TOP VOCAL COACH GREEN BAY, WI BREATHE AND SUPPORT
It looks as if everybody is aware that breathing technique is vital to singing. Even those who are yet to take a voice lesson are aware that there is a right way for singers to breathe, although they may not know how to go about it. Though they may not fully comprehend what it is, they may have heard that 'diaphragmatic breathing' is the basis of perfect singing.
Unfortunately, the appropriate mechanism of breathing is not fully understood by both the untrained singer and the singer under training. Phrases like 'breath from the diaphragm' and 'support the tone' are most times misused within the pedagogic circles. This is because it is assumed that the student will easily comprehend these vague suggestions and apply them without any difficulty to his or her singing. Another incorrect assumption is that the vocal teacher well understands the expressions and that he can easily pass the knowledge to his students. Regrettably, most of the teachers, except by utmost confidence, are not able to assist their students in achieving mastery of their breath for singing as they do not have a full understanding of what proper breath management entails.
Before continuing this article, I wish to issue a warning to singers who are learning how to support their voices when singing correctly: most of the teachers do not understand it, and most singing instructors do not teach suitable or harmless methods. I will equally discuss some wrong procedures of breath management and explain why such techniques are dangerous to the body, not healthy and of no effect – why they interfere with the proper function of the body and do not bring out the expected results.
It is of great importance for a singer to know how to manage his breath appropriately if he is to sound good and sing with expertise. Having an understanding of the positive or negative effects of breath management on the quality of the voice could help to heighten proper breath support and its advantages.
The outcomes of correct breathing technique may include being able to; accurately control the breath and the quality of the voice’s tone, use the breath more efficiently resulting in reduction of air in the sound, sustain notes for a more extended period and to sing phrases that are longer, improve on lung capacity, a natural (unforced) increase in volume, improved overall stamina or endurance, reduce stress in the chest, shoulders, neck and face, less pressure on the vocal folds, and better oxygenation of the entire body.
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF BREATHING
Breathing is an action which maintains homeostasis or balance in the body, and the autonomic nervous system regulates it. Breathing assists in controlling the appropriate inhalation of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide.
The diaphragm which response to different signals from the nervous system houses both the muscle and tendons that stretches across the lower part of the ribcage. Contraction takes place when the diaphragmatic muscle shortens and tightens and goes downward in the body when we breathe in. A vacuum is created in the lungs, and air quickly fills that vacuum when the diaphragm compresses. The diaphragm rises and relaxes when exhalation occurs, and the volume of the lung is reduced, resulting in positive difference and air gushes out. The expelled air from the lungs goes up through the trachea (windpipe) and gets filtered out through the nose or the mouth. (When there is a resistance against the air at the laryngeal level - that is, when the vocal folds are approximated - sound, or voice, is produced.)
A large percentage of the autonomic nervous system actions such as heart rate, respiration rate, urination, digestion, salivation, perspiration, dilation of the pupils and sexual are involuntary – they occur without the consciousness of the mind, while some such as breathing work in the awareness of the mind. That is, our breathing can be controlled, stopped and started as we wish, determining the quantity of air we want to inhale or exhale per given breath or choosing the rate at which we want to go through each breath cycle. Thus, making it easy for us to develop our breathing skills and improve on them to last for a more extended period and intensity of singing tasks (in comparison to the duration and severity of speaking tasks). The different dynamics and demands of singing heightened the reason why breath management technique and skills are imperative.
So of what relevance is the physiological mechanism of breathing to singers? The breath fuels the voice. The mechanism of breathing is the voice’s ‘motor’ which provides the ability to sustain notes or passages and give energy to the tone. There are thirty-six muscles used in breathing for singing and without the diaphragm and the surrounding tissues that support its work, air will not be able to come in or go out of the lungs. And without expelling the air from the lungs which move upward and out of the body through the system of tubes in our head, neck, and chest, the vocal folds will not be able to vibrate (It is the air that passes between the closed vocal folds that bring about their buzzing and oscillation) and if the vocal folds do not vibrate there won’t be production of sound or voice. Breathing out the noise produced in the ‘voice box’ or larynx is much more than speaking or singing. (Reading the Anatomy of the voice will give more insight into the physiological mechanism of breathing.) However, our approach to breath, the methods we apply, shows the significant difference in the quality and skilfulness of that voice.
