Magic Choral Trick #32 Small Sips of Air
Although I’ve already mentioned a couple of ways for singers to feel like they’re taking in a really good breath, it never hurts to say the same sort of thing in a different way.
The purpose is to get to know what lots of air in the lungs feels like.
Take in as many as six or eight small sips of air through a half closed mouth – or even through the nose. The torso will feel a bit like a beach ball that’s being blown up.
I’ve found that if these small breaths are taken in through the nose, singers will need about 8 breaths. If the air is taken in through a half closed mouth (perhaps in the shape of a vowel) three or four should be enough.
I then ask the choir members to sigh it out, and then repeat the process – but this time singing a chord, or the first phrase of a song.
Another way I use this is in the warm up. Four sips in – sing one pitch for eight or twelve beats, making sure to use up all the air.
Once the singers get to know what lots of air feels like, they’ll be able to take in the same amount of air with just one fast, open breath.
The sound will be bigger, richer and more confident.