How to Acquire an Accent

Accents – believe it or not – are not easy.  Let’s face it, if you’ve spent 20, 30, 40 years using your head and facial muscles and your tongue to speak words in a particular way, and tuning your voice to go up and down in pitch the way your friends and family do, it is going to take some degree of effort to retrain your ears and those muscles to do it differently on demand.

Dudley Knight and Phil Thompson have been working for many years to study the challenges of “Speaking With Skill” (Dudley’s book is a Goldmine). They devised a training methodology that integrates beautifully and effortlessly with any voice training system you care to name.

Last year I attended the KTS workshops in LA, “Experiencing Speech” and “Experiencing Accents”.  I loved the rigour, the thorough practicality of the approach, the way it incorporates anatomical facts with imaginative play. So this year I went to New York and undertook the three-week teacher certification program.  It was – as I’ve said before – intensely challenging, and utterly stimulating.

Below are the Class of 2014 photos. In the first one, a bunch of charming voice and accent coaches, in the second – we may look as if we are mucking about, but that is a Serious Exercise!

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The KTS Gurn

The KTS Gurn

I am running the first, introductory workshop in Brisbane on 9th November (click for details). You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the principles and philosophy that underpin this approach to speech and accent training, as well as some of the exercises designed to allow you to learn ANY accent.  Once you understand what’s actually involved in learning someone, or somewhere else’s way of using the language, you’ll be in a much stronger position to undertake the specific work you need to do.

Click here to contact me for more details, and to register your interest. And please do spread the word. This workshop is open to everyone who cares about their voice, communication and presentation skills and creative self expression.