Welcome to the Voice Café blog! I am absolutely delighted to launch a blog, as I believe it is time to put a voice behind the Voice Café and give my members and interested readers more information about what the Voice Café is all about. And of course, it is nice to let you all know who I am and why I am so passionate about accents and communication.
I am Lindsey Lawson. This story starts when after many years of working as a London based accent coach, it had repeatedly struck me there was a lack of instantly accessible, learner-friendly organised, native speaker audio recordings available to my students wanting to learn an accent, especially those with short notice auditions. As a result, the Voice Café was created - a culmination of eager students asking where they could hear the native speaker recordings of accents they were learning, and my realisation of the distinct lack of instantly available resources to my students. The one thing you will know about me if we have worked together is that I am passionate about accents. I love that they have a story behind them that reflects a person’s history, both in a personal context, i.e. where they have lived, who they have met over the course of their life, and also a general context, i.e. telling of historical migrations, meetings of their ancestors, etc. For example, did you know that the main roots of the Australian accent come from Cockney?
Another interesting observation is that very few people have the natural ability to imitate an accent perfectly with no training at all. But inside all of us it is completely possible to learn an accent, as we did it when we were children with our own language. Before you can successfully imitate and perform an accent, you need to be able to hear it. I mean really hear it. To demonstrate this point I would ask you why can small children up to the age of around seven easily pick up an accent as a native speaker, but as we get older the open window in our minds slowly closes off? It takes most adults a vast amount of study, discipline and practice to perfect what comes intuitively to a child under seven or eight years of age. But as they say, practice makes perfect. S
So who actually comes to the Voice Café? Voice Café members are typically actors, voice-over artists, singers, business people, journalists, teachers, translators, among others, quite simply anyone who wishes to enhance their speaking skills for their professional and daily lives. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Actors, who come to learn a variety of accents
• Non-native speakers, very advanced in the English language skills, wishing to soften their accent for clearer communication
• People, both native and non-native speakers, who need to speak more clearly, and who are dealing with mumbling, presentation nerves etc.
• Native and non-native speakers who are learning communication skills, not necessarily related to accent, business cross cultural issues, presenting skills, or meeting skills etc.
So that’s it from me. Now you know a little about the Voice Café and where it started. Over the coming months I am looking forward to sharing all sorts of insights and information with you about accent coaching and communication tools. And if you are ever interested in asking questions, finding out about having one-to-one sessions, or just generally curious about what is on offer, please feel free to get in touch via the Voice Cafe site.