Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Susan Schuld


The aim of this paper is to explore the philosophies, attitudes and beliefs that surround the teaching of breath. Voice and speech teachers want students and actors to be versatile; able to adjust to the demands of any role, and each student enters the classroom with a myriad of mental and physical breathing habits. Many voice and speech trainers, however, only address a limited number of breathing habits and primarily teach "deep breathing." Why has deep breathing dominated voice training, and how do we effectively teach breath for all students and all habits? I will examine six major voice practitioners: Arthur Lessac, Patsy Rodenburg, Kristin Linklater, Catherine Fitzmaurice, F.M. Alexander, and Jo Estill and their philosophies about breath. I will also investigate my own experiences with each practitioner, both in my own training, and in my teaching. I will conclude with my personal philosophy about breath; what an ideal breath is, and how to teach it.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013