Welcome to Diction For Singers!

The Singer's Voice: Breath

Additional Information

Authors Joan Wall and Robert Caldwell
ISBN 1934477120
Length 1 DVD
Price $95.00
B. Raymond Fink, M.D.

“The Vocal Folds videotapes explain how the sounds of the singing voice originate and outline the basic principles of training. Simple but quite accurate colored drawings of the larynx are animated to show the way the parts work together. The narrative is lucid, beautifully spoken, perfectly timed and technically accurate, yet easily understandable to the non-specialist.”
University of Washington School of Medicine.

breathing techniques for singing from movie about how to sing

The Singer’s Voice Breath will help you deliver the core concepts of breath support to your students rapidly and effectively.

sample clip from the film Breath

Often, the simplest animation illustrates the concepts most profoundly—and this is the case with Breath. 

This much-loved animation shows how the lungs, ribs, diaphragm, and abdominals work in concert for optimal singing. You and your students see them in full motion, individually, part-by-part, with each other, and all together.

The imagery is colorful and compelling because it follows human rhythms and involves the viewer. For instance, with elegant simplicity, as the animated ribs expand on the screen, it is difficult not to feel your own ribs expand, or as the diaphragm descends, stretching the passive lungs, it hard not to feel an expansion of your torso.

The animated graphics enable you to offer multiple points of view—a view from the front, the side, even the inside, allowing you to deliver a complete foundation for understanding all aspects of breath for singing. For instance, the cut-away views of the diaphragm depict what is happening inside the diaphragm while it is in motion. And the outline of a human body fading in every now and then shows the relationship for the breathing mechanism to the whole body. 

Because of its simplicity and clarity, you can use the animation effectively for all of your students, from beginners to advanced. 


For the accompanying text, see Beginning the Process, the section "The body: The vocal instrument," and the subsection, "Breath" beginning on page 157.

For further essays and pragmatic applications of the ideas in this film, see Mastering the Fundamentals and the section "Teaching and Learning Flexible Breath" beginning on page 47.

For further expansion of how the ideas in this film lead to differences in the sound's dynamic level (amplitude), see the clip on sound at the vocal folds (from The Human Voice)

These units represent an example of the integrated "mix 'n match" materials you can draw from the platform to enrich your teaching.


To see how Breath fits into the larger multimedia platform, click on the following links:

overview of the pedagogy multimedia platform

organization of the pedagogy multimedia platform

reviews from across the multimedia platform

why multimedia?

sample chapter 8 “Breath” (from Mastering the Fundamentals)

sample clip of “sound at the vocal folds” (from The Human Voice)

sample clip of “formants” (from The Human Voice)


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