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by admin

 

Happy Chinese New Year! 😀 It’s good to be back!

I thought I’d talk a little bit about breathing & posture today, since these two things obviously affect the voice and our vocal delivery.

So let’s start with posture. Now I’m sure you’ve heard this a number of times, “When you wanna sing or speak well, you must stand straight!”. However, there’s a common mistake that most people do when they are told to stand straight – they stand with their chest and/or their butts stuck out. Watch the video for the example 😉

The butt shouldn’t be stuck out, and should be sort of tucked-in, or at least at a relaxed state (where you’re not using your lower back to stick it out on purpose). And, the chest area should also not be stuck out – the chest area should also be relaxed and remain somewhat neutral as you are breathing in and out.

If you’re finding it hard to stand straight without sticking your butt and/or chest out, there’s a simple way to get yourself standing straight without doing either or both of those. Imagine that there is a string/rope pulling you from the top centre or the crown of your head towards the ceiling. And picture this string/rope going through head, neck and spine all the way to the ground. As you do this, you would automatically stand taller and straighter, without sticking out your butt or chest. Watch the video to get a better idea.

What about breathing?

When it comes to breathing, it’s important to breath in a relaxed manner, and as naturally as possible to minimise tension in your body and voice as you speak or sing. Observe yourself in the mirror as you take deep breaths. Make sure there’s not much movement at all in your chest or shoulder area. These parts shouldn’t be moving much (better yet if not at all), when you are breathing in a natural way. Breathing and seeing those parts move actually show that one is breathing shallow breaths, and it the chest often feels tight breathing in that way.

Now how can we breath more naturally? Or how can we observe natural breathing? It’s easy. You should notice that the movement only happens where your solar plexus is instead (the soft spot at the center part of your body, just under where your left and right ribs meet). The solar plexus should expand as you inhale and deflate as you exhale. If this is not happening for you and you can’t seem to get yourself going into this habit, I’ll show you what you can do! (Watch the video)

First, find a flat surface – a table or a bed, if you like. Then, lie down! On your back, that is.

In that position, on your back, on a flat surface, just take some deep breaths now.

You’ll find that only the solar plexus, rib cage, stomach or waist area seems to be expanding and deflating now. This, is breathing naturally! The kind of breathing we do when we are sleeping 🙂

This sort of breathing uses only what is necessary and does not cause any unnecessary tension in the body that contributes to other symptoms of stage fright (like a shaky voice, out of breath, inconsistent vocal tone). Get yourself in the habit of breathing like this whenever you have to sing or speak – it will help you stay relaxed, and get the best out of your voice.

These tips are only quick steps on how to practice good posture and breathing for the voice – for more, you can find them in my online training programme, “Unlock Your Voice – The Secrets to Singing (Level 1: Finding Your Voice)“.

If you’ve got any questions in the meantime, you can ask me your questions this Sat! 

I’ll be having my masterclass session:

PowerTalk” (A masterclass on public speaking)

Date: 20th Feb 2016 (Sat)

Time: 9.30am.

Venue: Life Academy, Gardens South Tower

Click here to register now! See you then 🙂

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Good Posture & Breathing for the Voice (Vlog)