Examen LC C2 – Reading – Part 2

Read the text and fill the gaps with the correct sentences A-H. Write the letter of the missing sentence in the box in the gap. There are two extra sentences you will not need.  




     Needless to say, effective breathing technique is essential to good singing. 1. __________ A teacher is essential to helping a student gain control and thus confidence and trust in his or her own breath, and to guide him or her toward a greater understanding of the potential that breath carries for him or her as a performer.

Receiving various signals from the nervous system, the diaphragmatic muscles contract and the diaphragm moves downward. As the diaphragm depresses, it creates a vacuum in the lungs and air rushes in to fill that vacuum. 2. __________.

The (thoracic) diaphragm is a shelf of muscle and tendon that extends across the bottom of the ribcage, dividing the torso in two. 3. __________ It features a boomerang-shaped central tendon – the aponeurosis – which is connected all around by muscular fibres that originate on the lumbar spine, the bottom edge of the ribcage and sternum (breastbone). The heart, which is attached to the diaphragm via its pericardium – a membrane sac that envelops the heart – moves up and down with the diaphragm.

The lungs are made of a soft, elastic, spongy tissue. Their structure is much like an inverted tree. Air enters the lungs via the trachea (the «trunk»). 4. __________ The total surface of the alveoli is very large. As the ribcage and diaphragm move, the lungs are stretched, drawing air into the lung (inhalation), or the lungs are compressed, pushing the air out (exhalation).

Most students of voice don’t consider the importance of the support structure for the voice, yet the muscles of the back and abdomen aid the diaphragm and lungs in establishing the movements necessary for breathing.

  1. __________ In front of the ribcage, looking from the bottom of each muscle (i.e. the top of each rib), the muscles go diagonally inward. The external intercostal muscles (on the outside of the ribcage) wrap around from the back of the rib almost to the end of the bony part of the rib in front. They go downward and outward when viewed from the back. (At the bottom of the sternum can be seen the transversus thoracis muscle.) These muscles can be felt during coughing.

Having the muscles on diagonals increases the amount of work that they can do, since a longer muscle can become shorter upon contraction than can a shorter, vertical muscle, as it contracts along the full length of the muscle fibres. 6. __________ Muscle fatigue is especially common amongst new vocal students who haven’t yet built up strength in these muscles and are isolating them during singing for the first time.



A. During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and rises and lung volume decreases, creating a positive pressure difference, and air rushes out.


B. The intercostal muscles are found between the ribs, and there are two kinds: The internal intercostal muscles (in the inside of the ribcage) extend from the front of the ribs, and go around the back, past the bend in the ribs.


C. When proper diaphragmatic breathing technique is employed, and when a singer’s endurance is being tested, the intercostal muscles can get a very good workout.


D. Above is the thorax (chest), with the lungs and heart, below is the abdomen. It is dome-shaped, slightly higher on the right side, and curves up toward the centre. 


E. The external obliques course downward and inward, and are the largest and strongest abdominal muscles. These muscles work posturally by contracting and may flex or twist the spine.


F. Part of the process of studying voice is developing an acute awareness of the actions involved in breathing and exploring them in depth. 


G. There is less control in relaxing a muscle than there is in contracting it, so support gives performers a means of controlling their sound, or phonation.


H. The trachea branches in two to form the bronchi. Each bronchus continues to branch out into bronchioles until, at the end of each bronchiole, a cluster of alveoli, which are small sacs where gas exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen takes place, is reached.