Initially, majority of the vocal students see breath management as a tedious and unnatural activity that they must manage to do when singing, as if they are the two different tasks that they must learn to do on their own simultaneously, such as rubbing their stomach and patting their heads at the same time, instead of the actual activity that will enable them to produce good sound and sing skilfully. For this type of student who doesn’t seem to comprehend the essential link between the air they use and the sound they make, the tremendous amount of concentration is needed to breathe appropriately and efficiently while vocalizing and they may not readily understand how to get the expected results. Sooner than later, breathe management will become intrinsic or instinctive.
It is imperative to be enlightened that the difference between breathing for singing and breathing for other daily activities is not in the mechanisms but how our airflow is regulated by us because our body demands differently for air changes with different activities. Though, still within the expected natural functioning of the body, ‘natural breathing’ used during speech is not enough for high singing demands. Our bodies do not require much oxygen during ordinary claims like resting or speaking as we inhale or exhale in a more relaxed mood and smoothly. A cycle of air exchange takes place approximately in four to six seconds, and it varies with the person. However, when singing, we should inhale faster and deeply but exhale slowly and steadily extending the breath.
A higher rate of breath energy and extended breath cycle is needed when singing than speaking. (Expiration rate during singing has to be made slower compared to speech, especially during passages or notes of durations higher than the normal 'at rest' breathe cycle.) This higher demand for stamina and energy requires extra control and coordination of the muscle to provide support for the work of the diaphragm and function of the larynx, and this is part that must be worked on during training. For breath management capabilities to be extended learned controls be mastered. Vocal students have to know how to prolong their normal breath cycle by staying in the inspiratory position for as long as they can, keeping a raised sternum (but the clavicle or the shoulders need not be raised), no (or little) displacement of the chest, making the muscles of the lateral abdominal wall to stay close to the position of inhalation and prolonging early ribcage collapse. (More information on this technique is given in Appoggio, below.)
WHAT IS 'SUPPORT'?
Though the majority of the teachers and singers may appear to have a generalized view or definition; the methods applied or approach used to achieve ‘breath support’ varies per person, taking into consideration also the technique, training and style applied. ‘Support’ refers to the method of using other parts of the body (such as muscles) in conjunction with the works of the lungs and larynx to achieve the desired outcomes which include sustaining notes for a longer period, ability to sing extended phrases and produce better tone. 'Support,' 'breath support' or 'supporting the tone' is about the successful connection of the musculature of the body (the abdomen and the back primarily) and the larynx (to produce tone and sound.) Many teachers, as well as myself, prefer to call how a singer regulates airflow using the lower the body based on his or her immediate vocal demands 'breath management' pointing out intentional and successful coordination or skilfully directing attention and energy in the direction of breathing work.
Breath management has two essential aspects which are: 1: the regulation of both the amount of air that moves past the vocal folds and the pace at which air moves out of the lungs, and 2: ensuring a steady stream of air. Allowing the diaphragm to make a slow rise, using the inhaling muscles in such a way that little and regular stream of air passes past the vibrating folds is an excellent method of managing the breath or supporting the tone. This will further be explained in the section entitled Appoggio.
Support functions through the contraction of the abdominal muscles, increased pressure in the abdomen and thorax, and allowing the relaxation of the diaphragm to be more carefully controlled. Contracting a muscle requires more control that relaxing it; this makes support to give singers a way of being in control of their sound of phonation. Though there are various approaches to it, there are two main schools of teaching about the breath: (1) compressing the abdomen during phonation (i.e., on the exhalation) to ‘support’ the breath or (2) allowing the diaphragm to work on the inhalation, and riding its relaxation on the outgoing breath (i.e., during phonation) by relaxing the abdominal muscles as much as possible during inhalation and phonation.
Though the majority of the teachers do suggest that the upper torso, particularly the shoulder girdle, be in a top relaxed position, even when vocal demands are high, the extent to which ribs action is encouraged differs among techniques. Most importantly, a singer desires access to all the "breath resources" present without harming the ability to produce sound freely, that is without unnecessary stress.
'BREATHING FROM THE DIAPHRAGM'
The term mostly used in vocal pedagogy and amateur singing environments is 'breathing from the diaphragm.' It is being implied that the airflow is controlled by the diaphragm which provides support for the singing voice and it is also assumed that we can learn how to control the movements of the diaphragm actively.
