Breathing...the foundation that keeps the house standing

The #1 essential for optimal sound: Breathing

Breathing by Design


I used to think ‘what’s the fuss about?’

…Until I decided to take singing and performance speaking seriously. The image says it all: if we don’t aim to create sound with the right elements in place, breathing being the #1 foundation, it really is like building a house on sand. Without this crucial foundation adhered to, as a singer or speaker you will quickly begin to experience fatigue and vocal stress. When I first understood how my breath supports my voice, my approach and perception towards the subject changed dramatically.

No longer was it seen as trivial. Since becoming a teacher and coach, it has become the number one go-to topic of Hummingbird Coaching.

Our breath is not only essential for creating sound… Health-wise, inhaling as we have been designed has myriad of benefits – helping muscles to relax and receive the proper amount of oxygen etc they need, to give two examples. Being aware of airflow within our outbreath is also key, for vocal health in particular. Re-learn how to breathe as you have been designed in this accompanying video and experience the difference IMMEDIATELY as you apply it to your singing and speaking.  


Tracey here from KVC and Hummingbird Coaching. Now is the time, especially for the time that we’re in right now, where we really need to get to grips with breathing.

The foundation of the voice is the breath. When we learn, relearn how to breathe, as we’ve been designed, babies do it perfectly, by the way, just imagine or remember that time when you had a little one, and lying helpless on the floor, flailing arms and legs everywhere, noise coming out of the mouth, and the only thing you can see really moving, which is clearly powering the voice, is…

…the tummy, sucking in the air, this big belly expands, and then as the baby then gives it some, same with young toddlers as well, see that belly squeeze in and squeeze in, and then out it pops for the next big breath, for the next big sound wave it’s going to create.

Then what happens is that we grow up and we get more of a realistic stock on life, be tensions and stresses come into our life. It becomes very hard to then just relax and allow everything to be relaxed in order for us to breathe properly. The majority of us end up breathing from up here, when we need to take a big breath.

What do you do? Do you tend to go like this for a big breath – , and then that’s a big breath? Or would you say you are someone who would be able to access a big breath from your belly in the same way that a baby or young toddler does when they are getting that air into their body so they can create that sound?

First of all, I’m going to show you standing up. What I want you to imagine is that it’s almost like a letter V that starts here just above your pelvis, and then it moves up like this to the top of your ribs, which is kind of around your breastbone. Okay? Perhaps you’re thinking, “Gosh, how can I do that?” I’m so used to breathing up here.”. You don’t want your upper body to move at all.

Now you might notice that I’ve taken a breath, and my chest did move, but what’s happened is it has opened the chest out, and that is what the experience is that you should have. You shouldn’t feel a tightness here… when you breathe, letting your belly lead the way, it will open up your chest, almost push your chest out.

When we relearn to establish breathing, as we’ve been designed, which is the belly leading the way, and the ribs expanding up to here, not only does your body get the maximum amount of liters of oxygen that it needs, but it’s an amazing relaxant. Again, when things have been stressy or we’re prone to stress, if we can learn to breathe, as we’ve been designed, then you will find the emotional and the mental benefits that it will have for you as well as physical.

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