Accent on Music


In music, an accent is an emphasis placed on a particular note. Like music, every language has it own rhythm, intonation and emphasis. You can improve your American English accent by tuning into this music… speaking more slowly and emphasizing key words.

Have you ever noticed that singers lose their heavy accents when they sing? For example, Adele sounds like two different people when she:

Sings, as opposed to,


This is, in part, because when singing the rhythm is frequently slower, the tone is more neutral, and the emphasis is on syllables that elongates vowels.

A good method of practicing your American English accent is to pick your favorite song and practice singing it with the same emphasis that the recording artist uses. I like the song, Imagine by John Lennon. If you go to YouTube or iTunes and search this song, you will find many recording artists have sung the song. Listen to several singers and note which words they emphasize. They are usually consistent. Several lines of this song are shown above with the key lyrics emphasized. Practice singing this, then slowly speak the lyrics with the emphasis shown.

Do a similar study of your favorite song. Practice singing it over and over again. Then just speak the lyrics slowly and emphasize the same words the singers stress.

Emphasize key words.  Not only will your speech be more interesting, it will also make you more understandable to your listner. And, as Adele said “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.”

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