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Christopher

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  • Hourly rate £60
  • Response Time 4h
  • Number of students 50+
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Certified Knight Thompson Speechwork Accent Modification and Dialect Coach. Trained at KT Speechwork, UCL and LAMDA. Teach accents at LAMDA and ALRA

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We host the best tutors. Quality of their profile, experience in their field. Christopher will be happy to arrange your first Vocabulary - English lesson.

About the lesson

Hello! My name is Christopher Lakewood I trained on the BA Hons at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, at University College London and with KT Speechwork in LA. I am a certified Knight Thompson Speechwork coach and I work as a voice and performance coach and actor.


- Which subject(s) do you teach?

Dialect Coaching for Actors
Accent Modification (also known as Accent Reduction or Accent Softening)
Public Speaking and Vocal Coaching
Drama School Audition Preparation and Acting Tuition




- Tell me about your qualifications and experience:

Certified KT Speechwork coach. I have completed the following KTS courses 'Experiencing Speech', 'Experiencing Accents', 'Phonetics Intensive', 'Pronunciation Intensive', ‘Posture Intensive’ and the KTS Certification
Accents and Phonetics teacher at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)
Accent and Phonetics teacher at ALRA North and ALRA South
"SCEP" Summer Course in English Phonetics at University Colege London
Member of the International Phonetic Association
BA Hons Professional Acting - London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)
BTEC National Diploma - Performing Arts- Acting - Triple Distinction
National Youth Theatre
English Literature - As Level - A Grade
10 GCSEs (5 A-A*'s)
PREMIER TEFL - Teaching English Online course


- How much do you charge?


Drama School Audition Preparation, Audition Preparation and Acting Tuition
- £40 an hour or £55 for an hour and a half

Public Speaking and Vocal Coaching
- £60 an hour or £80 for an hour and a half

Dialect Coaching for Actors
- £60 an hour or £80 for an hour and a half

Accent Modification (also known as Accent Reduction or Accent Softening)
- £60 an hour or £80 for an hour and a half



- When are you available?

My availability is flexible. Please enquire.

- Which ages and levels do you teach?

Any. I have worked with pupils from 6-68 thus far. I have an Enhanced DBS Certificate.




- Where do you teach?

I usually work through skype or zoom and find these platforms very convenient for screen sharing and sending resources. For voicework I also have programs for recording and slowing down speech as well as programs for observing intonation and stress patterns - this allows us to listen and observe together in a lot of detail.





Coaching offered:




Accent Modification

Also known as Accent Reduction or Accent Softening I prefer the term 'Accent Modification' as it is not really possible to reduce or soften an accent - only to change it into another accent. How do you 'reduce' or 'soften' a speech sound - by iterating that speech sound more quietly? No we have to adjust it. All voices and accents are of equal value and to 'soften' or 'reduce' also implies that there is a prestige accent - a best way of speaking - which I think we can all agree is a little problematic. Having said that we do want to aim for clear, intelligible speech with as little cause for confusion as possible.

Before our first session I will ask you a little about your language background, where you have spent considerable time and I will ask you to record a couple of passages of text for me – this will allow me to gain a detailed understanding about your current vowel and consonant targets and their distribution.

We will talk about the phonology of your native language vs the English language and see how they differ. Many European languages don't include the 'th' sounds that we get in words like 'this' and 'thistle'. Therefore, lacking this sound, speakers of different languages will probably use the sound that feels closest to it that exists within their native language phonology when speaking English and so a speaker may substitute the 'th' sound for a 'd' and say 'this, though' and we hear 'Diss, Dough' This may cause some confusion and so these are sounds it is worth prioritizing so that we can eliminate any homophones - sounds with different spellings that are pronounced the same.

If a speaker doesn't have 'th' sounds in the phonology of their native language and they instead substitute this 'th' sound for a 'd' sound then the below words would become homophones of one another which would cause confusion.

