• Michelle Ostrove


Breathing properly is crucial for any singer, whether they are just singing or playing piano while singing. Breath support and control make a big difference in the sound of your voice. Without proper support and control your voice will sound weak and you will lack control.

When singing the body requires elongation of breath and a higher rate of breath energy. There is a need for higher energy and stamina than the speaking voice; this requires more muscle control and coordination with the diaphragm and larynx. This can only be developed over time and training.

Appoggio (classical training) uses the support from the muscles involved in inhalation. During inhalation the singer uses the inspiration muscles (diaphragm and external intercostal muscles). The external intercostal muscles are wrapped around the ribs. Contemporary teachers refer to this method as “breathing into the back” when a vocalist inhales. This method helps lower the diaphragm during inhalation. By doing this, a singer controls the breath and creates a steady rising of the diaphragm during the exhalation. During the exhale use a steady and slow stream of air while singing (exhaling).

Vocal exercises can dramatically improve the caliber of vocal performance and strengthen breath support and control. Each note and phrase relies upon a steady stream of air being exhaled, holding the notes without wavering or losing pitch. The key is to control the amount of air (little as possible) while exhaled with a controlled rate of speed by using the inspiration muscles.

I have vocal exercises that help with breath control and will help master the airflow (through the diaphragm) in your breathing. You can get the exercises on this website: www.michelleostrove.net under Vocal CD soon with Itunes and other sources. The first two exercises really are amazing to help strengthen and control your breathing. Contact your local vocal coach or piano teacher to work on breath support and control.

Listen to Lexie Torres sing “Creep” Post Modern Juke; this song required strong breath support and control.


What do you get when you drop a piano on an army base?

A flat major!!

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