP™ Voice Training has spread to Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Germany and USA in the form of lectures, courses and Master classes.

The first BiP™ certification course was arranged in 2012-2013 and has become an annual event due to general interest.

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