People can say what they want to about never giving a thought to
breathing...or taking no more than a normal speaking breath...but
to breathe correctly is the corner stone of singing...I am sure after a
years it becomes something you don't think about but you have to learn
it correctly first.
Here's my view:
I absolutely think that breathing is the cornerstone of singing AND
totally agree with utilizing the natural autonomic breathing system as
described by Mike. The body's own system for inhalation and release (as
used in speaking) is by far more efficient and relaxing (something we
always strive for in performance!) than anything we can impose upon the
I consciously teach each of my students to find
and rely on this system. To most of them , it is a new idea,
and they must be "taught" to be "natural". I have yet to
meet a single student who didn't benefit from some active instruction in
this area, though new students without already-ingrained habits seem to
learn it most quickly and easily. It also seems that, when I feel I
will need a larger amount of breath, I simply "stay open and available"
to allow more of the air to come in (this means beginning my inhale
sooner to allow time). I figured all this out during the last 8 years
(my 40's) and it has made an incredible difference to my singing.
So it's really not a case of either/or for me and my students. We're
natural AND we work to achieve it!