You might wonder why you need to focus on breathing when it's such a natural function. You've been able to breathe since birth, continue to breathe constantly, and never had to be taught. It becomes necessary to focus on the breath, however, when you place demands on your body that go beyond sustaining life. As a wind instrument, the voice needs to use air for much more strenuous activity. The inability to sustain musical phrases on one breath is often a source of confusion and frustration for singers. This chapter will describe the mechanism of breathing and how to best utilize it for singing.