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ACCENTS INTENSIVE #7 – ‘General’ American Accents

September 24, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Though this workshop has now passed, you can purchase a complete recording of the course, plus all supporting materials.

A one-day workshop in ‘General’ american accents

for non-native speakers,

Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans, and Irish folk

With kts master teacher Erik Singer

New York City & online, september 24th, 2016


This intensive one-day workshop, for actors, voice and speech teachers, dialect coaches, and other professional voice users†† will apply the innovative techniques of Knight-Thompson Speechwork to the acquisition of (so-called) ‘General’ American accents**. The special focus of this workshop will be on serving the needs of non-native speakers of English, though native speakers of other varieties of English who wish to perfect a ‘General’ American accent are welcome as well.

**’General’ American is a bit of a myth—there’s no one such accent. There are American accents that are received by a majority of Americans as lacking in regionally identifiable features, and this is usually what is meant by ‘General’ American. This presents something of a problem for the actor who desires to learn such an accent—which one to learn? We will address this problem in the workshop, but most of the instruction time will be devoted to learning one possible, broadly useful, version of ‘General’ American, with some attention paid to possible variations, and the whos, whens, and hows, of their use.

††Professional voice users who are not actors don’t necessarily need to perfect a native-sounding American actors, but instead should focus on the skills of intelligibility in American English. This workshop will provide a valuable foundation in these skills, and so is perfectly appropriate for non-actors as well as actors.

The physical focus of Knight-Thompson Speechwork allows actors and other professional voice users to learn accents much faster than with older techniques. Speakers using this approach can speak skillfully in the target accent, without exaggeration or self-consciousness.


This workshop will be focused exclusively on gaining proficiency in the target accent, and will include time for individual instruction. Participants (in-person only) should be prepared with a short monologues or text appropriate for the accent. Extensive resources on the target accents—encompassing primary source audio files, an interactive breakdown and exercises—will be provided to all participants.


Participants do not need to have taken any prior Knight-Thompson workshops, and no background in phonetics is necessary for participation (though we will be using IPA in our descriptions of characteristic sounds). Individuals who have taken Experiencing Speech and Experiencing Accents, however, and who are considering applying for the Knight-Thompson Speechwork Certification Program, may be particularly interested in the intensive practical application of the work and the focused individual instruction.


The workshop will be held at the National Opera Center in Chelsea, Manhattan. The day will run from 10:00 to 6:00, with an hour break for lunch. The total cost for the workshop is $175. Spots are strictly limited—in-room participants will be capped at 15. Questions to ErikKSinger@gmail.com.


Participants not in New York City may choose to take the workshop as a webinar. Online participants will be able to log on to a live video feed of the intensive, and will also have access to a recording of the entire workshop after the fact. All supporting documents and audio materials distributed in the course will be shared with online participants. Online participants can submit questions during the event. Depending on time and in-room attendance, online participants may also have the opportunity to receive coaching during the event. (Private Skype coaching can always be arranged before or after the workshop.)

All participants—in-person and distance—will be given access to the video recording of the workshop to review in their own time.



Workshop Costs




In order to plan effectively for these workshops, it’s important to have a clear sense of the commitment of potential participants. For that reason we ask for a deposit of $75 to secure your place in the workshop. The full payment is due September 14th. If your plans change, and you are unable to attend, we will refund any payment less $35 if you inform us before September 17th. After that date, however, no refunds are possible. Please plan accordingly.


September 24, 2016
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category: