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Singing and vocal work

Warm ups – what are they and what are they for?

Looking after our vocal health is extremely important. An effective warm up helps children to focus their attention as well as making sure that singing, chanting and even speaking will be safe. They can also be a lot of fun and a way to draw together the community. In order to be effective, the warm up must be purposeful, i.e. the exercises must have a specific and identified purpose and they need to warm up the muscles involved in singing. Warm up exercises are crucial for teachers too, as their voices can become strained in a classroom environment across the term.

Sing up recommend six exercises to get voices warmed up and ready to go. The following is an extract from their comprehensive multimedia guide to vocal heath, Inside the Voice1. This is based around warming up the following:

  • waking up and balancing the body
  • centering and breathing
  • releasing the throat
  • warming up the vocal folds
  • exploring resonance
  • clarity and articulation

Sing Up have provided access to the excellent videos by Stuart Barr and Genevora Williams demonstrating each part of the warm up and can be accessed using the links provided.