I can’t sing but I love poetry
, so when I came across a blog called Sing Better English,I was intrigued. (You had me at the title.)
The blog is aimed at non-native English speakers, but it’s a treat for anyone who loves words or enjoys the company of a knowledgeable host.
I spent the evening reading the blog’s quirky posts (It’s Hard To Sing Reggae When Your Head Is Full Of Strawberry Jam), and listening to the music it explores: Nirvana, Kate Bush, Ella Fitzgerald. It’s amazing how much richer the songs seemed when I started to understand the choices the performers were making: choices about pronunciation, inflection and even breath control.
It made me think about reading my own work in public, and whether I take as much care speaking my words as I do writing them. Great singers pay attention to the tiniest of details. Lesson learnt.
I can’t imagine Sing Better English will do much for my singing voice. But it’s already raised the bar for my speaking voice. And given me a new-found respect for Dolly Parton’s Jolene. (Click here to see why.)
Do yourself a favour. Head over there. And writer friends? You’re welcome.