It’s not all about the breath…

Breathing is important. There’s no question about that.

But not every vocal issue is resolved by “getting the breath under it,” “singing on the breath,” or “just support more.”
Some things are resonance based, registration based, a question of constriction. 
No, you can’t be resonant if your breath support is inconsistent, whether you are breathy or pressed. 
And registration can depend on that also.
But maybe your breath support is just fine but your tongue is pulled back. Or you’re nasal.  Or your articulation is not as efficient as it could be.  Or maybe you’re carrying up too much weight and not allowing your voice to transition as needed. 
So it could be alignment. Or articulation. Or registration.
And you’re trying so hard to “support support support” that all the other factors are going out the window. 
When I was a very young teacher, that’s all I knew. “Support! That will fix everything.”
Maybe it is support – but maybe you can’t fix it until you fix your alignment, your articulation, your registration issues. Or maybe the key to fixing it is fixing one of those things. 
  • You fix your physical alignment and your breath can flow more easily
  • You fix your retracted tongue and your vocal folds can respond more effectively to your breath energy
  • You find a lighter mechanism and your breath doesn’t have to work as hard.
What I’m saying is that there are many roads to the same destination. The destination is efficient and functional singing. How do we get there? We can’t all take the same road. Maybe you need to take the scenic route. Maybe the shortest path between two points, if that works for you. 
Jeanie LoVetri says sometimes we have to wait for the bus. Maybe it’s a direct route, maybe non-stop. 

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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