"A lovely beautifully produced mature timbre"- Opera Now
Tel: 079709 38661 OR 07969 880177
I teach in SIX locations. I am available for lessons from 1pm to 8pm
Broadgreen Liverpool (just off the M62)
Broad green Lane
(just off the M60)
The Methodist Church
32 Market Street,
Please listen to my recordings
My sessions of vocal training in Manchester and Liverpool always start with breathing exercises.
There are three main elements to breathing technique in singing.
When we are very young we breathe using our diaphragm. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that splits the chest from the abdomen. When you breathe in using the abdomen it moves downwards and lowers pressure in the chest the lungs expand and drag in air through your mouth and nose. When you breathe out your abdominal muscles and other muscle groups act on the diaphragm to push it back into place.
As we grow older the vast majority of people stop using this method. They breathe in by simply expanding the chest taking shallow breaths in. Luckily the lungs are elastic- a bit like balloons- and just like when you let the air out a balloon the elasticity of the lungs is enough to expel the air.
BUT --------THIS WILL NOT WORK FOR SINGERS!.
Singers need to get more breath and also they need to expel that air at controlled pressure matching the requirements of the vocal chords.They therefore need to use all their lung capacity and- because the lungs are pear shaped - there is more capacity at the bottom.
The diaphragm pushes downwards giving far more breath capacity.
Then we need to use our abdominal muscles to push the air out of the lungs so it passes through the throat under controlled pressure.
If you use your diaphragm to breathe downwards the abdominal muscles are pushed outwards by the extension of the diaphragm . Use these muscles to push back against that pressure. When we control the abdominal muscles to provide a consistant level of pressure on the diaphragm the air will be expelled through the vocal chords in a steady stream, and then we can control the flow of air over the vocal chords with our abdominal muscles NOT with our throat.
Finally as the vocal folds work to sing higher notes they are being stretched across the larynx. So as we sing high notes they are stretched thinly and tightly across the throat forming an effective barrier to the release of breath. And so we have to increase pressure using our abdominal muscles so that the air is pushed past the vocal folds with greater force.
Opera singers don't necessarily have the kind of bodies that look good with nothing on- but these two guys demonstrate exactly the breathing method I describe above
My exercises for breathing are split into three sections. Firstly getting in touch with this new way of breathing if, like many people , you have forgotten how to breathe using the diaphragm and the abdomen. Second gaining control by exercises that help you to exhale in a slow and contolled way. And third, increasing the strength of those abdominal muscles so that they support the voice effectively.