English Accent Training: How Music Can Help With Proper Pronunciation
Music exists in different languages, but songs in standard American English can be heard everywhere. Foreign musicians themselves who want to enter in the American scene aim to lessen their accents in order to heighten their accessibility with American audiences and pay homage to their biggest American influences. Reducing one’s foreign accent can be done with the help of music combined with English accent training, as can be seen from the way many foreign musicians can sing with a standard American English accent despite having a strong foreign speaking accent.
English Accent Training : It’s Okay to Sing
Foreigners trying to learn the standard American English accent can use music to practice their pronunciation skills. The English language—any language for that matter—is based on vocal intonation and sound patterns. In a music context, these factors are overridden by the music that accompanies a song’s lyrics. Instead of just speaking the words, they are given a new melody, which changes the way the vowels and consonants are spoken. The rhythm of the song itself has the potential to evoke an emotional response from the listener.
Some foreign musicians use American songs as a part of English accent training in order to lessen their accent. They do this by imitating the songs through revivals and then creating their own renditions using whatever degree of an American, or neutral accent they feel comfortable with, or they may alter their accent to suit the needs of the song. For example, Irish singers who have been in America for years may try harder to accentuate their native Irish accent when singing an Irish folk song, giving the song a further measure of authenticity and resonance. The main reason why an accent is naturally lost when singing is vowels are articulated differently. The act of singing allows the pharynx to widen and more air to enter, thereby keeping from the vowels in high notes from having distinct linguistic traits.
One good exercise to improve one’s spoken English is trying to sing simple American songs and then contrasting how you pronounce words when singing to reading them aloud. You’ll likely find yourself subconsciously trying to mimic the pronunciation and vocal style of the original artist. This is because you are trying to match the rhythm and tempo of the music so that it sounds “right” in your ears.
English Accent Training: Observe and Listen
You don’t have to be singing along to every single American song in order to improve your American accent. Leave a radio on in the background and let the music be a part of your daily routine as you work on other things. In case the radio is not available, other tools such as the television or music player can suffice. Listen to American programs. Focus on a couple of words and sentences and try imitating how they are pronounced, paying particular attention to vowel sounds. By using these techniques in tandem with one another, you can dramatically increase the speed at which you progress through accent reduction training.
English Accent Training: How to Learn More
This is just one of our many blog articles that help educate and inform the public on English Accent Training If you’re interested in learning more about ways to reduce your foreign accent, check out our free Accent Reduction screening. Within 48 hours you will receive results regarding your accent on a severity scale of 1 (very heavy) to 7 (very mild) accent. If you’re looking to start on your English accent training, we have office and online starter program options! Within 12 sessions, all clients have demonstrated accent reduction of 50% or more.