Breathing with Interruption

Here is a fantastic exercise to develop your breath control. Lilli Lehmann approved of Oskar Guttmann’s book ‘Gymnastics for the Voice’. This exercise is taken from his book.

Stand in Oskar Guttmann’s base position (I blogged about this in an earlier post). Breathe in through the nose, suspend for 5 seconds and then exhale through the mouth.

‘Breathing with Interruption’ will develop your self-awareness. You will discover there is no need to take in a lot of air to begin with. In fact, taking too much will make the exercise difficult. However, as you increase the duration of the interruption/suspension, you will find you need increasingly more air. Accordingly, you will become aware of not just your abdomen expanding, but also your rib cage and even your back.

In addition to developing your self-awareness, ‘Breathing with Interruption’ will also develop your skills in training your ribs to remain outwards. You will need this skill when you are learning the Great Scale or singing long passages.

Below is the diagram from Mr Guttmann’s book ‘Gymnastics for the Voice’ and a video of a demonstration of the exercise. The video is very boring but the location, the Northern Cape of South Africa, is very pretty!

Published by Deborah Wai Kapohe

I am a classical singer and guitarist. I have created a project called 'The Lilli Lehmann Project'. The project, lasting from 2020 until 2023, aims to refresh my voice and prepare me to be a singing teacher. The scope of the project is that I am studying Lilli Lehmann's singing book, bibliography, recordings and her reviews, as well as other historical vocal pedagogy. I have chosen this platform in order to blog about my discoveries, demonstrate techniques and exercises, and perform pieces of music. I have done so because I wish to be transparent. I think that if a student is prepared to learn from me then I should stand up to public scrutiny.

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