The Voice Cafe Blog

The Voice Cafe offers one-to-one online training via Skype as well as an Audio Study Zone, an access based audio learning resource and can be used either on its own, or as a supplement to online one-to-one lessons.

Not All Old Habits Die Hard:  My Experience of Learning the Modern British RP Accent as a Czech Native Speaker

Not All Old Habits Die Hard: My Experience of Learning the Modern British RP Accent as a Czech Native Speaker

Learning the modern RP accent has been quite a journey; one that I'd go on again any time. To introduce myself as a learner, I initially spent around 3 years learning Standard BE on my own, during my university studies for teaching English. While I used textbooks explaining general pronunciation rules of, mainly, individual sounds, the recordings I followed were of more traditional RP speakers, whereas my goal was to learn modern RP.
The Cut Glass Effect – Why is the British RP accent sometimes described as a ‘cut-glass’ accent?

The Cut Glass Effect – Why is the British RP accent sometimes described as a ‘cut-glass’ accent?

‘She has one of those cut-glass accents’ ‘He speaks in a cut-glass accent’ What is a cut glass accent? Why is the British RP Accent (Received Pronunciation) often described as 'cut glass'?.
Be Present when you Present. Overcoming fear of public speaking is  …

Be Present when you Present. Overcoming fear of public speaking is …

Worse than …? Fear of public speaking is widely touted as the number one fear. The first well known survey in 1973 showed three times more people fear public speaking than death. More recent surveys show that between 40% and 60% of people are terrified of, or hate making speeches and presentations, with more women scared of public speaking than men. Even actors often dislike it because they are not in role and so .........
Take 2 Stools – How self-tape auditions are changing the face of the casting process

Take 2 Stools – How self-tape auditions are changing the face of the casting process

Take 2 stools, a pile of hard backed books, a table, a cuddly toy, and a big wad of blu tack: what have you got? You guessed: the beginnings of a rather shaky, somewhat lopsided, and rather unconvincing self-tape.
Parallel Effect – The effect of /r/ in the American Accent

Parallel Effect – The effect of /r/ in the American Accent

In the general American accent, the retroflex /r/ has such a pronounced effect on the vowels adjacent to it, particularly when in the case of a final ‘rhotic’ /r/ closing a syllable, it dramatically changes their quality. Whatever the preceding vowel, the ‘r-colouring’ effect seems to end up pushing the vowel parallel and close to the top of the hard palate. Literally.

A take on Canadian Accents – by Canadian Linguist Kelsey Flynn

The Canadian accent seems to always appear in media as either non-existant, or it’s so over generalized that it’s comical. And while it’s almost true that we say “eh?” as much as the stereotype, there are a few points that distinguish the Canadian accent in its sound and its history from other English-speaking accents.
In the zone? In or out? Changing shape

In the zone? In or out? Changing shape

Learning a new accent can mean stepping way out of the comfort zone - initially a new voice placement can feel counter-intuitive and unfamiliar.
Uh huh. The schwa / ə /. Great starting point for learning accents

Uh huh. The schwa / ə /. Great starting point for learning accents

Ever watched a film or play where the accent is really good but somehow not quite right? Often it&rs
How not to typecast an accent

How not to typecast an accent

What is typecasting? So you are learning a new accent for a role, audition, or to help with clear communication. The process of picking up an accent is ...
Stepping West – the story of the General American accent

Stepping West – the story of the General American accent

When asked, “What is the General American accent?” some Americans might reply “Sorry? Is there such a thing?”. Others might reply “Well, the accent with no

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