POWERbreathe For Vocalists

POWERbreathe Japan have been supporting several singers with POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training to help them breathe more deeply, control their breath and sustain forceful breathing.

Artists who’ll be undertaking their POWERbreahte Inspiratory Muscle Training include singer-songwriters Chika Takahashi and UKO (Yuko), and vocalists Daisuke and Nona.

Each artist has their own unique style of singing but each vocalist will benefit from POWERbreathe IMT.

Chika Takahashi

Chika, a beautifully soft-voiced neo-acoustic singer has been using POWERbreathe since last year and began using it two-weeks prior to a live performance, afterwards saying how comfortable her breathing was during the performance. She now uses it on a daily basis and takes it with her to all live performances so she can perform a vocal warm-up prior to going on-stage.

You can see Chika talking about POWERbreathe on YouTube >

Daisuke

Daisuke, a versatile singer with a reputation for a powerful falsetto voice has not long started POWERbreathe training.

He says that because you can’t actually see your breathing muscles you don’t think about training them, but after using POWERbreathe he felt immediately how much stronger they would become.

Nona

Nona is a percussionist and vocalist and therefore not only has to have enough breathing stamina to sing, but also to drum at the same time, so her breathing will fatigue quite quickly. By using POWERbreathe daily she will improve her breathing strength and stamina and reduce her breathing fatigue.

UKO (Yuko)

UKO has a mellow and soulful voice, and in 2014 her single “Signal” was nominated for the ‘JBS Music Award’. She’s a very energetic singer and realises how important it is that her breathing muscles are strong in order for her to maintain her energy. POWERbreathe IMT will help her with this as she’ll be training her breathing muscles twice a day to become stronger and more resistant to fatigue.

Find out more about POWERbreathe for vocalists in Japan >

Proper Breathing – POWERbreathe Can Help

Your primary breathing muscle is your diaphragm; a dome shaped thin sheet of muscle separating your rib cage from your abdomen.

When you inhale this dome shape flattens out as your diaphragm contracts, pushing down on the contents of your abdomen (your gut) and increasing the space in your chest cavity.

Because your gut has to go somewhere as your diaphragm descends, it forces it down and out and your tummy expands. Because of this, this natural, healthy and proper way of breathing is often referred to as abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.

If you do already have a good breathing technique it can often go awry when you start exercising as you demand more air and your breathing increases to compensate. This is when your breathing technique can change from good diaphragmatic breathing to reverse breathing i.e. pulling in your tummy as you breathe in and letting your tummy go as you breathe out.

Because your diaphragm is a muscle, you can train it like any other muscle to become stronger and helping you retain that good diaphragmatic breathing even when pushed to your limit. POWERbreathe targets your inspiratory muscles – not only your diaphragm but also your intercostal muscles, the tiny muscles in between your ribs, which are recruited during a slightly forced respiration.

You’ll notice when training with POWERbreathe that you have to work harder to breathe in. This is the effect of resistance training acting on your inspiratory muscles. When breathing out, POWERbreathe offers no resistance because when you exhale normally, your diaphragm and intercostals naturally relax and move back up, pushing the air from your lungs.

POWERbreathe Vocal Performance Case Study

Image from Mountview Academy website

Jon Trevor, TV Expert at Sit-up Channels and Show Business Personal Trainer at Fit4ThePart, led a two-year trial with Dialect Dialogue and Voice Coach, Rick Lipton, at leading UK Drama Academy, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, using POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training as a platform for singers and performers to help enhance their vocal performance.

The trial involved a bespoke combination of physical exercises combined with Inspiratory Muscle Training with POWERbreathe to see if it enhanced the performers’ vocals.

“We found that IMT (Inspiratory Muscle Training) did indeed have a positive effect on vocal performance, in activating the soft pallet and helping participants to identify and control intra-abdominal pressure,” reported Jon Trevor.

Having worked with the students for two years, Jon found that specific POWERbreathe training helped with breath control which in turn resulted in an improvement in vocal ability and vocal performance, “in more ways than just on a physical plain”.

“Having uncontrolled stronger breathing muscles can blow the vocal folds, which is not good for a singer, so my programme is a physical programme designed specifically for singers in combination with IMT that incorporates the learning curve of controlled breath support.”

Inspiratory muscle training with POWERbreathe:

  • Enhances the ability to inflate the lungs (take deeper breaths)
  • Enhances the ability to control the breath
  • Enhances the ability to sustain forceful breathing (breathing does not become fatigued)
  • May affect the intrinsic laryngeal muscles which control the action of the larynx

One of the three mechanisms of voice production is the Air Pressure System which involves the diaphragm, intercostal muscles, ribs, abdominal muscles and lungs. They help in voice production by providing air and by controlling the pressure of that air.

Learning to control your breath will help to control your voice, and by strengthening the breathing muscles used in the Air Pressure System for voice production, you’ll improve your ability to control your breathing. By incorporating POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) into your vocal exercise routine, you’ll help make full use of your lungs, and how well you inhale will affect how well you exhale.

Read more about how POWERbreathe can benefit music and singing , or if you’re already using POWERbreathe to help with your vocal training then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read about how POWERbreathe has been used by other singers and musicians in our Performing Arts blog.

POWERbreathe & Dawkes Music – Case Study

Dawkes MusicOur very own Duncan visited the lovely people at Dawkes Music in Maidenhead recently to present POWERbreathe.

Dawkes Music specialise in woodwind and brass instruments and expressed an interest in POWERbreathe to see if it could be beneficial to the musicians who visit them. But rather than take our word for it, Duncan presented Vicky and Giulia with a POWERbreathe Plus Medium Resistance model each, so that they could experience the breathing training effects for themselves. They plan to use them over the next 4 weeks to see if it helps them hold a note for longer on their instruments.

Before training with their POWERbreathes, Duncan tested them both on the K5 to ascertain their lung volume.

Duncan will be visiting them again this Friday to see if they’re using the POWERbreathe correctly and to offer advice and training tips. And we’ll all be hearing from them again too, as they plan to document their training by posting videos…one of which will be after 4-weeks of using POWERbreathe to see what effect this training has had on their musical performance and lung efficiency.

Thank you to Jon, Vicky and Giulia from Dawkes Music who’ll be sharing their experience with us, and all our POWERbreathe friends, when they produce Part 1 and Part 2 (which should reveal some improvements) of their video blog – coming soon.

If you’re using POWERbreathe training for wind musicians then please leave a comment here, as we’d love to hear from you.