What’s with a stammer/stutter magically disappearing when you’re singing along to a favourite song?
As you guys know, I have a stutter. I’ve been living with it for 17 years and counting. The thing that has always amazed me about my stutter was how it would temporarily disappear whenever I was reciting pieces of music or singing along to a favourite song of mine.
It was the one thing that really baffled me. Over the years, through experience and research. I have come to understand why this is the case. It’s mainly down to “easy onset of speech”. As human beings, we tend to use a much more smooth or gentle voice when we sing, compared to when we talk.
This goes hand in hand with the main issue with people that stutter, the inability to calm down, take their time and not rush their speech. Think about it, when you’re singing a song. You know what words are coming next and you know no one is going to rush you. The whole thing is set out before you’ve even opened your mouth.
The same rules apply when speaking: Think about what you want to say before you open your mouth, know when to take a break to breathe and don’t rush into anything, you gotta go with the melody (in this case the melody in your head). Breathing, as well as making full use of your diaphragm is key.
This is what speech therapists, over the years have added to their therapy exercises. Music has been a common avenue to use when trying to help people control their stammer. Many stammerers have gone on to make music. The most popular for me is Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates. His stammer was severe but he still made it so far into a competition that involved you opening your mouth and talking. Something stammerers are absolutely terrified of.
If I could sing/rap, I would be pursuing a career in music too… joking… I think.
In conclusion, music is such a beautiful thing and the tools needed to thrive in the industry are very similar to what an individual needs to be able to control their stammer effectively.
So I say continue using music as a means of speech therapy because I first-hand, know how effective it is.