"A lovely beautifully produced mature timbre"- Opera Now

In order to reach me:

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)

Crosby Liverpool

Davyhulme Manchester


Heswall Wirral







Oakvale Church

Broad green Lane


L13 5SH





Lostock Road



M41 0TD

(just off the M60)



The Methodist Church

Birchdale Road



L22 9QX



Thursday Morning

Presbyterian Chapel

Liverpool Road







32 Market Street,


WA14 1PF





Presbyterian Chapel

Liverpool Road









Please listen to my recordings




More info

Vocal Training Manchester; Breathing and Breath Control

My sessions of vocal training in Manchester and Liverpool always start with breathing exercises.

There are three main elements to breathing technique in singing.


  1. Get enough breath in to be able to sing a musical phrase
  2. Control the exhalation of breath, so you don't run out
  3. Support the voice by using abdominal muscles



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.




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.



  1. To begin with - find a chair or high stool and place your hands palm down on the seat. This should make you bend over slightly. Breathe in and notice the muscles in your side and abdomen have to work. When you have grown used to that feeling stand up straight and try to reproduce the same expansion.
  2. Stand easily with your hands in front of you clasped together. Breathe in as fast as you can simultaneously raising your hands above shoulder height. Then lower your arms slowly while counting aloud. Try to reach twenty at first- then aim for thirty seconds.
  3. Lie comfortably on a flat serface with your knees raised and your feet on the floor. Place a book on your abdomen. Breathe in using your daiphragm which will cause your abdomen to rise. Now breathe out using your abdominal muscles- try to lower the book gradually and slowly without jerking.
  4. Take a good breath in and exhale on an "f" sound giving as much force as you can to the sound without tightening the throat.
  5. Take a good breath in then create an easy humming sound- hold that sound as long as you can - 20 seconds is good- 25 seconds is exceptional.
Print Print | Sitemap
© David