The topic I’ve been waiting for!
1. Yes, more so now as I realised that some of my students didn’t know how to do it properly and they were breathing too much or too little and expelling breath on the on/offset. Some just need a recap if they’ve slipped into bad habits (over-breathing in particular – I spotted this after a teacher spotted ME doing it when having singing lessons!) Some don’t need to learn it because they have a controlled, steady, even sound!
2. I aim to get the student to understand that it’s exactly the same as every day breathing and intake of breath before speaking. I get them to be able to easily activate the breathing that’s completely automatic in our bodies! Physically, it’s to help them relax and engage with the diaphragm. Sonically, they can hopefully hear a clear, steady sound and also feel the resonance within their mouth/chest, without an exasperated, breathy result, or any leftover breath/breathlessness. Finally, psychologically it helps them realise that the sound is NOT bigger than them, therefore they don’t need to tense up in apprehension because their bodies are stronger, more capable and has more capacity than they realise!
3. I only teach 45 minute lessons, so I cover this in lesson one and expect them to engage their breathing before they arrive for lesson. If they seem particularly tense after a stressful day at work/school, I get them to do stretches and relax their shoulders and neck muscles etc. Normally only takes a couple of minutes. If they seem unable to engage in a few minutes, then repetition of breathing exercises is something they need to do every day in their own time and keep me posted if there’s any issues!
Over and out…