Lesson Plan : Breathing Gym

Teacher Name:
 Mr. LeBlanc
Grade:
 Grade 11-12
Subject:
 Music

Topic:
 Breathing Gym
Content:
  Trunk Twists, Two way Stretch, Fight for air, Blow Chunks, Flow
Goals:
 Students will be able to play with a better tone and breath support with continued practice of the "Breathing Gym"
Objectives:
 1.Students will compare, contrast, and evaluate modeled breathing exercises 2. Students will employ proper breathing techniques into their playing and identify changes from their prior playing.
Materials:
  Breathing gym instruction sheet for students
Introduction:
  I will explain to the students the importance of breathing in music. Students will be asked who knows about the "Breathing Gym". I will explain its effect on my own playing and talk about its founders, Sam Pilafian and Patrick Sheridan.
Development:
 Stretches: Trunk twists - Students stand with feet about a shoulder-width apart with their arms up at 90 degree angles. Students will rotate their upper body left and right in a smooth motion while deep breathing. After about 8 rotations students will raise their arms higher and repeat to stretch different muscles. Two way stretch - Standing again with feet shoulder-width apart, students will raise their arms high above their heads. While deep breathing students will stretch farther with each inhale. After about 5 breathing cycles students will keep their arms extended and bend at the waist. Students will continue deep breathing, making the stretch deeper with each inhalation, while reach towards their toes. Therapies: The first therapy, designed to strengthen muscles around the lungs, is Fight for Air. During this therapy students will attempt to breathe in while placing the back of one of their hands in front of their mouth to block the airflow. After a few seconds the hand is removed and the lungs fill up in a very short amount of time. Repeat this a few times. The second therapy, Blowing Chunks, is designed to exercise the lungs and expand their capacity. Students will inhale and fill their lungs in 4 counts and exhale in 2 fortissimo style "chunks". At the end of the second "chunk" students will hiss the rest off their air out. This is repeated a few times. After each therapy a sigh is effective in releasing tension. Flow: Flow is in exercise in breath management and control. Students will breath in for 4 counts and exhale for 4 counts. The goal is to completely fill up by breathing in evenly for 4 counts and immediately start breathing evenly out 4 for counts to completely empty. This is repeated a few times then the counts change, usually decreasing the inhale time and increasing the exhale time. Flow should last for about a minute in total. Again a sigh should be done after flow to release any tension.
Practice:
  1.Students will integrate observed breathing techniques into their own breathing exercises and playing 2. On a concert Bb scale students will be asked to evaluate their tone as as individuals and as a band after implementing proper breathing technique 3. The concert Bb scale will be played in a round. This will will allow students to employ proper breathing into an ensemble setting. Students will also be able to hear more individually the tone quality of other sections as they enter the round.
Accommodations:
  Students who feel light headed during breathing exercises may sit down and breath from their nose to relieve dizziness and may continue breathing exercises from their chair.
Checking For Understanding:
  A sample of individuals will be chosen via volunteer and random choice to demonstrate proper technique of therapies and flow.
Closure:
  I will explain to the students the importance of the "Breathing Gym", its effect on my own playing, and the benefits of longterm practice.

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