Singing is a fun and creative way to improve your health and wellbeing – no experience necessary! The benefits of singing regularly are widely recognised, from improved lung function and circulation to a strengthened immune system, improved posture, and better breath control  it can even provide relief from stress and anxiety.

The following audio and video exercises were originally created in 2013 to help patients with cystic fibrosis, but they can be used by anyone who has breathing difficulties – particularly those suffering from the effects of COVID-19 – or just to give your mental health a boost. Simply follow the instructions below.

You can find out more about the original project on the Breath Cycle website. We are also currently scoping out a new project. If you would like more information as it becomes available, or would be interested in getting involved, contact us now.


The exercises consist of:

  • Audio vocal exercises to work your voice in a gentle way and improve musical ability, pitching and tuning
  • Video lessons  to take you through the basics of some classical singing and breathing techniques

You can do the exercises as often or as little as you like – but the more often you can do them, the more benefits you will experience. You don't need any equipment and you can do them wherever you are. The exercises can also be practised alongside any physiotherapy you may be doing.

Vocal exercises

These vocal exercises work your entire vocal range in a gentle way, as well as improving your musical ability, pitching and tuning. Simply listen and repeat. The exercises become more challenging as you move through them, so make sure you take your time on each one. 

All exercises written by Gareth Williams.

Exercise 1
This exercise works on holding a single note in one breath. Take a deep breath in and repeat the note you hear from the vocal coach, holding for four beats.

Play Exercise 1

Exercise 2
You will sing two different notes in this exercise sliding from one note to another. You should sing in one breath and feel the two notes are connected as you slide up or down.

Play exercise 2

Exercise 3
This exercise is great for working on energy and increasing the volume as you sing a repeated note on a 'la' sound. Make sure you keep the tongue relaxed during these exercises.

Play exercise 3


Exercise 4
You will be singing three different notes in each phrase. Each sequence is different, so listen and repeat carefully. Try to sing each phrase in one breath.

Play exercise 4

Exercise 5
This exercise is a bit trickier than previous exercises, so take your time when listening to each new sequence. It will improve your tuning and singing at the correct pitch. Try to keep each scale as smooth as possible and breathe when you feel you need to.

 Play exercise 5

Exercise 6
An introduction into learning a new song and singing in harmony. Always repeat the main vocal coach phrases you hear. Once you're used to this song, you could try singing the higher harmony.

Play exercise 6

Video lessons

These videos take you through the basics of some classical singing techniques. You will work on different aspects, from posture and breathing through to singing songs. 

Presented by Vocal Instructor Marie Claire Breen.

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About Scottish Opera

Scottish Opera was founded by Alexander Gibson in 1962 and inaugurated with a production of Madama Butterfly at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow.