Some singing and breathing exercises

An excerpt from  the website of Aaaron Matthew  Link. "Breathing For Singing. Does It Really Matter?"  Explains why good musical directors ensure their choirs take breathing seriously
"Because without breath, without air, we have no voice… we have no sound!. We need breath in order to produce the sound that is our voice. This is why most vocal instructors would emphasize on breath training right from the very beginning, putting students through rigorous breath training in order to build a good strong foundation for singing. However, before we move on to even the most basic of our breathing exercises, we need to first know how to execute good breathing for singing. This would involve a certain muscle in our body called the Diaphragm, as well as other supporting muscles around the diaphragm. Our diaphragm is actually a thin sheet of muscle separating our rib cage from the rest of our organs below it (including our stomach and intestines). Its function is to regulate the flow of air in our body, by contracting and relaxing whenever we inhale and exhale respectively. You may have noticed by now, that you can’t really control your diaphragm when you breathe. It moves involuntarily, meaning you can’t tell it to go up or go down like other muscles like your biceps or triceps. What you can do though, is to inhale and exhale, and this causes the diaphragm to contract and relax automatically. So, how do we practice our breathing exercises if we can’t control how our diaphragm moves? We can control the muscles surrounding the diaphragm, namely the intercostal muscles around our ribs, as well as our abdominal muscles."

 At the beginning of all rehearsals at LaVoce, Sarah de Jong, takes us through a series of exercises not only to get our voices ready for the singing ahead but also to get us in the habit of exercising our voices.