Staggered Breathing is what choirs do so that no one ever has to run out of oxygen and fall off the risers.
Sneaking a breath without anyone noticing is an art form. Here are the secrets.
When you take your sneaky breath, make sure to take out an entire word – or even a couple of words. Do not – that means ever – sneak a breath between any two words where there’s no designated breathing spot. If you do, the lack of synchronization will be noticeable to even the casual listener, your director will sigh and get depressed and any Virgos or Capricorns in the choir will be seriously miffed.
Unless a sudden lack of oxygen surprises you, plan ahead for your staggered breath.
Fade out a bit, take a leisurely breath, then taper your sound back into the mix.
Here’s the catch. While you’re doing the fading, the breathing and the tapering, you need to look as if you’re singing. If you don’t – all audience eyes will be riveted upon you, and once again the director will sigh, and the Virgos and Capricorns…..
For all of you heading off to sing in choirs this Christmas Eve, thank you so much for all that you do to make life more rich, more alive and more fun for all who hear you. Bless you all, and have a wonderful Christmas.