• Manna Coach vocal

Breathing: why take classes?

We don't need to learn because everyone has been breathing since birth. Yet...

... today as adults, the majority of people breathe "wrong", breathe "short", breathe "high",or "backwards". 

Our breathing, at birth, is correct (the diaphragm functions normally, harmoniously). Then, with the events and stresses of life, we develop an increasing tension of the diaphragm, the breathing becomes insidiously higher (chest, shoulders) and shorter.

This imbalance then leads to a whole cascading series of tensions elsewhere in the body (the cardiovascular system among others, the brain, the muscles, etc.) because the organs are no longer correctly supplied with oxygen. Lack of oxygen, too much acidity, nothing is in harmony anymore, we are in "survival" mode (because the body is designed to adapt and survive). 

It adapts by drawing on its own alkaline resources (muscles, joints, bones) to manage the problems (resources that it exhausts in the long run, which will lead to a cascade of imbalances and symptoms).

In the context of singing: The voice that expresses itself based on a bad breathing habit is then extremely limited; Such singers have unconsciously developed reflexes of "forcing", thus perpetuating the vicious circle whereas all it takes is to re-educate our breathing. It is indeed a real re-education because those bad reflexes by definition are unconscious.

Whether they have taken singing lessons before, taken yoga classes or are athletic, I have never seen a new student breathe properly the first time.

Besides, it is one thing to breathe correctly in the context of yoga or breath work, it is another thing to put this breathing into practice in everyday life and yet another in the context of the voice.

This is why in the context of singing or speaking, it is crucial to first practice specific exercises, in awareness, in order to develop new mechanisms that will become our new proper "reflexes". 

For most students, the bad breathing reflex is so ingrained that it takes several sessions of accompanied practice before they integrate the diaphragm breathing, and can move on to vocal applications or integrate more in-depth breathing classes.

In the context of voice training (spoken or sung), it is therefore essential to first learn the fundamentals of correct breathing (diaphragm breathing*) because not only is it the key to voice control, but it also solves 80% of vocal problems from the start. 

Vocalists are often impatient to sing and neglect the basics: learning and mastering the breathing. Thinking they are saving time, they actually waste a lot of it and their problems never get corrected, at worst those problems are aggravated by singing with too much straining or forcing too much air with the wrong compression in the high register.

This is why I decided to create, in addition to the singing classes, separate breathing classes


Consequences of bad breathing on the voice:  

  • tension 

  • unnecessary contractions of the neck, throat, jaw, tongue and shoulder muscles

  • mental tension (thinking singing requires an effort)

  • problem of accuracy coming from this mental tension

  • lack of breath to support the notes or phrasing

  • physical and vocal fatigue

  • impossible to hold long notes

  • difficulty to develop the high register (because of the mental tension)

  • lack of bass resonance and difficulty in singing low notes (no volume)

  • lack of flexibility of the vocal cords (the voice drops from one register to another uncontrolled ) 

Without speaking in more detail about the consequences on health (which will be the subject of another article)

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