Anne Peckham - Singer's Handbook [2004]

Handbook 5inger's BreathManagement Your voiceis a wind instrumentthat needsbreath to producesound'Trainingyour body and

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Handbook 5inger's

BreathManagement Your voiceis a wind instrumentthat needsbreath to producesound'Trainingyour body and unconsciàusmind to managethe breathingprocesswill giveyou the controlyou needto singlonger noteswell' and to ihrur.t, to singhigh and low gain betterconffol overdYnamtcs'

Shoulders forced back

C o l a P S e dc n e s l

Good alignment

FourStepsto Effe Try this simPleexercisetha the breathingProcess.

1. Stand with Your bodY al distanceaqart,and 1'ou high. 2. InhaIe through Your no: expanding around 1'our your lower abdominal r

3. Allow Your lower abdo contract slightiY,as )'ou tone in the middle of vt To establishgood posture' start with a comfortably high chest, rÀlaxedknees (not locked), and feet with hip-distance apatt' As you become familiar good posrure,it will feel more natural to you' buring singing, be sure to keep your chest in comfoitabty ttiglt Try practicing while standing good front of a mirror. It may be easierto see posfure than to feel it'

4. Maintain Your comfort and keePYour ribs oPe your chestcollaPse.

When inhaling, don't over your lungs createstenslon before you even make a so by expandingaround vour lower abdominalarea.tak tensionbY liftrng vour sho


Breath L\4anagement

runnenr thar needsbreath :ng )'our bod-"-and uncon_ he brearhingprocesswill need ro sing longer , .trr\ noteswell, and tO ii:anlcs.

IT AbdominaJ area (oul)

-';:t:$" Diaphragm ascends

FourStepsto EffectiveBreathing Try this simple exercisethat outlines fbur stepsof the breathing process. 1. Stand with your body aligned, your feet hip_ distance apaft, and your én.ri comfbrtably high.

srart $'rrh a comfortably rot locked),and feet becomefamiliar with cre naruralto you. reepvour chest t : . : : { x h i l e s t a n d i n gi n ea_ircr ro seegood

2. Inha\e through your nose and mouth by expanding around your waistline and ràlaxing your lower abdominal muscies. 3. Allow your lower abdominal musclesto contract slightly, as you start to sing a long tone in the middle of your range. 4. Maintain your comfortably high chest position, and keep your ribs open, u, yJ., sing. ôon,t let' your chest collapse. a

When inhaling, don,t overfill your lungs. Stuffing your lungs creates tension in your throat and jaw before you even make u ,orr.râ. I"ilù complerely by expanding around your waistfirre lna in your lower abdominal area, taking carcnot to qeate tension by lifting your shoulàers.

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Handbook 5inger's

TheDiaphragm The diaphragm is a flat muscle, curved in a double-dome shape,separatingthe chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. It connectsto the bottom of your ribs and is the floor of your rib cage.

Diaphragm descends to a lower posrlron. drawing a r into lungs.

D achragm nses lo a hrgher arched position, lo expel aLrlrom ungs.

RibsandLungs Your rib cage is comprised of bone and cartllage. During breathing, the attached musclesopen and close your rlb cage,filling and emptying your lungs. When you sing, steady flow of air to your vocal cords is achievedby opening your ribs and slightly contracting your abdominal muscles. This exercisewill help increaseyour awarenessof the expansion of your rib cage. 1. Place your fists on your sidesabove your waist. 2. Take a fuIl breath, and feel the expansion of your rib cage. I


Exhale, and feel your rib cagebecome narrow.

4 . Take a secondbreath, spreadingyour ribs as wide as you can. Don't lift your shoulders.

5 . Hold your breath but keep your throat open. Slowly, count to four. Maintain an open rib cage as you hold your breath. You will feel the external intercostal musclesof your ribs working to stay open.

6 . Exhale, and allow your rib cage to become narrow agarî.


These powerful musclesco* inal region, running vertica acrossyour belly.Your lo*.e relax ourward during rnhala inward slightly during e.xha

During singing,vour nb cag while your abdominal musc This is called support; it ena to ascendto its high positio allowing you to sustain long tain better pitch control. If r immediately, atr wili rush or phrasing,or a breathytone r your ribs and chesttightens muscles,preventingyour lar freely. This can causeyour s feel constricted.Good abdo help you keep your neck anc bringing you a fuIl and resor


Breath Managemeni

l Diaphragm la: =us.-le.cun'ed rn a rdla:atlng the chestcaviry :a\':rv It connectsto the rn.: rs the floor of your rib

nd Lungs :scd ot bone and cartilage. ana;hed musclesopen and rne and emprying your s{eadvflow of air to your r t'r t'rpeningyour ribs and r at"iominal muscles, :nf:easevour awarenessof nb cage. r.r:: srdesaboveyour waist. u:c Èei rhe expansionof ;: ::b cagebecome narrow. :. spreadrngyour ribs as rn': iift r'our shoulders. rt keep vour throat open. : \laintain an open rib :: brearh.You will feel the ::usclesof vour ribs : r::: ::b cageto become

TheAbdominal Muscles Thesepowerfulmusclescoverthe entire abdom_ inal region,running verticallyand diagonally acrossyour belly.your lower abdominal muscles relax outward during inhalation and contract inward slightly during exhalation. D.ulinSsinging,your rib cageshould stay open while your abdominal-,rr.1., move in shgirtty. This is called support;it enablesyour diaph rugm to.ascendto its high positionat a slower rate, allowingyou to sustainlongerphrases and main_ tain betterpitch control.If youi ribs descend immediately,air wiil rush olt too quickly for good phrasing,or abreathytone may r.*tr. Collapling your ribs and chesttightensyour neckand throat yuyle , preventingyour larynx from functioning freely.This can causeyour singingto soundand feel constricted.Good abdo-àut"rrrpport will help you keepyour neckand throat relaxed, bringingyou a full and resonanttone.