However, you should note that you cannot consciously engage the diaphragm to pull in new breath nor to drive up air to expel breath during singing. Besides, during singing, the membrane becomes passive and this takes place during the exhalation phase of breathing, and active control cannot be exerted over its movements. (In managing breath for singing, we learn how to be in control of the muscles that interact with the diaphragm and that support its actions.)
These scientific facts tend to lead to having a wrong knowledge of what 'diaphragmatic breathing' is all about. This ideology leads to laying unnecessary emphasis on the diaphragm, an organ that is not under our conscious control, instead of the muscles that we should develop and learn to control when singing. (However, if we were to change it to 'muscular breathing' instead, many singers may start attempting to apply muscular force to push their voices out of their bodies, the same thing being taught and practiced in 'belly breathing.')
Also, it is assumed that whether effectively regulated, appropriate, efficient or not, all breathing makes use of the diaphragm, besides making use of the term 'diaphragmatic breathing' is unnecessary. These will make teachers and singers to have a clearer understanding if the term 'breath management' or 'arpeggio' is used, (which is a technique by which singers retard the rise of the diaphragm by actively be in control of the back and abdominal muscles that act upon it), instead.
Anyhow, the diaphragm is considered to be the chief organ of breathing in connection with the intercostal (back) and abdominal muscles. The movement of the diaphragm set the motion for various reactions that take place in the lungs, larynx and mouth or nose. Moreover, it is the muscles that provide support for the work of the diaphragm - the intercostal are primarily involved in inhalation and the abdominal muscles in the exhalation - which should be the focus of a singer's training in effective breath management. In other words, though 'diaphragmatic breathing' is a vague term, it should not be discarded.
Most of the time, when the term 'breathe from the diaphragm' is being used, the understanding always appears to be the expansion of the area a little below the diaphragm, and it is necessary to use the abdominal muscles to support the singing voice.
Many people assume that diaphragmatic breathing is unique to singing alone, they see it as a unique skill they must learn instead of the natural ways the body works. However, the underlying fact is that we were born without being taught how to breathe and we did breathe properly.
Many people assume that diaphragmatic breathing is unique to singing alone, they see it as a unique skill they must learn instead of the natural ways the body works. However, the underlying fact is that we were born without being taught how to breathe and we did breathe properly when we first came out of the womb. The tummies of sleeping babies move comfortably without putting any stress or movements on their chests and shoulders. The parts of their bodies which provide support their breathing are well coordinated and synchronized. Likewise, an adult breathes appropriately when they are in a relaxed mood or sleeping and are not trying to exert any control over it. Even when there is a need for more oxygen due to intense physical activity or in response to adrenaline boosts (when we get scared), the body knows how to handle such situations naturally.
So much emphasis has been laid on 'breathing from the diaphragm' while singing because 'diaphragmatic breathing' is natural and ideal. Breathing naturally allows us to regulate our airflow and it is proper when we are speaking, singing, exercise or watching television. Breathing properly for singing is much more than just a trick or some specialized skills that must be learned by the singer. It is as a result of the natural functioning of the human body; it is about how our bodies were structured to inhale and exhale air. The mechanism for breathing in singing is not different from the breathing technique used by the body during other activities
It is necessary to know that 'breathing from the diaphragm' and 'breathing from the belly is not the same. The technique in breath support that is commonly referred to as 'diaphragm breathing' (when used in the right context) should not be mixed up with 'belly breathing.' In contrast to 'belly breathing' 'breathing from the diaphragm does not involve pushing or forcefully expelling air, and it is the internationally accepted method of supporting the singing tone that is proper, natural, mild and secured.
In diaphragmatic breathing, the tone depends on the little or regular stream of air that stabilizes and makes the tone consistent. The diaphragmatic breathing is at times wrongly referred to as 'breathing from the belly,' and the reason for that is because the majority of the movements that are seen when someone is breathing naturally occurs in the abdominal and lower rib areas.
The downward movement of the diaphragm makes little or less room for the internal organs in the abdomen, forcing them to move a little outward with the belly swelling. The absence of ribs in this area which would have held the belly in like a girdle of bone and restricts the diaphragms movement makes the belly movement obvious.
It should be properly understood that the belly does not breathe on its own as the lungs are situated above the diaphragm and the stomach. The movement of the abdomen is only in response to the upward and downward changes of the diaphragm and the contraction and expansion of the 'support muscles.'
