academic gears


Testosterone-Influenced Voice

Something I’m asked A LOT by voice teachers is, “what do I need to know to teach singing to men?”

So I put together one of my POPUP Voice Ped Classes on the subject in 2020 and – wouldn’t you know it? – that class still holds the record for the MOST participants out of ALL of the POPUP Voice Ped Classes I’ve ever offered.

Aaaand … before I go any further, I want to be clear that, when we’re talking about “male” and “female” voices, what we’re really talking about is, larger larynxes & vocal tracts and smaller larynxes & vocal tracts, and the various options that those larynxes & vocal tracts have when producing vocal sounds in specific frequency (or pitch) ranges. Guess what the major contributing factor is to that size difference in larynxes & vocal tracts? The extent to which a larynx & vocal tract was influenced by testosterone as it changed through puberty. Yep. Just that.

So, THAT’s why I use the language I do. (If you’re interested in a more in-depth discussion around gender and voice and vocal tract sizes, scroll on down and take a look at the Live Office Hours I did with Liz Jackson Hearns earlier this year.)


Exactly why is this subject so popular?

I have a feeling it has to do with a bunch of factors including that …

the majority of independent voice teachers were trained to sing in specific (ie higher) ranges, by teachers who were also trained that way …
so the majority of independent voice teachers are out there teaching with no explicit OR implicit understanding of what it feels and sounds like to sing with a larger larynx & vocal tract in lower pitch ranges.

I mean … that’s it, really.

We just haven’t had the experience for ourselves AND no one has ever really explained it to us.


that’s what we’re going to do in this POPUP Voice Ped Class:

Talk about the anatomy & physiology and the science-y stuff behind what happens when a person with a larger larynx & vocal tract wants to sing lower frequencies (or pitches).

That’s it. Easy-peasy. #pinkyswear

* Scrolling to find that video of the Live Office Hours I did with Liz Jackson Hearns? SCROLL NO FURTHER.


  • 90 minute class
  • $97 CAD
  • Wed, 24th November
  • 10AM et
  • Delivered over zoom

Can’t make the live class? No worries! The class recording is available for 21 days to everyone who registers in advance.

When you register, you’ll get an email with all the deets re signing in to the class. AND you’ll get a few reminder emails as well. Because who doesn’t function better with a few reminders? #amiright?


Popup voiceped class for testosterone-influenced voice.

Here’s what some of the #reallifevoiceteachers who have participated in past POPUP Voice Ped Classes have to say about them:

  • I feel engaged in what I do again, and empowered as an educator.

    Lisa Mulgrew, Voice Teacher (Lethbridge, Canada)

  • My confidence is soaring because of the knowledge I have and the results I am seeing.

  • It was invaluable to have Shannon's insightful and incredibly knowledgeable guidance on aspects of my teaching. She helped me get really specific about providing concise feedback to my students during their voice lessons. This meant less talking for me and more singing for my students; not to mention more meaningful instructions and better results from my singers! Win, win!

    Gabriela Farias, Educator & Voice Teacher (Brampton, Canada)

  • I needed a bit of time to process the amazing vocal ped weekend that we just shared, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for doing what you do. I've been in a bit of a... slump. All things considered, my life is pretty great and my pandemic experience has been better than most, but I haven't felt... inspired in a while, artistically or otherwise. I was still teaching my kids, but feeling mediocre at it, at best. For the first time in basically all of my life I have basically stopped singing, and even weirder for me is that I didn't feel compelled to do anything about it. And then I heard you speak on a podcast a few months ago and the way you were talking about your course... it was like it was you were speaking right to my soul, like this course was created specifically for me. The gaps that I've been feeling in my teaching didn't have to be permanent- there were resources available to me, things I could do NOW to be a better teacher for my students. Your course was everything I was hoping for and more. I feel engaged in what I do again, and empowered as an educator, excited to have these new tools. What I wasn't expecting to get out of this weekend was an excitement and urge to sing again. I am inspired and invigorated to get back into the studio and try out all of these great ideas, and I feel more like me than I have in a while.

    Lisa Mulgrew, Voice Teacher (Lethbridge, Canada)

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