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  • English Student Singing in American Accent (Singing Teachers)

    Posted by Guest Teacher on October 9, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I have an 11 year old student whose default is to sing with an American accent that she’s picked up from American TV/ music. This is something she wants to change as she wants to develop her own voice. Has anyone ever worked through this process with a student and can recommend any tips or techniques to help her?

    Laura Ratcliffe replied 6 years, 9 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Eliza Fyfe

    October 9, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Yes – so warm-up-wise, I find that long, open-throated vowel sounds help! So “yar yar yar” scales perhaps (in a posh English voice!) and focusing on each vowel with a more dropped jaw and open throat (ask her to make each sound with a slight yawn). I also find that arpeggios over “Bella Senora” is great for that. Just singing it as “poshly” as possible!

    Song-wise, perhaps listening to a bit of London Grammar? If you can get the student to mimic this sound as she clearly mimics easily if she’s picked up the American accent. Tom Jones is another good example of a singer with that rich, open-throated sound!

    Hope that helps 🙂 good luck!

  • Laura Ratcliffe

    October 9, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Hey Gemma,

    Love Eliza’s tips- would definitely agree with all the above! I would also get her to speak the lyrics (without singing) in her own accent (whatever that may be) and then sing straight away keeping the accent exactly the same as when she spoke the lines aloud. Even doing just a few lines at a time- she will start to recognise how she naturally pronounces words. Taking on an accent can be due to listening to so much i.e. American singing – but also being insecure in using own voice- feeling it’s not good enough for example so I would be ultra encouraging when she does achieve a natural accent and make her feel comfortable with her own accent! Hope this helps x

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