Have you ever tried to hold a note or go through a phrase without taking a breath during a song before giving in? Looking at you if you’ve sung along to anything from Pavarotti or “No One Mourns the Wicked” before, for example. Whether you’re a seasoned performer or someone who just loves singing around the house, healthy breathing is essential to anyone who wants to prolong their tenure as a singer.
Last week, world-renowned soprano and arts/health advocate Renée Fleming launched a program in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy at Mount Sinai Union Square. Dubbed “Healing Breath”, these breathing exercises were designed with health and wellness in mind. Particularly during the era of COVID-19, where shortness of breath is also a symptom.
In addition to Fleming’s videos, there are also videos from stars like Christine Baranski, Jamie Barton, Angel Blue, Lawrence Brownlee, Kristin Chenoweth, Kurt Elling, Denyce Graves, Angelique Kidjo, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Vanessa Williams.
As always with these kinds of sessions, please don’t forget to consult your health care team before proceeding.You can go through the entire The Kennedy Center YouTube playlist here or check out the full Google page here. Most of the videos you’ll go through vary in length but can go up to 10 – 11 minutes long. Oh! And you may need straw. That’s all we’ll say for now.
With discussions about mental and physical health happening across the industry, it’s so important to know where you are and what you need to do to take care of yourself. Especially if your in-person performance schedule is picking up again after more than a year or so off due to the pandemic. It’s not selfish—it’s self-care!
What does your routine look like? Is there a video you’re looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below!