IMG_0537If your voice is rough, let it be rough. If it is shouty, let it be shouty, If it is ugly, let it be ugly. The only thing that it dare not be is breathy. So said one Italian vocal authority, I believe it to be Lamperti. Breathiness is ennervation, the effect of an unwholesome relaxation, a disengagement of the self, of the entire vocal mechanism. Some adopt it purposefully, an affectation to demonstrate their ease.  It is a costly and obvious facade. What to do when you encounter this in your self or in a student?  Summon laughter. Laugh outwardly, openly, riotously, and above all ridiculously. At first it will be fake. Continue to fake it and suddenly the body will catch on, and real laughter will begin to well up and bubble out.

Create a little test. Read, or have a student read a passage, a text, and then stop. Engage with laughter. Fake it til you make it. Let it overtake both you and your student and stop if you can. Return to the passage, spoken or sung, and you will observe a little miracle.  Laughter engages the appoggio, healthy opposition, all things in equilibrium. Try it and you will find it the cure for breathiness. It will work wonders. By the way, if you would like to engage this child model at an exorbitant sum, that’s my darling grandson, invoking your laughter.