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Hey Everyone!  So I thought I would do something different this week and give you a chance to practice the Techniques we have been going through.  So I wanted to give you some breathing exercises to help you practice what we learned!  I know, I know, you have been breathing all your life and never needed to practice before…but the techniques we use for singing are a little different and we want to make sure that we are actually conscious of how we are breathing and being in control of those muscles!  You can use these to warm up your breathing before singing, and start building your breath capacity so you can eventually sing longer phrases, hold notes longer, and even hit higher pitches!  5 minutes a day with these can do wonders!  Here are just a few of my favorite breathing exercises:

Basic Breathing Exercise

Breathe in filling lungs from bottom to top (like a balloon) allowing your stomach to expand.  Make sure your chest and shoulders do not move up!  Use your stomach muscles to keep your rib cage suspended (like when you hold your breath) while you hiss out…making your hiss/breath last as long as possible

Book Breathing Exercise

Lay flat on your back on the floor.  Place a book on your stomach.  Breathe in and feel/watch the book move up and down as you breathe (think baby breathing).  Then try keeping the book up as long as possible while you hiss out.

Once you are comfortable doing that laying down…try standing up!  Place the book between your abdomen and the wall and hold it up while hissing out.  You can lean in a little but make sure to keep resistance against the book, don’t let it push your stomach in!

You can even do this without the wall, just by pushing the book into your abs and forcing them to resist.

Timed Breathing

Breathe in (using basic breathing exercise) for 5 seconds…filling your lungs all the way up.  Hold your breath for 5 seconds, then hiss out for 10 seconds…getting rid of all your air.  Continue until these times become easy…then up your time, always using the ratio 1-1-2.  (so next would be breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for 7,  then hiss out for 14)

Control Exercise

Breathe in using the basic breathing exercise…as you hiss out, make the hiss louder and softer.  Concentrate on how your stomach muscles tighten and relax to make the hiss louder and softer.  Remember relax does not mean let go!