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CONTROL OF THE BREATH. 25
Before, however, the inspiration can be performed with the ease that is required for tone-production, the chest wall must have been made elastic by the regular practice of exercises particularly directed to the movement of the seventh and eighth ribs, where the chest possesses the longest cartilage, the greatest curve, the longest and most oblique ribs (Fig. 12), and consequently where it is endowed by nature with the greatest amount of elasticity.
31. Breathing Exercises :—*
1. Stand in the erect position, place the palms of the hands upon the sides of the chest on a level with the bottom of the breast-bone. Breathe in through the nose and direct the air to that part of the chest covered by the hands.
(a) Breathe in quite a small quantity of air.
(b) Breathe in a moderate quantity of air.
(c) Breathe in a large quantity of air.
In each case emit the air slowly through the open mouth (which should be shaped for the vowel sound "ah"), making the length of the expiration to correspond to the quantity of air breathed in, and keeping the outward flow even and steady all the time.
2. Press the front abdominal wall in (the abdominal press) and let it go out again. This movement should take place in the middle and lower part of the abdomen.
3. Combine Exercises 1 and 2 as follows :—Keeping the front abdominal wall straight, breathe in as in Exercise 1. While breathing out through the mouth make use of the abdominal press as in Exercise 2.
* For more breathing exercises the reader is referred to the author's book on Breathing for Voice-production, published by Novello.