Appoggio singing technique

Appoggio singing technique

Appoggio is one of those Italian classical terms that does more to confuse and confound than it really does to actually help singers ‘sing’. Derived somewhat for the Italian word for “Lean on” or “Leaning”, this is what people who use classical terms are referring to when they say ‘lean on the voice’, or ‘lean on your breathing’, which is way too literal and really doesn’t apply to the actual application of this powerful singing technique.

Appoggio as a breath management/coordination that allows you to sing freely and with ENERGY that isn’t derived from strain or pushing. There’s actually a super simple (and practical!) approach to this that works every time you sing, without the confusing archaic terms and analogies – if you start with a healthy posture, so, head up, shoulders back/down, chin parallel with the floor – your next move should actually be to free up your ribs, or ‘widen them’. Now, this isn’t a bone cracking and strained ‘widen’, it’s simply situating your ribs in a postition that allows you to breathe using the diaphragm without the ribcage ‘collapsing’ when you exhale – basically, to breathe for singing you should be doing so without moving your chest or shoulders, but in a relaxed way.

I know, i know, singing with your ribs out but ‘relaxed’ seems like a contradiction, but if you add another step to your posture setup – “sternum up”, then you’ll find your ribs should sit in a naturally wide, but relaxed position. Try it yourself, after you’ve set up your posture, raise your sternum WITHOUT actually breathing in – can you feel your ribs expand? Simple! Now, engage that diaphragm and breathe, breathe, breathe!

Basically, you can interpret “appoggio” in a practical sense as “don’t allow your ribs and chest to dictate your breath control” – easy?

But why the confusing terms? Now this is EXACTLY why I launched Bohemian Vocal Studio in 2010, after realising the lack of a practical, yet PROVEN approach to singing that doesn’t rely on old-world classical terms that have now become ‘lost in translation’ by well meaning contemporary coaches who don’t truly understand how the voice works beyond the exercises they were originally given, and focuses on the actual mechanics of the voice in a simple, but effective way. My studio’s approach is currently being practised and utilised successfully all around the world as we speak, so when you’re ready to learn singing the RIGHT way, you can book a session with me!

Feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!

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