During rehearsals we noticed that most of you have not yet learned how to properly breathe as a performer. It’s crazy. We all breathe this way when little babies, but somehow as we get older we get into bad habits and breathe with our shoulders and clavicles. Today we’re going to teach you how to breathe properly again.
Why is this important?
You can hurt your voice when you breathe improperly because it causes your neck muscles to tighten (tension in your neck can actually move your vocal box up and out of its proper place)
When performing, the audience needs to hear you. If you yell/shout, your voice will grow tired quickly and you can injure your voice. Proper breath support will help make your voice louder without tiring or hurting your voice
With proper breath support you can say/sing longer phrases
Your voice will sound clearer, stronger, and more controlled with proper breath support
Exercise: Lie on the floor, on your back, legs flat against the floor, hand resting on your stomach. Breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8. Repeat several times. Breathe down deep; feel the breath in your toes. Focus on not moving your shoulders while you breathe, but feeling your stomach rise and fall with every breath.
Projection exercise: Breathe in and then say HA using your diaphragm and projecting your voice to the ceiling. Repeat several times. Repeat again, but this time say, “Hello my name is__________” Still projecting to the ceiling. The diaphragm runs horizontally across our stomach, just below our ribs and all the way into our back. The diaphragm drops down as we breathe in and goes back up as we breathe out. The muscles we engage upon exhale are what help us project.
Watch this video: Projection Practice each day these breathing exercises introduced in the videos. After much practice your body will automatically do it and you won’t have to think about it as much.