AUTHOR’S CORNER: Breathing by author Peter Altschul

Hello again campbellsworld visitors and readers everywhere.

This morning as we begin to wrap up a wonderful week here in the Author’s Corner, I’d like to share just one more interesting article before I quit for the day.

Author Peter Altschul has done some very neat stuff over the years and the ways in which he incorporates them into the various types of work he does is to me rather fascinating.

In this article he shares with us his knowledge of ‘expressive breathing’ and how he has learned to use it in his public speaking work.

If you, happen to be looking for a guest speaker for your next function be sure to keep reading after today’s offering to learn about Peter, his work, and how you can reach him.




Peter Altschul


Recently, I sang baritone in two performances of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.” I was assigned to stand in a spot close to both the instrumentalists and the conductor, making it easier for me to anticipate her cues even though I couldn’t see her waving baton.


And she did one other extremely helpful thing: she breathed expressively before especially important entrances.


My organ teacher introduced me to this technique in high school. During lessons, he taught me how to read his expressive breathing so that I could enter accurately while playing timpani in one of his pick-up ensembles. His repertoire of breaths ranged from a quick sniff to prepare me for a brisk tempo to a slow, deep breath for a more relaxed feel. In college, orchestra members amplified the conductor’s breathing, making it easier for me to come in at the right time.


As I eased out of the music business into assisting groups, organizations, and coalitions to work towards accomplishing something productive, I began to use participant breathing to gauge the mood of the room. Fast intakes of breath suggest tension and irritation; deep, slow breaths communicate a more relaxed vibe; and too-quiet breathing suggests a lack of focus.


Thanks to my organ teacher for focusing me on the value of breathing patterns. Thanks to the conductors and those I’ve worked with who use expressive breathing to communicate.




Peter Altschul, MS

Author, Speaker, Educator

Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules


Phone: (573) 529-2656





Breaking It Down and Connecting the Dots: Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules (2017)


How can we create common ground at home, on the job, and in faith communities? How can we better work together to address those contentious culture war conflicts that divide us? These questions are explored in this book of concise essays.


Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving While Blind (2012)


How do a specially-trained guide dog and a person who is blind learn to work together to become a team? What lessons might those who lead others learn from this process? These are two of the themes that the author weaves into his compelling memoir.


Peter has traveled a unique journey as customer service rep, musician, trainer of New York City taxi drivers, tutor of student-athletes, parent of three stepkids, grants manager, mediator between pro-life and pro-choice activists, and workplace diversity specialist — all done with the assistance and companionship of six guide dogs. He blogs regularly about the connections between the workplace, politics, music, diversity, family life, sports, religion, and dogs. He lives with his guide dog, Heath, in Columbia, Missouri.



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