If you ask a group of singers how they approach breath support you will get wildly varying responses:
“It’s like a balloon and I’m pushing down”
“It’s a floor and I’m gliding against it.”
“I’m breathing into my back.”
“I’m sending my breath down.”
"I'm pushing out."
"I'm pulling in."
But what is it they're actually doing??
So much of the traditional vocal teaching is based on sensations, but that’s not what you’re actually *doing* to produce the sound… that’s the results, that's what’s happening after the fact. And there's a big issue with process:
It's not always correct.
Our senses are valuable tools in most scenarios, but they can be fickle. They're based on information that has happened in the past, they don't give you precise information about what your process actually is, and they might not be painting an accurate picture of what you're actually doing.
And this is what we base our singing and our careers on?
The reality is there are singers out there with incredible skill and mastery in their singing who can’t adequately discuss what it is they are doing when they breathe. What muscles they engage for breath support. What parts of their body are in play.
Don’t believe me? Go read Jerome Hines's Great Singers on Great Singing.
I started to read through this book again and I was shocked at the range of feedback on how to breathe and support. Did Beverly Sills really not breathe into her back? Did Pavarotti really not use his diaphragm in falsetto singing? Did Risë Stevens really not use her chest in breathing?
I'm sure as concepts they didn't *think* they were doing these things, but if you looked at their singing and the anatomical function of singing, they were not doing what they said they were... and this starts to muddy the waters for singers.
Taking on someone else's concepts and sensations of breathing and support isn't always going to be valuable or applicable to you. You have a different awareness of your body, of your breathing, of your support. You have different desires for your singing, your phrasing, your artistry. So why do we continue to teach singers this way? What is it that we're truly passing along?
Now I’m sure if you’ve studied vocal anatomy you can list all the important muscles north of the visceral diaphragm, but how much do you know about your levator ani?
How does hypertonicity in your pelvic floor affect your jaw?
What is the ideal function of the pelvic diaphragm in singing?
What was glaringly absent for what I've heard and seen over the past 20+ is any foundational understanding of the importance and function of the pelvic floor. Pavarotti said that the diaphragm must go down before you can take a breath and start singing again... well, how do you allow for the diaphragm to descend? What makes that happen? What muscles can you control to allow for that movement and ensure you're getting the best results?
If you answered “I don’t know” to any of these questions, I highly recommend you join me next month for my Pelvic Floor and Singing workshop.
It’s going to blow your glottis!
[Bad pun, I know]
After 20 + years of professional singing I have yet to hear singers talk about breath support in a way that’s actually informed by anatomical function. When you know what it is you are actually doing; when you know what muscles you can activate for breath support and how; when you have a basic understanding of how to create those desired results…
Shit gets SOOO much easier!
And that’s what I’m all about:
Access to breath support and singing that’s EASIER, MORE RELIABLE, and FEKKIN MAGICAL.
They don’t teach you this in school… or pretty much anywhere as far as I can tell. But I want YOU to have a taste of how good your singing can get with the simplest of tweaks and a foundational understand of these muscles in action.
You don’t have to be a mother or pregnant or even a woman to glean the full value of this information. I’ve crafted the Pelvic Floor and Singing workshop as a gender-inclusive space for ALL singers.
This workshop will cover everything you, a singer, needs to know about the pelvic floor muscles: Their function in breathing and singing, exercises to develop a better connection with them, and live coaching on how to properly utilize them to transform your singing in real time.
This workshop will be recorded and available for at least a year to attendees. Date and time is being finalized now, but send me a message if you know you want in!
Pre-register for the Pelvic Floor and Singing Workshop here