O.J.'s Trumpet Page Articles and reviews

The Breathing Gym

DVD cover

Ordering the DVD, The Breathing Gym, by Patric Sheridan and Sam Pilafian, is the best investment I've made in a long time. I could feel improvement the first time I did the exercises. WOW!  By the way, this "WOW-sound" is in fact used in the exercises

A problem with breathing exercises found in brass method books, apart from the difficulty of understanding them, can be that they are not derived from good sources. The validity of the exercises was never questioned. Not so with Sam Pilafian and his exercises, they are all derived from good sources over a long period of time. In an interview, Pilafian says:

As a student and young teacher I found myself studying martial arts and yoga, talking with physical and respiratory therapists, and reading all that I could find on breathing. Drawing from each of these fields, the exercises morphed into breathing exercises for musicians. Through over twenty-five years of trial and error, and with the help of my students, members of the Empire Brass, and other professional colleagues, I developed the exercises featured in The Breathing Gym.

In the same interview, Pilafian also explain what changes he observed in those using the exercises:

What changes have you seen in the performance of musicians who use these exercises?
Performers using these exercises develop better sound production because they have less tension and better airflow. Performers applying Breathing Gym exercises tend to be able to work less for more sound and make difficult music sound easy. Also, these exercises help to negate the effects of performance anxiety (stage fright) by lowering the body’s metabolism and allowing the performer to breathe calmly and correctly under pressure. Correct breathing becomes a practiced skill.

There are five types of exercises:

1. Streches
2. Flow Studies
3. Therapies
4. Strength and Flexibility
5. Breathing for the Brain

You should also get the book. In it you will find more tips and info. When you have worked with the DVD (or video), you can use the book as a reference to the exercises. In the back of the book is an exercise plan.

Order info:
I ordered this DVD (and book) from www.dillonmusic.com

o.j. 2003