Magic Choral Trick #90 Waste Air
I mentioned in the High Notes post that when we suddenly listen carefully to any short term thing that we consider immediately important, we hold our breath.
However, our breathing system also seizes up when we’re afraid.
Scratch the emotional surface of any 21st century person living in many of the world’s cultures – including our own – and you’ll find fear. Fear of being alone, fear of being disliked, fear of not having enough money, fear of illness and death, fear of accident, and economically and environmentally – a gripping, generalized fear for our children’s future.
Then we pile on all the other smaller fears that feed these big ones – fear of being late, fat, incompetent, wrong……
It’s a wonder we can breathe at all!
The Waste Air trick is a fast way to get the air moving again, at least for a while. (Breath of Fire – post #4 – is also amazing for this and should be practised daily. It’s the best way to free up the chronic tension and fear blockage in the diaphragm area.)
Take in more air than you need and waste it. So far, air is available to us at every moment – at no cost. Take in as much as possible and then spend it freely as you sing. It doesn’t matter if you’re singing loudly or quietly – just keep spending the air.
Imagine taking in all the air that’s within a metre or so of your mouth. Waste it wantonly.
This is especially useful for amateur singers who aren’t practising their singing every day. But even pros occasionally need reminders to breathe deeply in their non singing daily activities.
And I challenge anyone to try holding onto their fears when they’re in the midst of singing their hearts out with 30, 40 or 100 other chorus members.