IPA – INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET
Creative phonetic spelling, your native language, and your own accent can also help determine the process.
Typically, in the first class you learn the basic vowels and consonants of your new accent. This is done very simply, you will be amazed by this, most of my students are. I then help you to recreate those sounds. And learning the accent’s rhythm makes you sound natural, fluid and comfortable.
We will use general words and phrases but we can also practice your particular career’s verbiage. You will 100% accurate when using the words you speak most frequently.
An accent is more than sound. With utmost respect, I also incorporate a culture’s general behaviors, morals and attitudes.
Audio of native speakers using the accent you require may be used.
PUBLIC SPEAKERS & EDUCATORS: Communicate with everyone in your audience or classroom, whether it’s a group of 2 or 2000
ACTORS: Prepare for an upcoming role or audition
VOICE-OVER PERFORMERS: Learn different accents for animation, video games, commercials, audio book narration and looping
MEDIA PROFESSIONALS: Have success on television news programs, entertainment shows and in your own videos.
It depends upon which consonants and vowels need to be modified and how well you process and use these new sounds. The melody is also important to an accent. We will incorporate this into every lesson.
Also, it’s most helpful to you to be surrounded by the accent you wish to acquire. Hopefully, you can practice every day by speaking to people or even watching television!
After our first hour of class, you’ll hear some degree of transformation.
Actors, for auditions, one hour may be enough, depending on how many lines you have. It’s a quick fix to make you proficient enough for the audition.
For accent reduction, most people simply wish to be understood by their listeners, minimizing any confusion or bias. Sounding 100% to any accent is more intensive and challenging. I cannot say you will be 100% or not, I have had some foreign born students who have succeeded in this, but they are exceptional.
We will preselect your days and times and they will be held for you once payment is made.
I highly suggest that have a software program to record your Skype class. Simply search “RECORD SKYPE CALLS” and choose the software that suits you. You can also use Quick Time Player to record.
Also, since you are recording the video and audio of all our sessions, reviewing your classes is an excellent tool that intensifies your learning process. You can now see and hear what you were doing and how certain sounds and behaviors were weaker or stronger.
And the relationship that we create via the internet is the key to your learning. It is comfortable, safe and pleasant. The physical distance between us is never felt. It’s quite amazing, really.
I will send you all the text that you need for class. There is no book for you to purchase. And it is extremely beneficial if you can provide me with your particular career’s vocabulary, if you need accent reduction for business. I will incorporate your words and phrases into the lesson so you are 100% confident about speaking in the workplace.
Monday – Friday: 9:00am EST (0900 h EST) – final class at 5:30pm EST (1730 h EST)
Saturdays: 10:00am EST (1000 h EST) – final class at 12:00pm EST (1200 h EST)
And because life is full of surprises, some exceptions to this schedule are allowed.
SLOW BLINKING: Closing your eyes for a second too long while listening and speaking, gives the illusion that you are bored, arrogant and annoyed.
PLAYING WITH HAIR: Twirling of strands is childish. It indicates insecurity and is inappropriate for women who need to inspire confidence.
UPSPEAK: This upward vocal inflection at the end of statements makes you appear insecure. It translates to the listener as, “Please tell me I am worthy of your listing to me”, “I hope you are listening to me” or “I am unsure of my information”.
On the positive side, you need to know your strengths.
GOOD POSTURE: A good seated position, strong stance and stride indicate confidence and self-respect.
NODDING: While listening to a speaker, the occasional slight nod indicates that you are truly interested in what is being said and their information is fully comprehended.
PROPER DICTION & GRAMMAR: This is a wonderful audio display of confidence and intellect.
Usually, we begin the Personal Awareness process while focusing on your voice. Perhaps you have an upcoming presentation or job interview. We would incorporate your own behavior into the vocal lesson.
For actors, having Personal Awareness is invaluable, as you need to know what you are able to convey by adding subtle vocal and physical traits to create truly interesting characters.
I do recommend that you learn another language and that your goal is to speak it as though you are a native. This way you will have empathy and a complete understanding of what your student is going through. And in order to do this you must learn the language from a native speaker, otherwise, you will learn the language with the accent of your teacher. Learning to speak French from a New Yorker will be different from a Parisienne.
When listening to other accents, listen to people speaking in their native language. This will help you hear their music. Watch their body, their tongues and their facial movements as they speak. Take note of everything.
If accent reduction is your main focus and you are American, realize that your accent will be taught to the student. Mostly, people will be coming to you for a Standard American accent, so make sure you are doing this. Perhaps, you should take a few classes with an expert coach to determine that you are spot on with your Standard American. Become hyper aware of your sounds. Hear your own accent.
And the same goes for teaching a Standard British (RP- Received Pronunciation).
Detail what different accents do with all of the vowel and consonant sounds. For example, note what Germans may do with the A sound in CAN, what Chinese may do with a Middle or Final N, and what the Irish do with TH as in THINK.
You can also go to VASTA.ORG (Voice and Speech Trainers Association) and take workshops led by members. Read their publications where they share a lot of knowledge. Read as much as you can on voice, accents and language.
Another option is to study with a coach and get Certified in their method.
A career as an accent – dialect coach is highly rewarding. You help people communicate their ideas and vital information. And teaching actors broadens their span and creates new opportunities. And actors can have a profound effect on others, making them laugh, feel, reconsider notions and sometimes propel people forward.
As shallow as this may sound, Flashdance had a huge impact on me when I wanted to be an actress. I may get the line wrong but Michael Nouri says to Jennifer Beals, “If you let your dreams die, you die.” Well, a few months after that film, I’d changed my life completely and I began to live my dream.