Everybody here knows that I am far from being an expert and that I like to share my explorations and discoveries with readers of this blog. I don't really understand breathing for singers in general, but from having striven to find my own answers for my own body, I've observed many things about my own breathing and made certain choices, while singing, that work for me. I'm not sure that I've "arrived" at a breathing solution yet. I think the development of breathing itself is part of the progression of using better and better breathing technique as one goes along. I believe that singer-breathing is an ongoing living component of singing that will change with time and growth, just like the other aspects of voice. I don't think the breathing is some kind of set technique that you put in place and just leave there. It is flowing, flexible, open to growth and freedom and increasing strength and efficiency. I have also slowly come to believe that due to the variables in individual physiology, there may be more than one answer for singers about breathing.
Well, in the course of my ever and on-going quest to understand and grow, I was doing a little research (for a possible future blog post) on how high heels and their effect on posture might impact a singer's breathing technique. As so often happens when one is out there googling away, I found many interesting sites to get sidetracked on.
One site I discovered led me to some new information about breathing that may be of interest to singers. It was on the web site of recorder-maker, Adriana Breukink. She had an article that described different kinds of recorder players and how they breathed, "Inhalers and Exhalers." The "inhaler" recorder players were active and energetic in drawing the breath in, and passive in exhaling the breath. The air flowed freely through the recorder. The "exhaler" recorder players allowed the breath to fall in passively -- or kind of renew itself automatically, I guess -- and energetically blew through recorders with active and engaged exhalation. She says that these two breathing types may necessitate different recorder designs.
There is a link from that page to a German page on "