A specific self-professed 'vocal release method' professional criticized the diaphragmatic breathing technique on his website, claiming that the diaphragmatic breathing was a product of an unsuccessful opera singer who later became a teacher and transferred this 'dangerous' breathing technique to others. He says that this wrong teaching has affected the whole classical singing world, causing a great deal of damage to singers and destroying their vocal health and careers.
Sadly, this vocal coach has had his share of bad teachers in the past - he talks about his failure in vocal training- when he was not given any concrete instruction about what diaphragmatic breathing entails or what appoggio technique is. And he is not different from others who have also mixed it up with 'pushing or 'belly breathing' which is the involvement of excessive muscular movement deep and too low in the body when exhaling breathe. In this pushing technique, excessive air pressure is blown past the vocal folds at once, and this can harm the vocal instrument.
The 'natural' breathing is limited and may not be good for singing tasks that are quite demanding, though it may be enough for phrases that are short and permits constant breath renewals between them, it is not really adequate for vocal tasks that are more intense (i.e., phrases or passages that are longer, sustained notes or high lying tessituras that are more common in classical vocal literature.)
Elite singers must learn to improve their breath management technique above 'diaphragmatic breathing' to skilfully execute challenging vocal lines, without interfering with the same natural functioning of the body's breathing mechanism. This is the reason for developing appoggio and why it is being used by many top singers to help provide support for their breath.
The terms 'diaphragmatic breathing' and 'breathing from the belly' are most times interchanged with one another by the novice who is not familiar with singing pedagogy terms or who use them carelessly. Nevertheless, diaphragmatic breathing should not be mixed up with 'belly breathing' which is a dangerous technique whereby singers will use too much muscular force when they breathe out and expand all the torso areas, down to the pelvis.
This flawed technique may be implemented by tutors who instruct their students to widen their entire abdominal area to the hypogastric (pelvic and lower abdominal) region instead of the epigastric area alone - the region sandwiched between the bottom of the sternum and the navel and stretching up to the lower part of the ribs on each side. This distinct technique, called Bauchaussenstï¿½tz, traces it's rooted to the German school of singing.
Some deluded and poorly informed teachers will ask students to place their hands below their navel button when rehearsing breathing exercises or singing. The wrong assertion frequently made is that massive expansion of the lower torso leads to a lesser diaphragm, which affords the lungs more room and thus more capacity for air. Then, the student is made to think that thrusting upward and downward using the abdominal muscles when exhalating ( during phonation, or singing) creates space for more air out of the lungs, hence a higher singing capacity or vocal energy.
Indeed, these assertions are not built on either logic or scientific conclusions. The diaphragm is not situated in the umbilical and hypogastric areas of the body, and it is the area above somewhat beneath the navel that should be observed for expansion and contraction during inhalation and exhalation. Also thrusting air out speedily more frequently than not results to compressed or breathy tones, which are void of resonance stability, are reduced in volume and moving variation, are threats to the vocal folds, and do not manage the airflow correctly.
This possibility of a lot of singers to breathe insufficiently into their abdomens, needless expanding of the entire area beneath the ribs has no sense in it. The tendon at the center of the diaphragm lies comparatively high in the torso - estimated at the fifth rib - and is linked to the pericardium, which houses the heart. The diaphragm itself succeeds the lateral anterior contour of the rib cage. It does not stretch very low - during inhalation, it often descends less than two inches - and air does not fill up spaces beneath the lungs. The belly is not capable of regulating the breathing process- there is vacuity of air under the lungs that requires upward movement by the muscles of the pelvic region - but because of what it spells out, using the personalized expression 'breathing from the belly' in the stead of 'breathing from the diaphragm' or 'arpeggio' may give rise to erroneous thinking and hence wrong and imminent injury to breath management techniques in misguided vocal students who are short-changed of appropriate scientific information.
Expanding or pushing the lower stomach outward forces the lower trunk and laryngeal tensions, including surging subglottic pressure by creating massive opposition to the air leaving, and may precipitate forcing phonation. Also, pushing down on the abdomen forces the ribs to go inward and the sternum to fall. Lung volume will be depleted owing to contact of the abdominal musculature with the lower ribs has dropped. Breathing through the is, thus, an unreliable and unhealthy way to go about breathing for singing, and should never be considered a proper method of actualizing good support.
