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The breathing system (Part 2)
di Laura Pigozzi

N.1 How to practise abdominal breathing
This exercise teaches you to use your stomach in respiration. This is the base of the costal-diaphragm tecnique (later explained in exercise n.2), absolutely necessary for a good singing.

Lie down on your back on a rigid surface. Yours shoulders should touch the ground well. Now put a hand on your navel. Inhale through the nose and inflate your stomach. At this point you must see your hand going up because of the air inflating your stomach.

Keep the air inside for 2/3 seconds, then breathe out the mouth deflating the stomach. Your hand follows this movement too. Before starting it all over again, remain with an ampty body for a couple of seconds.

N.2 How to practise costal-diaphragm breathing
This very important exercise teach you how to utilise the costal and diaphragm system at the same time. Exactly what you need to know when you are singing and need to sustain the sound. This exercise is really diffucult to learn, expecially if you decide to do it on your own. In order to avoid mistakes, if you can, let your teacher guide you.

As for the previous exercice, lie on your back on a rigid surface. Put one hand on your stomach and the other one on the side chest (thumb forward).
Breathe through the nose inflating the stomach...and shift the air laterally to the chest. Breathe out maintaining tha costal expansion. Wait a couple of seconds before repeating the exercise.

N.3 How to develop costal and abdominal musculature
Having pratised exercise n.2, we can now concentrate on how to strengthen our support nusculature in the following way:

Breathe through the nose, shift the air laterally inflating the chest (confront preceeding exercise) and keep your breath for 2 o 3 seconds. We can now start to breathe out slowly maintaing costal expansion. Towards the end of the emission, try to prolong expiration with consonant SSSSSS regulary till the end.

Remember that a little bit of ait should always remain inside. This is true with all exercises and above all while we are singing.
Initially the emission of consonant SSSSS won't last more than a few seconds...Try to extend this time gradually till you reach a maximum of 30 seconds for women and 40 seconds for men.
If we practise this exercise regularly, we'll obtain a very good support for our sound.

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Last Modified Date: 12/11/2003

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