We went to a talk on qigong to find out what it is and see if there are any tips useful for singers. The “grandmaster” talked about breathing, unfortunately in very confusing terms, mentioning ” strong diaphragm” which “pushes the air out”. The diaphragm doesn’t push the air out.. and it doesn’t need to be “strong”. I did not argue – not my show – wanting to see what they would actually do. The “grandmaster” demonstrated a series of short energetic breaths, which are supposed to concentrate the qi (?) Then he showed the use of “empty force” which toppled a line of people. Now that was interesting as the effective singing has a feel of effortless (empty) power… When the body fights itself in any way the vocal effect is weakened..
They were looking for candidates for a weekend workshop, and I considered it, but something cultish about the whole thing put me off. There was a belly laughter exercise, which I skipped, or faked, as to laugh on command felt weird. When I explained, some followers and the “grandmaster” didn’t like it. He said I should laugh for health. Ehm… It is like having sex “for health”. In any case this was more than I bargained for, so no qigong for me with this group.
I looked up some other teachers on YouTube – now this is much more interesting. For once, this guy does not want you to “do” anything with the breath. He gathers energy with his hands… If one watches singing prodigy Jacky Evancho it is easy to see that she also seems to gather something with her hands, very gracefully. Earth energy, sky energy? Who knows.