self discovery & expression

Is singing good for asthma?

Recently I have been working with a couple of students that have asthma, and I hope the article below can help with any of you that are experiencing asthma or know someone  that have asthma.


Original Posting:

There is a student in our high school program who has
> been singing for several years with asthma. She and
> her mother are concerned that she is not reaching her
> full vocal potential because of her asthma — that she
> has to compensate breath support (and consequently,
> tone) because of her difficulty breathing. Have any of
> you encountered this problem? What advice would you
> give to this singer? I will post an abbreviated
> compliation if there is interest.
> Thanks in advance,
> Margie



1. Drinking PLENTY of water to counteract the effects of medications

2. Controlling the amount of air released early in a phrase, for the push of breath to make it to the end of the phrase will cause irritation in the bronchial tube

3. Purchase a humidifier

4. Physical activity to help lung power — swimming, walking, etc.

5. Playing the trumpet

6. Having lung function tests performed, including spirometry and lung volume measurement to show any show any decrease in the student’s vital capacity and help assess obstructive lung diseases such as asthma.


One person recommended a combination: “A) A bronchodilator(inhaler) to loosen the aureoles, B) A chortico steroid(inhaler) to reduce the swelling, C) Some method of controlling the sensitivity to pathogens eg. Theochron(tablet) in a sustained release dose,
or other similar medications.”

Meds: Singulair; Flo-nase if the singer has allergies; Proventil (repitabs?)

Inhalers:short-term: Proventil (albuterol) or Serevent; Ventolin or Airomir

Inhalers: long term: Flo-vent (recommended by many) & Asthmacort (both 12 hr. sprays)

*Allin Sorenson, however, cautions against long-term use of steroid inhalers, which can waste the body of the vocal fold over time.

Catherine LeGrand is a flutist who has done work on breath. Her website:

Finally, two GREAT articles from David Wilson, a singer, conductor, and certified yoga instructor who published the following in “Musica Alberta:”

Yoga and Breath for Musicians 1

To read more, please go onto

Special thanks to for the information!

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