Develop positive muscle memory
Playing a wind instrument, singing, and speaking all create resistance to the unobstructed natural flow of exhaled breath. This resistance, whether caused by the larynx, tongue, lips, or a reed, creates a different outflow, and requires breath management for maximum efficiency. Over the years, you may develop unconscious physical habits that are counterproductive to efficient breath management.
If you establish positive muscle memory away from your performance activity, your focus will be stronger and easier to maintain when you perform. Developing positive muscle memory when you are not concentrating on performance content will bring unexpected benefits to your normal practice and performance.
Getting Started with the breath awareness tool
After exhaling, fasten the Breath Awareness Tool around your lower abdomen as you would a belt, with the padded section facing your body and the Velcro® section facing out. When sufficiently tightened, its resistance will increase your awareness of your breath’s expansion and contraction.
One of the five exercises included with the breath awareness tool.
Try alternating your hand with the Breath Awareness Tool while working on managing your exhalation. As a general rule, use only the first two thirds of your breath capacity before breathing again. We cannot efficiently manage the breath if we run out of air.
At the start of the exhalation, count out loud with a full voice, pausing for a second between each number. What does your body do to keep the air from rushing out between the numbers? Try to remain expanded and engaged, instead of allowing your breath (support) to collapse between numbers.