How did he do that? I wondered myself as Lazro Arbos took the stage for week one of the American Idol Auditions. Born in Cuba and raised in Florida, Lazro has lived with a terrible stutter since a young age. But when he took to the stage the other night, his stutter just went away.
Turns out Lazro is not alone. Singer-Songwriter Carly Simon began stuttering severely when she was eight years old. A psychiatrist tried unsuccessfully to cure Simon's stuttering. Instead, Simon turned to singing and songwriting. "I felt so strangulated talking that I did the natural thing, which is to write songs, because I could sing without stammering, as all stammerers can."
Mel Tillis, Country Music Entertainer Mel Tillies was laughed at as a child because he stuttered. He said to himself, "Well, if they're gonna laugh at me, then I'll give them something to laugh about." Word began to circulate around Nashville about this young singer from Florida who could write songs and sing, but stuttered like hell when he tried to talk. "The next thing I knew I was being asked to be on every major television show in America." Tillis' career took off.
Like many of you, I wondered how someone who has such a difficult time talking can sing without missing a beat? The answer it turns out is not all that complicated.
This from the Stutterng Project at the University of Iowa:
Why do some people stutter when they speak, but don't have a problem when they sing?
There are a few reasons why people who stutter don't do so when they sing. One is called easy onset of speech, or easy voice, or smooth speech. This describes the way you sing. Think about it - you generally use a smoother and easier voice when you're singing versus when you're speaking. Speech therapists actually use the easy onset strategy when helping people who stutter.
Another reason why a person may not stutter while singing is because words are more prolonged (and less apt to be stumbled over) when they're sung rather than spoken. Music is an activity in which you use the right side of the brain (language uses the left), so when you sing music, you're no longer using your left brain (and probably no longer stuttering).
The bottom line is this: Whenever a child or adult who stutters talks differently than the way he usually does, he will be fluent. That includes using a stage voice or a foreign accent or dialect, whispering, singing, speaking to a rhythmic beat, using ‘baby talk' and speaking at a lower or higher pitch than normal. Besides sounding and feeling unnatural, however, these ‘tricks' rarely produce long-term fluency.
Watch Week Two of American Idol this Wednesday & Thursday here on FOX 11 at 8
Good Luck in Hollywood Lazro. I'll be watching. For more information on the Stuttering Project CLICK HERE