Caring for your vocal cords as muscles with a set of vowel- and technique-oriented warmups.
National Standards: 5
Prepare: Have the class read Techniques: Vocal Warmups (page 23 of the student edition). The article outlines six vocal warmups that include lip-buzzing, humming, and vowel techniques to better prepare student voices for practice or performance.
Click here to download the files for audio playback on the Notion app.
Key points in the article:
- Your vocal cords are a muscle. Just like instrumentalists play scales and exercises to warm up, there are a variety of warmups you can use as a vocalist to relax your vocal cords for singing.
- Examples 1 and 2 share exercises on trilling with the lips and tongue. The key is to perform these exercises gently to relax your face. Never force notes and stop if you feel tension.
- The humming and siren techniques used in examples 3 and 4 together improve pitch and reduce tension through simple positioning of the lips, mouth, and jaw.
- Examples 5, and 6 use vowel sounds arppeggiated/triad patterns that help to improve range, tone quality, and breathing control.
Begin: Try some of the techniques with the class, noting the tips described in each example. Lessons might include:
- The importance of warming up the voice as you would your body in sports, through gentle repetition.
- How these techniques can help achieve this, and improve other vocal qualities like tone, pitch, and range.
- How using certain vowel sounds stretch and prepare the voice for further practice and performance (Ex. 5 stretches vocal cords, Ex. 6 uses your diaphragm to control airflow)
Develop: Play the following video lesson for the class, while asking them to keep the examples and points from the article in mind:
How does Arceneaux’s tips relate to those from the article?
- Stretching the mouth and jaw
- Using vowel sounds
- Avoid sounding nasally
Expand: Share this video with the class on an additional vocal technique not covered in the examples: