1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3… 1,2, 3… Many of us are in love with this magical, but strict algorithm of waltz! The more precisely we can move our legs, arms and other body parts in the unison with this algorithm, the better dancers we are!
But have you ever heard that speech is also a dance with a certain algorithm and the more precisely we can move our body in the unison with this algorithm, the better speakers we are?
As everything in the Etalon science, let’s begin with observation of reality. Watch me speak now. Note the parts of my body I am moving while I am performing my speech dance. Not too many, right? It is because Mother Nature has equipped us with only ONE specific organ that we move (some better, some worse!) in the unison with the certain speech algorithm. It is our tongue and, as it’s outside continuation, our bottom lip!!! Yes, speech is a dance of our tongue to the accompaniment of our voice! We all begin learning to dance it since our birth speech dance: A-a-a-a-a!
This is where we all start training our tongue to dance – no matter what language our parents or others around us may speak. As young children, we listen to the sounds in our environment and move our tongue to imitate them. Even feral children raised by animals away from people, do the same. They train their tongue to imitate the sounds of their furry family: they bark, meow or howl. This process of self-ear-muscle-coordination is no different from the way we learn to dance with any other parts of our body: feet for tapping, lips for whistling or fingers for playing piano!
To understand how simple this algorithm is, let’s observe how young children learn to play piano. They begin this process by slamming disorderly and in dissonance piano keys at first and enjoying the noise they make. But then, under the guidance of a piano teacher, they begin pushing one key with one finger to listen to and learn the certain sound they have extracted with it.
At first, their careful finger dance is uncertain, shaky and with lots of mistakes: 1, 2, 3 But the more they dance, the better finger dancers they become! And eventually they begin dancing with ease to the accompaniment of the piano music they create in the unison with its algorithm: 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 Where 1 is to recall an exact piano sound they want to create, 2 is to prepare the correct finger movement and 3 to perform this learned finger dance step in the precise way!
As a Speech Educator, I call myself a tongue-lip dance teacher today! I work with the worse tongue dancers. Commonly, we call them people who stutterer. The very first thing I do when they enter the Etalon classroom is I introduce them to their own tongue: Jonny, this is your tongue! Jonny’s tongue, this is your Master Jonny. Please, get to know each other and develop a close relationship!
Then, I demonstrate to my students the correct tongue dance steps, which they begin imitating in the same careful way at first: 1′, 2′, 3′ Uncertain, shaky, with some mistakes at firstâ€¦ But the more they dance, the better tongue dancers they become. By the third day of their class, they, finally, begin dancing beautifully to the accompaniment of their voice in the unison of the natural and precise speech algorithm: 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3;
Where 1 is to recall the precise word’s melody, 2 is to prepare the correct tongue movements and 3 to perform these learned tongue dance steps in the precise way! 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3;
Speech is a beautiful tango-lip dance! Let’s learn it, take our time to perform it beautifully and enjoy speaking in the unison with this waltz-like dance! 1, 2, 3;