Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers could gain a great deal from learning one of the most elaborate and sophisticated singing techniques that was invented more than 200 years ago by the Scuola Italiana del Belcanto (translated freely into: The Italian school of beautiful singing).
This ancient school of thought has produced some of the most fundamental Opera music and singing techniques that are on a daily basis use by most Opera houses in the world.
But , you don't have to be an Opera singer to take advantage of the great benefits the Appoggio technique has to offer a professional vocal user You can learn to master it with an extremely good voice coach or as a part of professional voice therapy design with a voice specialist like me.
Appoggio is coming from the Italian word Appogiare which means to lean on What do we lean on when we sing? On air ! Our breath support which is crucial to voice and speech production.
Breath support means exactly that, the support our breath is getting before and while we produce sounds of speech or singing using the air that is coming up from our lungs moving our closed vocal cords approximately 100 times per second (Hz) for men, 200 times per second (Hz) for women and up till 400 times per second (Hz) for a child.
Many singers and actors (especially beginners or natural ones- that do not attend comprehensive voice coaching as part of their training) are referred to my voice clinic by ENT surgeons after suffering from vocal nodules, vocal cords hypertrophy, detuning and other vocal abuse symptoms mainly because they do not use the correct breath support while stretching their voices to the limit.
Simply put, the air support or the breath support for professional voice users like Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers should be based on the abdominal muscles. In most cases, state of the art technique for a singer will be MBS = Midsection (abdomen) Breath Support and for an actor the AGIN technique (abdominal breath support while the body is in motion, like on stage). Most clinical professional vocal abuse cases will require an exact Stroboscopy / Laryngoscopy done with the ENT specialist and the professional voice evaluation by the speech pathologist that specialize in professional voice therapy, and then the patient will be given vocal cords physiotherapy and a full 12-weeks technique for improving his breath support and tone control.
While this procedure is extremely good for beginners or natural singers and actors, cantors, preachers, rock singers and rappers. It must be understood that these patients use their voice for their living their voice is their profession! Most of them simply cannot wait 12 weeks of correction like that because they will lose their jobs / places in their scheduled performances
And what about the veteran singer or actor who had done a great deal of vocal training already with his voice coach and knows all about how to breath correctly?
That is why this Appoggio technique will be most beneficial in these cases! Simply put, when you use Appoggio you first take in lots of air using upper chest muscles then you push in your belly muscles the diaphragm will move up pressing on the air in your lungs (that is abdominal breath support !) then you will start voice production while the pressed air is coming from below the vocal cords supporting them while vibrating, then you will use your upper chest muscles dropping them slowly controlling high pitch sounds or extra long periods of vocal singing with extra air support from the chest.
So, basically, Appoggio is leaning on two breath support techniques put together the abdominal and the upper chest. A veteran singer or actor could learn that pretty quick while the beginner will be able to learn it combined with the full scale technique on the 3rd treatment providing him enough air support to hold onto his scheduled performances and thus proceeding with his 12-week voice therapy.
It is good practice for the voice speech pathologist to teach the patient how to project his voice thus improving volume without putting more effort on the vocal mechanism.