The Humming Test

The Humming Test

The Humming Test is unique to The Towajo System.  Miracle will often direct her students to hum so that she can assess their shapes, sound patterns, and the amount of tension present in their mouths, throats, tongues, and soft palates.  In case you are not familiar, humming is like singing but with the lips closed.  The sounds that are produced when a person hums gives several indicators as to the speaker’s vocal patterns.


Native English speakers produce sounds high in their mouths, and the sounds resonate high in the speaker’s head.  Speaking English is like making music.  The muscles and the air move together in harmony.  They move together fluidly; naturally.


Many people who speak English as a foreign language will produce the humming sound in a very different way than native English speakers.  These same non-native English speakers will often times produce sounds very low in their throats.  In these instances, the muscles will be relatively tense and there will be a feeling that the speaker is attempting to “control” the sounds.


Standard English, as spoken by native English speakers, will flow and have a melodic feel to it. The muscles and the air move together in unison, creating smooth, melodic sounds.


Focusing on where and how sounds are produced may seem trite.  It may even seem non-sensical. But, this is actually a foundational step of the Towajo Pronunciation System. Understanding how, exactly, a student produces sounds helps us to assess their needs and develop a plan which will help them to achieve their goals.


For our students, learning how to “hum,” the Towajo way, opens the door to teaching a student how to speak English more clearly and naturally.

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