Than, Dan
These, D's
This, Diss
There, Dare
Then, Den
Though, Dough
They, Day
They've, Dave
Those, Doze
Heather, Header,
Other, Udder
Worthy, Wordy



The same thing can happen with vowels. Some European languages don't have the /I/ sound which is the sound we have in words like Kit, Bit, Hid etc. and so when they come to speak English and come across a word that belongs to that lexical set then they will probably use the closest sound that they have to that from their phonology - quite often this is the /i/ sound which sounds like 'ee' so this means we can run into similar clarity issues in the below words

Ship, Sheep
Hid, Heed
Bin, Bean
Pill, Peel
Sin, Seen
Will, Wheel,
Hill, Heel,
Ill, Eel
Phill, Feel
Live, Leave
Grid, Greed
Grin, Green
Bit, Beat
- (in fact, for the actors out there, the Bit, Beat confusion is exactly why there is some confusion over acting practitioner Staislavski's term for beats)



We’ll work through key sounds and I’ll help you to hear and create the difference between the vowel and consonants you habitually make and those of the accent we are ‘softening’ towards. I’ll teach you how to make any new sounds and give you exercises for incorporating them into your everyday speech. Once we are happy with that depending on your priorities for the work we will either work to integrate all of these changes or if you would actually prefer to fully change your accent to for example Standard Southern British English or General American we will continue our work and even more narrowly look at the exact targets of vowels and consonants from the sample that we are working towards and try to get you as close to them as possible - this work would not be as much about intelligibility but would be going into the realms of accent acquisition. This work will necessitate a deep look into the vocal tract posture of our target accent as well as your idiosyncratic vocal tract posture.


I usually work through skype or zoom and find these platforms very convenient for screen sharing and sending resources, I also have programs for recording and slowing down speech as well as programs for observing intonation and stress patterns - this allows us to listen and observe together in a lot of detail.

My rate is £60 per hour and I offer a discounted rate of £80 for an hour and a half. I find that especially for the first few sessions this extra time is very valuable as there is usually a huge amount of content to get through in the first few sessions before we able to start integrating the work into your everyday speech and drilling vowel contrasts etc.

This isn't necessarily easy work and it doesn't all fall into place overnight, but with determination and diligent practice I can help you eliminate any clarity issues from your speech.



Dialect Coaching for Actors


We will examine the four 'P's' of our target accent:
Posture (as in Oral Posture or Vocal Tract Posture) - this is the resting place and physical tendencies of the accent
Prosody - this is the rhythm and pitch patterns of the accent
Pronunciation - these are the sounds that are used in this accent and how the lexical sets are distributed – we will compare these to your accent and I will give you tools for developing your skill and specificity in targeting any new sounds.
People - This is the cultural context of the accent.

I have done accent work with established actors and accent modification work with clients from all over the world. So far I have worked with Standard Southern British English, South East London, Estuary, Esssex, Received Pronunciation, Heightened RP, Multicultural London English, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Mancunian, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Sussex, Cornwall, General American, New York, Alabamian, AAVE, Virginian, Georgian, Dublin, Belfast, South Wales, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glaswegian, Thai, Polish, Romanian, Hebrew, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, German, Greek and Zimbabwean.
I teach actors accents at a couple of leading drama schools.

My rates are £60 per hour or I offer a reduced rate of £80 for an hour and a half.






Public Speaking and Vocal Coaching:

Everyone can benefit from Public Speaking tuition, I have worked with CEOs, politicians, small business owners developing business pitches, beauty contestants and extensively with younger students in preparation for their public speaking LAMDA Examinations.

We work to develop more clarity, connection and confidence in your voice and speech. We talk about what the blocks and fears may be for you in public speaking, what might happen to your voice and body when you are under pressure and how we can prepare for and minimize that vocal and physical stress allowing for a greater sense of flow and economy in your speaking.


My rate is £60 an hour or I offer a reduced rate of £80 per hour and a half.


Drama School Audition Preparation and Acting Tuition


Previous students of mine auditioning for drama school have secured places at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (a school which regularly sees upwards of 5000 auditionees a year), The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the National Youth Theatre. Recently I coached a young actor for her casting and General American accent for a series regular in Ridley Scott's new drama series for TNT and she has now been confirmed for that role.