"CLAVICULAR (CHEST) BREATHING" AND "UPPER DORSAL BREATHING"
Most vocalists allow their shoulder girdles and clavicles to rise while they breathe. This breathing pattern is the kind we often resort to when sighing and there is a need to quickly fill our lungs with more air, something that has been described as "the breath of exhaustion."
This form of breathing leads to chest displacement, the breakdown of the sternum, and a loss of friction between upper and lower torso muscle groups. (Giving the ribs the chance to expand and the lungs to still high as they inflate, and prevents not only the lower lobes of the lungs from filling and moving downward, but it also presents a hassle for the muscles that support breathing to function. The muscles that aids to pull the diaphragm downward during inhalation and those that move it in the opposite direction in the course of exhalation need to work in synergy with the diaphragm to foster maximum intake and expiration of air. These muscles can't function independently. It is also loud and strenuous, and leads to elevated rates of breath emission.
There should be reduced displacement of the chest during inhalation (including breath refreshing) and phonation. The rib cage must not fall when every phrase is completed. Though the upper body should not remain stiff, it should maintain its 'exalted' position all through the breath cycle.
'TANKING UP' OR INHALING TOO DEEPLY
In a venture strategy to evade gasping for breath, most singers will inhale as much air as possible, without considering the length of the phrase or note that succeeds the breath renewal. This breathing style frequently results in a high density around the lungs and too quick breath expulsion. (These same vocalists are often 'clavicular' breathers, who demand for air between phrases to give out the left 'stale' air and inhale 'fresh' air, as though their breath have been held under water for prolonged periods and are rising to the surface.
It is unnecessary for a singer to take in more deeply than is needed for the vocal task that will immediately succeed the breath renewal. 'Tanking up' for lengthy phrases results to issues such as tensions all through the body caused by displacement of the chest and pulling down of the rib cage, triggering, loud breathing, holding the breath in store for the next phrase. The demand and quick intake of air between phrases may also prompt hyperventilation, light-headedness, and dizziness.
Less noisy breath renewals, breathing calmly and placidly via the nose, are often useful because they precipitate relaxation of the vocal tract and the students learn to pace the inspiratory gesture, as it gulps longer time to fill up the lungs to capacity when inhaling using the nose. In furtherance, they assist to reduce chest displacement. The same pattern of tranquil and calm breath renewal can then be learned when breathing via the mouth, either slow or rapid. (More details on developing good breath pacing can be located in the Breathing Exercises section on the second page of this article.)
Appoggio - culled the Italian verb appoggiare, which means ‘to lean on', 'to be in contact with' or 'to support' - is a studied breathing method that requires slowing down the rise of the diaphragm for improved breath management, leading to the enlarging of the breath cycle in the course of singing. It requires a team action on diaphragmatic movement by the muscles of the thorax (chest) and the abdominal wall (the transverse abdominis, the internal oblique, the external oblique, and the rectus abdominis, but to a lesser extent), and involves having a perfect control over the breathing process through training the muscles, and helps the singer pace the breath better.
It's expedient to have in mind that appoggio while demanding more control than is required during usual activities and needing some extra coordination and training, is an addition of the natural breathing process, not a replacement for it. It is seen as considered the major pathway for breath management within the international classical singing community.
In normal speech production, the rib cage collapses upon exhalation. Appoggio tries to prevent this collapse by maintaining the high inspiratory posture of the rib cage and the sternum - the lengthy flat bone situated in the centre of the thorax (chest), which links to the rib bones via cartilage, establishing the rib cage with them. The technique dampens the rising of the diaphragm, which helps in breath management. Mastering how to gain control over the muscles of the side abdominal wall offers veritable breath brace.
Appoggio involves lifting the sternum before inhalation, making all intentional breathing efforts with the internal and external oblique and transverse abdominis, then keeping the sternum up and not leaving the chest to recoil when filling back the air supply. (This is most times called 'sideways inhalation.') One way of getting this ideal high sternum posture demands to raise both arms above the head - the sternum spontaneously rises when the arms are in this position - suspending, but not holding, the breath with the inspiration muscle system, then bringing the arms low while exhaling slowly without reducing the sternum. Taking the Garcia position, with the palms looking outward and one is placed on top of the other on the sacrum - not the little of the rear, which can cause the back to 'sway' and become very arched - while singing can also promote an opening of the chest wall with an elevated sternum.
