I have many people come to me either in person or over the Internet with some problem or other and tell me that their last teacher told them they needed to remedy the issue with more breath. This advice has tended to be the solution to every vocal problem for many teachers. I have even heard the advice given first hand. I hate to say it, but they are just making the problem worse. In many of these cases the breath is the problem, so by recommending more breath it just makes things worse. The breath needs to be well coordinated to allow the vocal mechanism to function freely. It must be remembered that the voice and the breath must balance each other. If you increase the breath it risks knocking that relationship out of balance. The breath should not be dealt with directly because this imposes the breath onto the voice. Instead we should allow the breath to respond reflexively to the needs of the moment. If we want to crescendo, then we do that and the breathing system reacts to the need to participate. In action it is really quite simple, but it requires that the body be in the proper state, or condition, in order for it to respond reflexively. This is why posture is so important. More on this later.

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