Breathing Truth

This is an area in which singers and teachers unthinkingly erect barriers to progress. Should it really be necessary to teach a singer how to breathe at the higher levels of their training? According to [Anne] Midgette, reporting that teachers in the USA in 2005 agreed that singers are not being taught the fundamentals, in particular the proper use of breathing, ‘Breath support … has long been regarded as the key to singing…’. Well, yes, since about the middle of the nineteenth century I should think, but not before that, when it was understood that a singer’s artistry depended on the natural integrity of his or her instrument. In fact, the Old Italian School were at great pains to put the instrument first. Why should it be any different now? ‘A properly functioning larynx regulates and trains to a high degree (by means of the ear) the respiratory muscles needed in singing.’ (Husler and Rodd-Marling)

Harrison, Peter T. Singing: Personal and performance values in training. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd. 2013.


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