It's here. We can feel it and smell it in the air. Playbill and Backstage are starting to fill up with audition notices, so we want to make sure that you guys are armed, dangerous and ready to pack some vocal power as we head into Fall audition season.
Here's the thing...auditions can be unnerving and they can take their toll. So Innovative wanted to share a quick tip that will help to slow down and ensure that you're in the driver seat before heading into the room. Your breath is a blueprint for your sound, so it's important that your breath is serving you efficiently. Over the years, Innovative Voice Studio has found that floor breathing is a useful technique in unlocking your breath (and sound) and calming nerves.
Here's HOW to do it:
Begin by lying down on the floor with your knees bent, with your arms placed by your side. Place a book (or something of comparable size and weight) on your belly. Ensure that the top of the book is resting on top of your sternum, and the bottom over your navel. Take a few deep breaths in and aim to get the object to rise evenly across its surface area. If you find the only the top of the book is rising, then you're probably not getting a lot of motion in the diaphragm and the lower (floating) ribs, and if only the bottom is rising, then your upper ribcage and sternum probably need to open and expand more. Imagine a balloon inflating as you inhale, and the balloon deflating as you exhale.
You don't need to force the book up into the air - in fact, it may not even move that much to start out and that's okay. The key is that the ribcage is openly evenly and circumferentially- and you are not using your lower back to create a lift. Breathing is a 360 experience, so allow the back ribs to move into the floor and you're doing this exercise.
Do this for about 3-5 minutes, and see if you can replicate the free and easy sensations while standing.
Here's WHY to do it:
This is a diaphragmatic breathing exercise, which is helpful in the following ways:
- Increasing oxygen levels in your body
- Reducing anxiety and calming nerves
- Improving deep abdominal and pelvic floor function
- Improving overall posture
- Exercising the breathing muscles needed for powerful singing
If you need some guidance with this exercise, come on by the studio and we would be happy to assist!
Break legs out there!