About Breathing Techniques for Voice Projection and Resonance
To sing or speak well depends on the proper functioning of a number of organs and systems in the body; one of the most important functions is the action of proper breathing. This action is provided by the lungs where a vital source of oxygen is delivered by the involuntary function of breathing together. In addition to the action of breathing, performing voluntary actions becomes important for good vocal technique and improved vocal performance; however, they need to be practiced daily for superior results.
These breathing techniques for voice projection involve sensing abdominal movement. While the abdominal organs (stomach, liver, etc.) have nothing to do with voice, sensing their movement is important and a proper breathing technique will expand the lungs sufficiently to push the diaphragm down – the diaphragm separates the lungs from the abdominal cavity – which pushes the abdomen out. Also, proper posture during these exercises while speaking or singing is essential.
Now It’s Your Turn
So you can observe the exercise, stand straight facing a mirror with feet flat on the floor, shoulders relaxed, with one arm hanging straight and the other with a flat palm against the abdomen at the navel. Do not apply pressure. With the mouth wide open, as if yawning, breathe in slowly through the mouth. As the lungs fill, feel the abdomen move as the diaphragm pushes it out. Then, breathe out through the mouth and feel the abdomen pull in as deflating lungs cause the diaphragm to rise. Repeat for five minutes on a daily basis.
For the next breathing technique, repeat all of the steps above, but close the mouth and breathe in and out through the nose. Begin to hum, “mmm,” while breathing out. The sound should cause a vibration around the nose. If the vibration extends to the throat, try a higher pitch to keep the vibration around the nose.
Now, follow on from exercise 1 and 2 this time adding other sounds. Produce an “sss” sound while breathing out, without force, and time how long you can sustain the sound before running out of breath. With each time you repeat the exercise aim to increase the time you can hold the sound for, you should find it increases. Repeat the same again but this time with “shh,” “fff,” and “thh” sounds. Then try sustained vowel sounds at a comfortable pitch in both long and short pronunciations.
Maintaining these breathing techniques for voice will improve your vocal performance and will ensure that the voice is being driven by the diaphragm and lungs and not the throat, providing a weak voice with proper projection and resonance.
Contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist in Sydney. We see adults and children for speech and language therapy.