In this video, I reflect on a podcast I heard (Radiolab out of NYC – one of my favorites!) that relates to the musical nature of language.
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Hi everyone. I was recently listening to a podcast that was very exciting to me. The podcast was NYC’s Radiolab. It’s a great weekly podcast, I really enjoy it. And this particular episode was called Musical Language. Now, those of you that know a bit about me but rather in singing and music. I studied weekly voice lessons in classical singing for well over a decade, and that really informs my approach to teaching pronunciation. This is an excerpt from that podcast.
And this is exactly what I try to do with my imitation exercises. If you’ve seen those, you know that I’ll loop something three times, a phrase or a part of a phrase, and there will then be a gap for you to repeat it. And it’s my hope that in that looping, you will take your mind out of ‘these are the words I want to say’, and put your mind into ‘this is what I’ve heard pitch, rhythm, melody, and spit it back out the exact same way. Each language really has its own individual musicality to it. And if you learn all the right parts of pronunciation, but still do those American pronunciation parts within the musical language of your native language, there will still be something missing.
So I hope with these imitation exercises that I can get you to hear the musicality of American English in a new way. So I just wanted to share this with you. I think the best way to study pronunciation is to really come at it from more than one direction. I think the intellectual part, where you understand the sounds physically and you understand the rules is great, and we need to come at it from that way, but I also think we need to come at it from the other way which is pure imitation, opening your ear to what you are really hearing. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.