Pedagogical implications of the respiratory effects of asthma in singers
Thomas, David Michael
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The ability to maintain proper breath function and appropriate levels of respiratory floware vitally important to the singer. Asthma affects the vocal performerÕs ability to properlycontrol these required parameters, causing vocal fatigue, shortness of breath, decreased range,and loss of amplitude control. Incorrect respiratory coordination, a condition common in asthma,is generally mistaken for flawed vocal technique rather than identified as a pulmonary disease.This study examines parameters of lung function in order to ascertain the physiologicaldifferences between those of the vocalist and the asthmatic and attain a greater understanding ofbreath efficiency issues in the singer with asthma. Physical fitness regimens, commonlyrecommended to improve breath function for both the singer and the asthmatic, are compared todetermine activities that are beneficial to the singer with asthma. Breathing strategies commonin asthma are examined and compared with those of the singer to determine their effect on vocaltraining. Respiratory training exercises from asthma therapy and vocal training are compared,and some modified, to maximize respiratory efficiency and reduce asthmatic risks for the singerwith the disease. Respiratory exercises are categorized by pedagogical function and grouped to2provide maximum training benefits to beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of singerswith asthma.