Accents are defined in many ways besides vowel production.
They differ in melody (song like quality), length (how long sounds are held within words),
rate (speed of speech), muscularity (focus of word tone) and
consonant production (range of emphasis).
How is it changed? Individuals who desire a dialect change go through an instructional series. For the Southern speaker, one must first concentrate on control of pitch changes within words, also termed lilting. A person must find centralized focus, characterized by tongue position, and develop ear training for their own production and what is heard. Tapes are used for assisting the desired change. Class with individual or group instruction and a mentoring program is introduced.
Who can change their accent? Anyone can achieve a non-standardized accent or make minimal to moderate changes as desired. Feeling comfortable in one’s own setting is the optimal goal.
Is it necessary? No. Accents are defined within communities. They are a mark of one’s heritage and characterize identity.
Then why change? Some have found themselves feeling uncomfortable in public settings especially in the business world where impressions are based on appearance and patterns of speech. Also, acting and speaking professionals are expected to master their accent, voice and diction performance for their careers.
How long does it take? Depending on the amount of change desired, a person can spend a few or several months accomplishing their desired level.
What’s the cost? Instruction is offered throughout the year. A fee schedule is available on request. Call 336-852-2817 (and leave a message for Lilli) for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org