TakeLessons shares a few tricks and breathing exercises for students hoping to become better – and more relaxed – musicians.

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It’s a common misconception that good breathing is only important for singers and for wind instruments, when the truth is it’s essential for musicians of all types to master. TakeLessons (http://takelessons.com), the nation’s fastest growing music lessons provider, took the opportunity to feature a few breathing exercises on their blog, categorized by instrument type.

The following is an excerpt from the blog post:

“For Singers:
If you are a singer, your whole body is your instrument, so in the following exercise, try to be aware of how your body feels in relation to your breathing.

– Focus on your posture and your breathing. Standing, make sure your feet are at shoulder-width distance apart and you maintain a relaxed and grounded posture, feeling the support of the floor.
– Place the palms of your hands just under your rib cage so that your fingers are just touching. Focus on your natural breathing and notice how your fingers come slightly apart as you breathe in, and as you breathe out, they come together again.
– While doing this, mentally check your body for any tension and purposefully relax muscles in you neck, shoulders, arms, upper and lower body which may be tense.
– On your in-breath, through your nose, count that breath as ‘one’ and release it naturally through your mouth and adding a relaxed vocalization. Be aware the whole time of the movement of your diaphragm as well as relaxing your body. Try to exaggerate the ‘out’ movement of your stomach, so that the air flows deeper into your lungs. Then let the air out, making sure all air is expelled.

For Piano Players:
– Place the five fingers of your right hand on any consecutive five white notes above middle C and press down all the notes at once. Your left hand should be relaxed by your side or on your lap.
– Focus on your posture and your breathing, sitting on the edge of your seat with your feet flat and firmly on the floor, so that your weight is on your feet. Relax your wrists and make sure they are in line with your hand and the tips of the fingers are resting on the notes as the weight of your arms help to press the notes down. Fingers should be rounded and comfortable.
– Focus on your natural breathing. Mentally check your body for any tension, purposefully relaxing any muscles in you neck, shoulders, arms, upper and lower body which may be tense. Continue to do this throughout the exercise.
– When you take a natural breath in, lift up your 5th finger (while all other notes are held down) about a centimeter off the key and when you naturally breathe out, press the key down again. Repeat the exercise, this time with the 4th finger (this will be difficult at first). Remember the 5th finger should be holding its note down now too. Repeat the exercise through 3rd, 2nd and 1st fingers and then do the same exercise over again but with your left hand, choosing notes below middle C and relaxing your right hand in your lap or by your side.”

By sharing the tips with blog readers, TakeLessons hopes to continue engaging current students and help with any musical goals they may have. Readers are invited to share their thoughts by commenting on the TakeLessons blog, where fans can also learn helpful tips for music bloggers, and comments are also welcomed on Facebook (http://facebook.com/takelessons).

About TakeLessons
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, TakeLessons is America’s full-service music and voice lessons provider. With private lessons taught by TakeLessons Certified™ instructors in cities nationwide, students of all ages can start living their dreams through music. Founded in 2006 to help people discover their creativity and pursue their passions, TakeLessons also offers turnkey music programs for schools and community centers.

Jon Crim

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