Another Way to look at BRAAP™

If you have studied with me or read anything I’ve written over the past 10+ years, you probably know that I have created an acronym for my approach to basic vocal technique. This acronym is

  • B – Breath
  • R – Resonance
  • A – Alignment
  • A – Articulation
  • P – Phonation

Or – BRAAP™, which my friend Carolina Kipnis says sounds like an extended belch.

So be it. Both singing and belching are done on the exhalation.

(With apologies to Bill Watterson)

Today I read a blogpost by one of my pedagogical heroes, Robert Edwin. He was a clinician at the first NATS summer workshop I attended, and made me feel excited about opening my studio and the work I would be doing with singers. I felt like I COULD DO THIS.

In this blogpost, which was found on another blog site to which I subscribe, Singing in Popular Musics, Mr. Edwin tells us to pay attention to the “Tions.” This is pretty much the same idea as BRAAP for me, but here’s how he breaks it down:

  1. Body posiTION – what I call Alignment
  2. RespiraTIONBreath
  3. AudiaTION – this is something different. This is about listening, both inside your head as you mentally hear the pitches before you sing them and externally as they come out. In other words, singing in tune.
  4. PhonaTION – same term as I use for creating the sound
  5. RegistraTION – of course I use this, although not necessarily as a specific term when we’re first starting. I do have Range & Registration vocalises in addition to the basic BRAAP™ ones.
  6. ResonaTION – another term for Resonance, which I will be focusing on in tomorrow’s “Warm-up Wednesday!”
  7. ArticulaTION – One of my favorite topics, and one which I covered in the very first Warm-up Wednesday
  8. EmoTION – This is WHY WE SING (see title of this blog), and while I don’t break it down in vocalises per se, it is a part of every lesson I teach, in the Curiously Stronger Performing component of my studio (studio classes, courses, masterclasses, etc.), and in every performance I give, no matter the genre or venue.

I’d like to work more with the idea of audiation, although I feel as though a lot of pitch problems are the result of their registration being wonky. Perhaps more listening work needs to be done in 2021….

Everything fits together. Nothing exists in a vacuum.

For other interesting POVs, check out Singing in Popular Musics.

You can check out my Warm-up Wednesday series on Instagram (mezzoid) or on YouTube.

Do you agree with my breakdown of technique? Do you agree with Robert Edwin’s? Feel free to expand upon your viewpoints in the comments.


If you’d like to know more about BRAAP™ or Curiously Stronging Singing & Performing, please feel free to contact MVS to set something up in the new year!

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.

2 thoughts on “Another Way to look at BRAAP™

What do you think?

This site uses cookies 🍪 (but never oatmeal raisin)

Continuing to use this site means that you are cool with cookies

%d bloggers like this: