Vocalist.org archive

From:  "Robert Edgar" <redgar@b...>
Date:  Wed Apr 24, 2002  10:38 pm
Subject:  re- Breathing exercises

When I am explaining breathing techniques to students, I like to show
diagrams and work with the physical side of the breathing, particularly for
singing. During this time, in addition to encouraging the students to do
some form of exercise such as swimming, I use a blown up balloon to further
explain. I pull the neck of the balloon explaining the sound it makes
represents the fundamental sound at the vocal fold area, and that the body
of the balloon, which remains firm as the air escapes through the neck,
represents their upper abdominal area. This is to encourage them not to
release the tension straight away. I also release the tension at the neck of
the balloon and the sound this time represents a breathy voice as the end
result. I have had a lot of success with this visual tool, but the only
thing I have to watch, particularly with the younger students, that they
don't try and keep the muscles too stiff causing further tension at the
larynx level. Another one I use is stretching a wide piece of elastic. This
is to demonstrate how the brain helps control the extrinsic muscles as the
elastic is allowed to retract slowly. This demonstration has also worked
very well.