If applied the right way, simulating the posture of breath carrying capacity can reduce subglottic pressure. At inspiration, the subglottic stress is at an all-time low and lung volume at its peak. The reduction of the diaphragm and the expansion of the lower ribs make the dimensions of the thoracic cavity to rise in both length and width. Due to its fantastic elasticity, the whole respiratory tree extends downward with the descent of the diaphragm, giving room for higher lung capacity, as the lower lobes of the lungs can now be filled. (Thrusting upward with the abdominal wall causes the diaphragm upward to compress the lungs and decrease their capacity.) Dwelling in the position of the first inhalation gives the singer the feeling of 'singing on the gesture of inhalation' - we don’t inhale while singing, we are only making the gesture, or maintaining the same posture - instead of exhalation, which slows down breath exit, and in turn slows down the return to atmospheric pressure and reduces mounting subglottic air pressure.
In singing, (even in the Italian language itself), the term 'arpeggio' has both an inactive part and an active expression and may differ with various technical approaches. For most singers, breath flow pressure turns out to be a self-sustaining system where the singer experiences the breath pressure in the body as a result of stability. The diaphragm stays relaxed and is influenced rather than being active. Some might, however, say that they intentionally push down against the force of the breath. That way, they are actively looking for something to 'lean on', which serves as a brace (I discovered that a lot of my students at first feel the latter sensation, where they are more conscious of the feeling of pressure in their abdominal, side and back muscles, and then in a gradual process begin to see the technique as easier, more spontaneous and more rewarding over time as their muscles grow stronger and more coordinated with what is happening in their larynxes.)
Inhalation should be followed by a feeling of expansion or wholeness in the epigastric area, including a sense of stretching of the lower ribs. This rib stretching is occasioned by the contraction of the external intercostal muscles and should be felt in any significant inhalation. Furthermore, in addition to expansion at the base of the ribs, it can be experienced at the entrance and sides of the torso, between the tenth rib and the crest of the iliac (upper surface of the hipbone) and in the rear at the eleventh and twelfth ribs. The larger the rib opening and the longer this expansion can be sustained, the higher the downward hydrostatic pressure and the higher the force against the height of the diaphragm. The lateral abdominal increase will finally equate to or even transcend the expansion of the front part of the abdomen when the appoggio system is developed and utilized. The corollary to this is that this rib expansion is the effect that is most conspicuous to the singer.
At the peak of inhalation, when the singer is respiring intensely, and the lower torso is expanded laterally, dorsally and frontally, he or she will most likely feel a sense of 'suspension,' in which it feels as if the voice is settling or leaning on something. When he or she starts to sing, this same feeling should be sustained as long as possible, with the sternum still high, the epigastric area still adequately 'full' and the lower ribs expanded. (It is this setting that stops the diaphragm from rising upward too quickly.) The abdominal muscles should be relaxed, and the singer will find the needed exhalation that will happen without the singer having to be sheer worried about the action of the muscles in the abdominal area. As he or she lands at about the last third of the exhaling breath, the epigastric region will spontaneously shift a little inward, but he or she should try to keep the lower ribs in an outward position as possible, without pulling the muscles outward or downward. This is a learned response that will help decrease the ascent of the diaphragm or avoid its early rise.
This lower rib stretching and the epigastric 'wholesomeness' which create the feeling of inspiration suspension, is "appoggio."
At the beginning, it may seem like you lack enough air, mainly if you are used to hyperextending the support muscles then pulling them upward and inward while you sing, but you will soon discover that your air provision is genuinely sufficient to finish your singing tasks, even lengthy phrases, because the diaphragm is going up slowly and treading the exit of the air to ensure it last for the time interval of the tasks. You will grow stronger and more skilled at controlling and maintaining this lower rib action.
Having the appoggio breathing technique affords the singer a lasting and more reliable air provision (because the air leaving is practically paced in to meet the needs of elongated phrases, irrespective of tessitura or dynamic level), higher balance of tone (because tone is affected largely by the consistency of a singer's breath stream), light execution of enormous intervals, better vocal strength, including greater clarity, accuracy and speed while singing technically challenging passages, and improved breath management when vocalizing very softly. Appoggio makes sure that there is neither much of airflow, (because some of the breath that is leaving are converted into tone by the productively vibrating larynx), nor too much opposition by the vocal folds to the exiting air (la lotta vocale).