ArticlesFeaturedIssuesJuly 2022

My Breathing Buddy by Amy Porter

At the end of the day, we want you to breathe easily. With over 40 years of professionally performing on international stages, 25 years teaching at a Big 10 University in the US and 20 years of a workshop that has become a business, Amy Porter will use her brand and curriculum to benefit others. She continues to work with performers in the arts who need advice on the true vocabulary of anatomy, and help unleashing the potential of every breath.

They're available now! They will be delivered as soon as we know how many are ordered by July 3, the end of the Kickstarter campaign to raise $12.2K

Here's our website

Here is the Kickstarter link - we are raising funds for the next prototype of My Breathing Buddy that will allow for software monitoring (the exhale would light up according to the brevity and depth of breath) and future bluetooth connectivity. We need the money for research and development. We think of it as seed money for the future.

How did you first think of this innovative project?

Educating the proper breath to musicians and music educators often happens quickly, often not factually correct and is inefficient for understanding tone, wellness and healthy playing. Everyone has different learning and teaching styles.There are myths handed down through educators in the performing arts.

It's also difficult to monitor success at home. Performance anxiety and mental health are the contributors to ineffective breathing in practicing at home by yourself. Also, presentations given in physical therapy are usually stick figure drawings, often online, unpersonalized anatomical videos. Professionals buy expensive physical nonmotorized skeletal models.

After 20 years as a workshop trio of music, movement and medicine, it's time for us to grow into a wellness brand that teaches the "anatomy of sound" to everyone.

Too many students were suffering from anxiety and personal space was an issue. So many abusive situations were presenting themselves in one-on-one classroom lessons and I knew we could produce something where a teacher wouldn't need to use touch for showing the breath. I met Dr. David Zopf from University of Michigan and Make Medical through my flute student Dr. David Brown, who then helped bring to life what I needed to be a better teacher.

Along with his partner at Make Medical, Owen Tien, they're continuing my call and . My advisors Don Manfredi and MJ Cartwright at Michigan's Innovation Partners guide me.

What were the steps the lead you to think of creating My Breathing Buddy?

There are similarities from discipline and vision that I found within my music business producing study guides (Karg-Elert, Telemann, Gaubert) that led me to my future in my brand, AOS-Wellness.

Porter Productions LLC since 2009 came first - a company that provides educational videos and materials for musicians. Then came Anatomy of Sound LLC in  Feb 2022 with lots of help from my mentors. It's a company that creates products and services to educate and inform about the origins of sound and breathing. Launched June 4, 2022 is my personal brand along with supporting faculty Dr. David Brown, Laura Dwyer, Brian Dunbar, and Adam Workman. We'll also have lots of guests. We're directing clients to a performance wellness program, providing answers within a curriculum written by experts in the field of medicine, movement, and music. That will really take shape in September 2022.

To date, I’ve been granted since 2019 over $40K from UMICH Center for Research Learning & Teaching, Whitaker Grant for Teaching, Faculty Research, UMICH Innovation Partners and Ann Arbor SPARK. I know this will have a life because they think it's "the biggest overnight sensation that took 19 years to make!"

Why should every musician who breathes to play their instrument get one of these?

My Breathing Buddy, our hands-on solution for hands-off teaching. It will take the touch out of the classroom.

Students can actually see what's happening and practice their breath support and exhalation with a curriculum that's backed by 20 years of service and research merging music and medicine.

More to come from Anatomy of Sound LLC! The VoiceBox 3-D and My Speech 3-D which will include the tongue.

Anatomy of Sound has been trademarked and My Breathing Buddy is patent pending.

How much are they? 

$169 during Kickstarter and then $199. They come with a case.

I can send them in September when we know how many we'll need to make but if we get a lot of orders then we promised them for November 2022.

If we can raise this small R&D money then we can expand the usage and make it better for everyone!

Here's our Journal instructions from written by Cheryl Emerson

How to use your Words to Breathe By journal:

Just as days become weeks and weeks become months, your daily exercises and meditations grow into a Practice – a style, a way of doing -- that builds over time. The pages of our Words to Breathe By journal are designed to help set your flow from day to day and to reflect on how your Practice develops over time.

Step one: use the daily double (2-column) pages each morning to Breathe In. In one column write out your practice plan. What exercises, techniques, and performance pieces are on your stand today? In the other column, write down a thought or a brief meditation that will carry you through the day. Together, the columns help to set the “tonal center,” using your words to join body and breath at start of day.

Step two: use the weekly (Monday-Sunday) pages to track your Practice over time. These are your pages to Breathe Out, helping you to see patterns that emerge, week by week, as you summarize the day’s progress. Did you shift or adapt your plan and why? Was there a spark of learning or inspiration you wanted to remember? Think of these pages as a moment of return, a space to give back, using your words to release body and breath at the end of day.

Step three: monthly wrap-up. Use the blank pages at the end of your journal to write an end-of-month reflection, giving special attention to ways that your Practice patterns have changed and evolved. Allow yourself a moment to bridge Practice and Performance, as you look ahead, beginning a new month of journaling. Where will you go from here?

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