VASTA & Experiencing Accents

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks in Orlando and NYC for voice and speech-related events. The Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) held its annual conference in Orlando in early August, and I co-presented with KTS Teacher Jeremy Sortore a workshop on Knight-Thompson Speechwork’s approach of using oral or vocal tract posture in learning an accent. We found some arbitrary oral postures through gurning and then used some vowel sounds to find our way into the postures of accents that exist in the world. It was great fun, and I always enjoy teaching with Jeremy.

After the VASTA conference, I traveled to New York city to help facilitate the KTS workshop, Experiencing Accents, with KTS Co-Founder Phil Thompson. Experiencing Accents is a six-day workshop on the skills of accent acquisition (including oral posture!), and we had a wonderful group of participants who dove head-first into an empathetic way of listening to and analyzing different accents. Here is a photo of us gurning on the last day of the workshop: