Part 3: Developing a Sense of Pitch

3A Pitch in Depth (30min)


The videos below deal with the way the our vocal pitch varies in speech. In the first, I break down what exactly pitch is and how it's produced in our bodies. In the second, I help you visualize the movement of pitch by live pitch transcribing Spanish phrases. After watching both videos, post your 3 biggest takeaways to the #learn channel.

3B Pitch Syncing (20 min)


In this exercise, you will practice tuning your ear and vocal cords to the subtle changes in vocal pitch. I've digitally "flattened" the phonemes of each practice phase, so that all that remains in the hum of the melody. This makes it easier for you to filter your attention only on the pitch. The first audio is the original, the second audio is the phonemes flattened and speed reduced by 50%, and third audio is of this pitch-only version looping multiple times. Use the single-instance pitch version (second audio) to work out the movement of pitch from one syllable to the next, AND within a syllable. Be sure to hum out loud to fine-tune your vocal cords. Then use the looped version to really ingrain the pattern into your mind. You can sync just your mind with the audio, or you can sync your vocal humming. When you think you've got the pattern in your vocal cords, record yourself echoing first the pitch-only audio, then the original audio, then post your recording to #practice. After you post, listen to you recording again and see if you can notice if any syllable is off pitch, then reply to your own post with your self-critique.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ Spanish
πŸ‡«πŸ‡· French
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ German
πŸ‡§πŸ‡· Portuguese
πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Portuguese

3C Pitch Echoing (15 min)


In this exercise, you will listen to audio in your target language, and whenever the melody of a phrase pops out at you, you will stop the audio, and echo it out loud in a hum. This is training you to filter and engage the melody of speech, which is also more the domain of the right hemisphere. After at least three minutes doing this, post your recording to the #apply channel, along with a brief commentary on how you found the experience.

3D Pitch Shadowing (15 min)


Find a YouTube video of people speaking and practice listening ONLY to the up and down movement of the pitch. Set a timer for 5 minutes for a single "Focus Session". When the Focus Session ends, send a report to #apply noting (1) Playback speed, (2) Estimated percentage of syllables "caught", (3) Mental Effort rating (1-effortless, 10-extremely effortful), and (4) Any other reflections.