Breath support

Every time I find something new that works for me in my own practice, I try it out on my students.  Here’s my latest – the BOSU ball. It’s basically an exercise ball cut in half (& on a sturdy platform – you can turn it BOSU in the Voice Studioover and stand on the flat part, too).  But, just standing on the thing works your core muscles.  A MUST for singers.  I’ve been using the BOSU to really work on my core muscles (needed after 2 C-sections!) and had a brainstorm that I wanted one of my students to use it.

This student is a high school student, but will likely develop into a dramatic soprano of great strength & power.  The thing about those voices is that they REALLY need a lot of control as they are often called upon to have great subtlety as well as great power.  So, I’ve called upon the BOSU to help her activate her core muscles.  It’s helped a LOT and she’s really happy with the results (although sore at the end of the lesson.

Other tricks I’ve utilized lately in my studio to help my students: [···]

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Want to help you students to see how the respiratory system works? Check out the American Lung Associations website. It has a fun interactive teaching tool that will describe how each part of the respiratory system works and show it in action.

This is a great teaching tool for students of all ages because the simple, colorful cartoon illustration is accurate without being too graphic and detailed. It high-lights each selected part of the system and gives a simple description of the role that each part plays in breathing. Once you (or a student) has clicked through each part of the respiratory track, you can view a demonstration of all of the pieces in action. The illustration even has blue air on the inhale and red air on the exhale. There is a self executing file that you can download as well to use when you don’t have access to the internet. (Unfortunately, it is a Windows application and I run a Macintosh computer, so I wasn’t able to test this feature.) You can also view the website in a printer friendly form (if you want to create a hand out for students.) and email it (if you would like to send it to students.)

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