My Singing Teacher Says To “Support Your Voice” And “Sing From Your Diaphragm.” What Does It Mean To Use Breath Control? What Does The Diaphragm Look Like?
To understand the relationship between singing and breathing, it is first important to see what the diaphragm looks like and learn how it functions. The diaphragm is a large muscle sheath (pictured below and in video, right) that stretches across the bottom of the rib-cage, nearly cutting the body in half, separating the lower organs from the heart and lungs. During normal breathing, the diaphragm naturally flexes (or flattens) and contracts drawing air in and out of the lungs. “Supporting the voice” and “singing from the diaphragm” means flattening the diaphragm more deeply than during normal breathing and maintaining the diaphragm in that flattened position to control the release of air and the air pressure that streams across the vocal cords for phonation. To sing better, a vocalist must learn to preserve a reservoir of air in the lungs that supports and holds up a small amount of air released across the vocal cords.