QUOTE(jod @ Apr 16 2011, 05:06 PM)
I said be careful with developing too much big breath control in a young child as their body can not take it. The vocal folds only reach part of the way across the voice box. There is also a problem that if diaphramatic breathing is taught incorrectly that children under the age of 9 or 10 (co-incidentely the age Dugazon will start them) that they could develop a diaphramatic hernia. I choose at this age to talk about breathing as "filling the large balloons called your lungs in your chest, then squeezing the air out like toothpaste using your sit up muscles."
How do you prevent the breath from just getting pressed out, though? They need to be able to keep it balanced.
Two ideas, I'm sure the first is no problem, I wonder if you can see any trouble with the second.
My dialogue in class: "WHat is breathing in? Where does the air go?"
"Into your lungs"
"How does it get there?"
"OK. Here are two statements, tell me which is true. ONE: the air goes into your lungs and that makes them bigger. TWO: You make your lungs bigger and the air goes into them"
The majority, but not all, vote for A. I get out a plastic file pocket, still flat.
"How much air in that?"
I then open up the file pocket with my hand.
"How much air in it now?"
"Lots" They then all vote for B.
"You lot have been making your lungs bigger to let the air in all day, and you didn't even have to think about it. But let's try to make them a bit biggerer" And we work with chests, ribs, tummies, backs, everything in fact except shoulders. And pulling up from underneath. To start with they think the biggest breath they can take is the one that requires the most physical exertion, that is, tummies right in, shoulders up and a constipated look on their faces. And of course it all falls out on the first note
The other thing I invented several years ago with a very good 11-year-old, and it was for feeling the support in the lower abs. Although we had been considering the diaphragm, this one concentrated on the rib expansion.
I asked her to imagine there was a cable with a hook on the end, hooked into her ribs on each side, and the other end was attached to a nearby wall, so that when she breahed in, her ribcage was not going to collapse.
Now she had to sing a long string of light, quick la-la-la-las. Ordinarily, when the breath had started to flow out, so the pressure in her lungs is less, because "Mother Nature doesn't believe in vacuums (you should see her carpets, ugh)" if she's relaxed her ribs will go in. However, her ribs are chained to the wall and can't go in. So the only way the pressure can be maintained is from underneath, and the lower abdominals sill spontaneously contract. I discovered this by accident myself, and it was a weird sensation at first.
It's the start of the sensations needed for this delicate balancing act. I'm almost afraid to use the term "support" because I think it can lead to overexertion in all muscles concerned.
It certainly helped this girl, but then she was physically at least averagely mature. And we were working one-to-one
Gosh, I haven't thiought about that one for years! I've burgered up my own larynx and can't demonstrate any more, so I don't do ANY voice teaching any more, but I sometimes miss being able to.