Published on January 28th, 2013 | by Alan Cross1
Singing and Stuttering: The Science is Coming In
One of the things about interviewing Dave Matthews that surprised me is that the man has a slight stutter when he speaks. When he sings, it’s gone. Interesting.
That’s why this press release from the Stuttering Foundation–which popped into my inbox this morning quite unexpectedly–piqued my curiosity.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The recent success of American Idol hopeful Lazaro Arbos has the entire country talking about singing and stuttering.
“Understanding what dramatically reduces stuttering during singing may eventually help us understand stuttering better,” explains Barry Guitar, Ph.D., of the University of Vermont, author of several Stuttering Foundation publications. He offers the following comments on singing and stuttering:
• There is now evidence that the brain functions differently for singing than it does for talking.
• In singing, we use our vocal chords, lips, and tongue differently than when we talk.
• There is no time pressure in singing nor is there any communicative pressure.
• When we sing, we generally know the words of the song by heart. “Word retrieval” or searching for the words may play a role in stuttering.
• Carly Simon, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Nancy Wilson and Mel Tillis are all famous examples of singers who stutter, according to the Stuttering Foundation, www.StutteringHelp.org, a nonprofit founded in 1947.