Some singing and breathing exercises

An excerpt from  the website of Aaron 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 emphasise 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. Below are the exercises we use together with a link to recordings of Sarah singing them. If you plan to sing any of the songs we list under Performance and News we suggest you warm up to three of these exercises.


3note scales over 10notes On Mee & Ah       Link
5note scales on Yah                                           Link
9note scales on EeAyAhAyEe                         Link
Arpeggios with Changing Vowels                  Link
Arpeggios&7ths on Ooh & Ee                         Link
Bella Signora-arpeggio&scale                        Link
Changing Volumes on Ah, Ee, Oh, Ooh       Link
Chromatic Scales                                              Link
Lip Trill & Straw 5 note scales                       Link
Long note, Staccato note Arpeggios             Link
Octave Jumps on Mee Mah Mee                   Link
Resinging                                                           Link
To Sit In Sullen Silence                                   Link
Up&Down over10notes in 3rds Mee-Ah      Link