Tag Archives: listening

The Human Antennae: how listening to Russian will help you sing Better English

When you listen to a new song for the first time, you listen hard. You listen for the Important Words, the ones that carry the emotional message.  If the singer is doing their job properly, even when the song is in a language that you don’t speak, you will still pick up the extra emotional charge of certain sounds within it.

Try this: here’s one of my favourite songs in Russian. Yes, Russian. Don’t be scared.  The singer makes the emotional charge available to you, as one human being communicating with another. Like a foreign language exchange student who goes home with a whole new stock of English swear words, you will feel the emotionally charged words leap out of the soup of unknowns.  Honestly. Have a go. Which word or words jump out at you? :

Continue reading The Human Antennae: how listening to Russian will help you sing Better English

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Singing Whales and Birds With Blue Feet

You can learn a great deal about English pacing and intonation by letting the voice of Sir David Attenborough wash over you for at least two minutes a day. Tweet of the Day is the best of birds:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04dvvnn

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BBC Radio 4’s The Listeners will take you to a world where listening with attention can make the difference between life or death:

Whale song and the varying sounds of the human heart : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qm4p7

The low frequency language of elephants and the sounds of outer space: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qw9k2

The more closely you listen, the more you hear.

Enjoy.

© Sing Better English, 2014

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery

If you want to sing accurately in English, Mitchell Brunings’ story will be useful. You might have heard of him; the man whose version of Redemption Song in the blind auditions of The Voice of Holland sounded like Bob Marley reincarnated:

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Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, watching the sheep roll in?

Roll up! Roll up! Otis Redding and his troupe of amazing, acrobatic, aquatic sheep. Famed throughout the world. Maybe Otis likes watching chips roll in? Everyone’s heard of San Francisco Bay’s famous, floating, fried-potato flotsam, haven’t they? Or is Otis watching something completely different? Continue reading Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, watching the sheep roll in?