Why Should a Brilliant Violinist or Trumpet Player Start Singing?!
Imagine there is a blockage when it comes to practicing,
you are tired and exhausted even before having started?
There are passages which you can’t
manage although tried over and over again. "No chance!" passages?
You are sometimes too nervous on stage to
play calmly and without trembling
and you are playing the piece differently to an
amount, because of fear?
There are instrumentalists and even singers among us
that maintain that singing and breathing lessons
can help in all these and many other matters.
There seem to be methods and techniques among
instrumentalist who use breathing methods
and their whole body when playing.
By not moving around wildly, or inhaling and exhaling,
mainly in a controlled way, but also by
using their breathing and letting breath flow as it
comes and goes in a natural way - this enhances the flow in playing.
For some of them it is playing without being afraid of a passage. Or even without the fear of breathing itself, as they are saying. But how can we reach this goal - natural breathing and stressless playing?
Voice coaching and singing for instrumentalists?
Many instrumentalists, whether in classical music,
jazz or any other of the many styles,
swear that singing brought them back to their music life -
to real life.
One thing is certain: singing is breathing - exhaling.
Singers learn how to breathe naturally,
they have to work on their body awareness and
on releasing un-natural tensions
which hinders them to produce sound.
Their instruments are their bodies,
so they know how to look after their bodies well in a conducive way.
So why not take care about our
bodies and physical well-being first,
before starting with our every day practicing and jobs?
This way, there is
a certain distance to our
daily routine and we create a good start into the world of feelings,
sensibility and creativity.
It seems to be that physical well-being is naturally
followed by mental and emotional well-being and naturally
also the other way round.
Thus singing creates release in body and mind,
feelings of happiness through hormones,
attentiveness and mental power.
If we look after our bodies, we will find out more quickly,
why something goes eventually wrong sometimes.
After a time certain obstacles will not occur any more.
The concept of singing lessons and training
in breathing naturally can help to overcome feelings of
pressure and nervousness, fear or even boredom.
It can enhance creativity, stimulate energies and
give power and strength.
Breathing naturally and fluently can change your whole life.
Your personality develops and unfolds,
which is beneficial for your overall musical performance,
output and creativity!
Musicians, who have already had the experience
of singing and breath training
say that they’ve always made use of
the positive effects of these activities.
Why sing when you are a brilliant
percussionist or violin player? Just for breathing techniques?
In jazz, as an example, we have always wondered
why great bassists, guitarists and piano players often
sing along as they improvise.
Why many of the best horn, trumpet or cornet
players also happen to be great singers
- Louis Armstrong, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn...?
Great musicians all around the world seem to
have developed the ability to sing,
whether they’ve had singing lessons or not.
For all of us, from the music professional
to the leisure time music lover,
singing is definitely a natural part of musical
development and artistic expression.
The voice is our first instrument and everyone can play it.
For serious musicians, the voice is actually a crucial part
of all their technique and one that can always be improved upon.
So what does Andrea Bischof, a professor at MdW say about singing and
breathing lessons for instrumentalists?
„Breathing is an absolute matter of course,
when teaching instrumentalists and singers,
breathing is always essential.
You can notice if a musician is breathing or not.
Breathing is life, life is music, music is life,
life means breathing!“
For Andrea Bischof conscious breathing and
singing is a matter of course when teaching instrumentalists.
She always sings with her students in her chamber music lessons,
she very often doesn’t even have her violin with her.
Andrea Bischof has been taking singing lessons
from a young age, it is her passion. „We,
some members of the Concentus Musicus Wien,
often do enjoy singing together after concerts -
madrigals for example...Breathing plays an important role
for the text behind the music,
the rhetoric that reveals the
overall message and richness of what composers and interprets
want to convey.
Breathing is essential for the composition,
of course for the phrasing, conscious breathing
and knowing about breathing techniques help to perform adequately.“
A student of hers managed to play precise
entries by using breathing techniques;
letting the breath flow naturally helped her use
the bow at the beginning of the phrase entry calmly
without any trembling.
Students at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
are offered extra voluntary breathing lessons with Prof. Leutgeb.
Andrea Bischof emphasizes that music is
‚speaking‘ and the text of the music requires
adequate and conscious breathing.
Andrea is a permanent member of Concentus Musicus Wien and Quatuor Mosaiques.
Brigitte Ulbrich is a
Speech- and voice coach and Atem-Tonus-Ton® practitioner.
"Voice is music, it reflects emotions and moods,
a versatile instrument.
To speak effectively means to communicate clear
thoughts, to be clear for ourselves and others,
to create resonance and response.
Inner and external balance, working with our own
voice, without judging, are the basics for development and
leads to effective and authentic expression - whether for singers,
instrumentalists or any other person who looks
for harmonious and authentic expression."
You can find Brigitte's website