I regularly work alongside screen tutors at the Met Film School (based at Ealing Studios) and at London Film School to help student directors find a language to work with actors. I have also been on the interview panel at LAMDA drama school auditions. As an actor I have worked for BBC1, BBC3, Netflix, Amazon and at Trafalgar Studios. 'Secret Chamber' directed by BAFTA winning director Jonas Grimas has won a number of film festival award including a best actor award for my performance. 'Instrument of War' is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and ‘X Company’ on US Netflix.


I tailor my approach to each client’s needs and strengths but we will typically work to understand, personalise and inhabit each character that we look at and utilise an acting process that works for them borrowing from the works of Uta Hagan, Laban, Stanislavski, Mesiner and Grotowski.


My rate is £40 an hour or I offer a reduced rate of £55 per hour and a half.





- Do you have a personal message for students?

I am committed to tailoring my approach to your learning needs. I aim to make our sessions an interesting and enjoyable experience but I expect a level of concentration and effort from your part too.

I look forward to working with you!

subjects

  • Vocabulary - English
  • Oral expression - English
  • Accent Reduction-English
  • +1

    British English

languages

  • English

levels

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • GCSE
  • +19

    AS Level

    A Level

    BTEC

    Adult education

    Undergraduate

    Masters

    Diploma

    Doctorate

    A1

    A2

    B1

    B2

    C1

    C2

    Beginner

    Intermediate

    Advanced

    Professional

    Kids

About Christopher

- What kind of experience do you have?

I am a certified Knight Thompson Speechwork teacher

I have 8 years of experience in drama, public speaking, accent and voice tutelage.

I teach accents and phonetics at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)

I have taught Accent and Phonetics at ALRA North and ALRA South

I have taught accents and phonetics at the part time London based drama school “Empower”.

I have done accent work with established actors and accent modification work with clients from all over the world. So far, I have worked with Standard Southern British English, South East London, Estuary, Esssex, Received Pronunciation, Heightened RP, Multicultural London English, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Mancunian, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Sussex, Cornwall, General American, New York, Alabamian, Virginian, AAVE, Georgian, Dublin, Belfast, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glaswegian, Thai, Polish, Romanian Hebrew, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, German, Greek and Zimbabwean.


I have completed the following KTS courses 'Experiencing Speech', 'Experiencing Accents', 'Phonetics Intensive', 'Pronunciation Intensive', ‘Posture Intensive’ and the KTS Certification.
You can read more about this company here: (concealed information) They are known as "The dialect coaches’ coach".


I am a member of the International Phonetic Association.


I have completed the prestigious "SCEP" Summer Course in English Phonetics at University College London which focused on the following areas of English phonetics:

phonemic system (vowels and consonants)
segmental analysis (allophonic processes)
word stress
weakening and coarticulation processes
sentence stress (accent, tones)
intonation and meaning
teaching english pronunciation
features of connected speech
recent and current changes in standard southern british english


I have worked with clients on developing more clarity, confidence and connection in their voices

I have coached professionals new to public speaking in preparation for formal speeches and business pitches. I have also worked extensively with younger students on their public speaking LAMDA Examinations.

I have worked with students preparing for LAMDA Examinations for Acting, Verse & Prose and Public Speaking in grades ranging from Entry Level to Grade 8.

I have also worked for LAMDA Examinations in an administrative capacity and have been on the interview panel for LAMDA auditions at the drama school.

I regularly work alongside screen tutors at the Met Film School (based at Ealing Studios) and at London Film School to help student directors find a language to work with actors.

I have led workshops at "Monday Club" on various subjects from Grotowski to Clown.

As an actor I have worked for BBC1, BBC3, Netflix, Amazon and at Trafalgar Studios. 'Secret Chamber' directed by BAFTA winning director Jonas Grimas has won a number of film festival award including a best actor award for my performance. 'Instrument of War' is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and ‘X Company’ on US Netflix.


Certified Knight Thompson Speechwork teacher

Accents and Phonetics tutor at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)

Accent and Phonetics tutor at ALRA North and ALRA South

Training
BA Hons Professional Acting - LAMDA
Knight Thompson Speechwork
UCL: SCEP
National Youth Theatre

Rates

packages

  • 5h: £300
  • 10h: £600

webcam

  • £60/h

Details

£60 per hour or £80 per hour and a half

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