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Did you have elocution lessons ?

(89 Posts)
Floradora9 Sun 25-Sep-22 14:54:16

I have been listening to Miriam Margolis's biography and she mentioned having elocution lessons and was sad that they had changed her speaking voice . Did you have lessons ? I missed because I had singing lessons. I belonged to a small girls choir ( small as in a few of us only ) and my parents had to pay fees for the lessons. We would go out to entertain groups like the Rotary club but only in our own town . Miriam's mother took her all over England to compete in competitions in which she always came in the first three winners. I do not know of any children now who have these lessons just speech therapy for those who really require it .

Caleo Fri 30-Sep-22 17:31:55

But Joanna, many well educated people speak in local dialects and foreign accents.

Greenfinch Fri 30-Sep-22 17:52:59

It is a good job Pam Ayers didn’t have elocution lessons. Her poems would not be the same without being spoken in her local Berkshire accent.

Glorianny Fri 30-Sep-22 18:15:23

Never had elocution lessons from a professional. At about 4 I was failing to say my "r"s properly. My mother took up teaching me. I can still remember chanting the line "Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran." and I learned to say "r". My mother spoke without a local accent. Her sister married a farm worker and my cousins had much broader accents. I was warned that I was never to speak like them.
One of the most valuable lessons I had was at college when we learned to project our voices. I can still speak to a whole hall full of people, without using a microphone and be heard, and do it without straining my voice.

Fleurpepper Fri 30-Sep-22 18:58:30

"Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran."

how do you say that with a Scouse accent, please - lol

Callistemon21 Fri 30-Sep-22 19:23:16


It is a good job Pam Ayers didn’t have elocution lessons. Her poems would not be the same without being spoken in her local Berkshire accent.

My father was from Berkshire/Oxfordshire and he didn't have much of an accent. He must have lost it along the way because his sister had a strong local accent as she had stayed in the area..

Sweetpeasue Fri 30-Sep-22 19:36:39

Up in the North East its 'Shut yer mush!' too.

Greenfinch Fri 30-Sep-22 21:52:21

Callistemon I wonder how much Pam’s accent is acquired. She spoke on her programme about the Cotswolds tonight of her Vale of the White Horse accent. I am the same age as her and went to school in Faringdon at the same time(different schools) but I have no accent at all and neither did most of my contemporaries.

Callistemon21 Fri 30-Sep-22 22:03:25

We're only just catching up with tonight's episode Greenfinch.

I remember asking my aunt why she pronounced words a certain way (I must have been about seven - how embarrassing blush) so she definitely had an accent.

Luckygirl3 Fri 30-Sep-22 22:12:36

I certainly did - my poor mother was horrified at the Essex accent we children were picking up! - though what she expected bringing us up in Essex I do not know.

"The goldfish in the bowl goes Oh, Oh, Oh" - how could I forget it!

My poor mother hated the fact that my friends failed to pronounce the H at the beginning of my name, and her true low point was when a group of lads were playing marbles outside our house and one of them shouted excitedly: "I i i" - think about it!

Caleo Fri 30-Sep-22 22:52:33

Some dialects and some local accents are low status, for historical reasons. That is why parents and schools sometimes discourage these dialects and accents. This form of snobbery is slowly changing to more enlightened views and educational practises.

Lovetopaint037 Sat 01-Oct-22 10:20:21

We had “speech trading” in the fifties. We learned to project our voices, to breathe correctly, to sound our vowels correctly. It included reading aloud plays etc. Then we had an examination set by the Central School ofSpeech and Drama. I still have two certificates somewhere in the depths of the past. We had to act out a passage of drama, recite a poem, talk uninterrupted to the examiners on something they suggested. If you didn’t know much about the suggestion the trick was to keep going even if you didn’t know much about it.

Lovetopaint037 Sat 01-Oct-22 10:21:02

Speech training not trading ?

Glorianny Sat 01-Oct-22 10:38:26


"Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran."

how do you say that with a Scouse accent, please - lol

Fleurpepper grin I was the other side of the Pennines!
One of the things I was taught about how not to speak was
What's the matter?
Pigs in t'water.
Not only was the "the" removed-a major sin- but water was pronounced "watter" to rhyme with "matter"
Lucy Beaumont does a lovely bit of teaching the audience how to speak "Hull"
Say Mamma. audience repeats Say Mia repeat-Say Mamma Mia-repeat
You've now learned to say "Mother I've arrived" with a Hull accent