Breath in Action: The Art of Breath in Vocal and Holistic Practice

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Rena Cook, Jane Boston
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, May 15, 2009 - Music - 256 pages
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Breath in Action looks at the significance of breath to human life - not just the simple fact that if we stop breathing, we die, but also the more subtle ways in which our breath interacts with our voice and our being. Written by experts in vocal and holistic practice, the book is divided into four sections: Breath and the Body; Breath and the Mind; Breath and Holistic Practice; Breath and Performance. It offers the latest theories from a variety of disciplines on how we can be taught to breathe better so as to communicate better, act or sing better, feel better, live better. Combining theory with practice, many of the chapters also offer clearly laid out breathing exercises and techniques. Interdisciplinary in its focus, Breath in Action adds to specialist knowledge in the performance field, whilst also offering enlightening information for those interested in therapeutic and healing processes, movement, and voice and speech sciences.

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This book is absolutely fascinating on the subject of breath and voice. It is full of wisdom from the leading practitioners of voice and speech in the humanities. I have read plenty of the essays several times over. It also has exercises for the speaking voice, in case you are interested in a more flexible, stronger, more expressive voice.  


Breath and the Body
Breath and the Mind
Breath and Holistic Practice
Transformation and the actor
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About the author (2009)

Jane Boston is Senior Voice Practitioner and Head of Artistic Research and Development at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Voice Studies from the Central School of Speech and Drama, London. In her 20 year teaching career she has served as voice teacher, acting teacher and director in a number of educational institutions and theatres, including the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and the Central School of Speech and Drama. Jane divides her time between work in London and home in Brighton, where she lives with her partner and their daughter, Ella. Rena Cook is Head of Voice at the University of Oklahoma School of Drama where she teaches voice, speech and dialects. In her 20-year career, she has served as voice and dialect coach or director for over 200 productions and she is a distinguished actress, presenter and voice-over artist. Rena holds an MA in Voice Studies from the Central School of Speech and Drama and an MFA in Directing from the University of Oklahoma. She has taught lawyers, politicians, teachers, and supervisors to use the voice more effectively though her private business, Vocal Authority. Rena lives in Oklahoma with her husband, Joe.

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