Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tonal Tuesday - Making it Fun to Breathe

Ah, the summer is over and regular practices have begun again.  We had a wonderful pot luck supper and practice on Sunday.  It is informal a fun.  We sit around the living room and sing with friends about.  The couch is not the greatest for proper singing posture so we really have to be careful not to work too long or over exert ourselves.

So why is sitting properly so important?  Well, silly, we have to be able to breathe.  We breathe to sustain life but somehow from our childhood's perfect diaphragmatic breathing, we slip into really bad habits.  We breathe in a very shallow fashion and then wonder why talking makes our throats sore or we can't sing for more than a few minutes.

I have shared in a past post about some breathing exercises which I would encourage you to revisit.  Here are a few more less conventional ideas to get us back into the swing.

1. THINK ABOUT BREATHING - As I sit typing, I am taking in a breath while using the diaphragm muscle just under the rib cage.  In simple terms, just push out the belly and don't let the shoulders rise.  Let the diaphragm pull down the lungs to allow them to expand and fill with air.  Then talk normally but see how long you can sustain the words with lots of inflection without running out of air.

2. SING INSTEAD OF TALKING - Anyone who knows me has often heard me turn a conversation into a song.  If someone says a key word that reminds me of a song, I sing it.  I have also been known to take a song or nursery rhyme and change the words to suit the situation.  In other words, I sing the conversation as often as I speak.  Well, you don't have to make up words, just sing something you are thinking.  For instance, sing this paragraph.  Singing will help you with the proper breathing. More singing means better breathing.

3. SING ALONG WITH A FAVOURITE ARTIST - Like #2 above, singing along is an easy way to improve your breathing.  Have fun.  Check out this wee singer.  She is the most enthusiastic Elvis fan I have encountered in a long time.  You can do it too.


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