Page 6 - Voice for Life Yellow Workbook
P. 6

                                 Breathing
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 Placing the voice in neutral
Stand up straight, with your feet slightly apart, and make a panting sound, like a dog. The diaphragm is moving up and down in the way described above. Make sure that your throat or mouth are not tense. Try not to force the breath out, as this will dry out the vocal folds and could close the throat. Instead, aim for a gentle in-and-out movement of breath and use equal effort in inhalation and exhalation.
Simple breathing is something that you do all the time without thinking about it. This exercise helps you to use this natural reflex. It is a good way to remove tension and put the voice back into neutral (its normal, relaxed state). This will prevent you getting vocally tired.
What happens when you breathe
The diaphragm is the main muscle used in inhalation. Although its effects can be detected, it is not possible to feel or control it directly.
As you inhale, the diaphragm descends (contracts), pulling the bottom of the lungs down, and creating a vacuum which causes the air to rush in. When the lungs fill with air, the lower ribs expand outward, and the waistline also expands.
As you exhale, the process is reversed: the diaphragm relaxes, being pushed upward by the abdominal muscles. This causes the lower ribs to contract inward, resulting in a contraction of the body around the waistline.
   On the diagrams below, mark with arrows the movement of the lungs, diaphragm and waistline during inhalation and exhalation. Refer to the explanation above.
Inhalation Exhalation
  Breathing exercises
Breathing correctly is fundamental to good singing: it affects dynamics, phrasing, tuning and tone. Breathing exercises can help all singers. To begin your practice, try the following exercise. This should help to ensure that your throat is relaxed.
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 6 Module A: Using the voice well


















































































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