Before any singer starts a performance or even practice, they need to warm up their voice. If your child is learning to sing by taking private voice lessons, they may be tempted to start singing at any time.
While that’s certainly fine, if they’re going to practice for any long period of time or will be going into a rehearsal or show, they need to take the time to warm up their “instrument”. Just like runners stretching before a race, these warm-up exercises help loosen the vocal cords and prevent a singer from damaging their voice.
Here are some simple warm-up techniques your young singer can use.
1. Humming Is a Great Warm Up
One of the best types of warm up exercises is to start humming. You can definitely ask your voice teacher about this. Humming doesn’t stress your vocal cords as much as singing or other warm up exercises, so you don’t have to worry about over-doing it quite as much.
To warm up with humming, touch your tongue to the bottom row of your front teeth. Without opening your mouth, hum the major scale up and down.
2. Breathe in and out – Only Through Your Nose
This warm-up technique helps to relax the vocal cords and can improve your range. It’s very simple.
First, breathe in air deeply through your nose, keeping your mouth closed. Then, exhale through the nose. Some people like to think of this as yawning and then sighing.
3. Loosen Up Your Jaw
Your jaw muscles need a little bit of warming up, too. When you sing, your jaw should actually drop lower than it does when you talk.
To help get the joint loosened up, take a finger and run it from your chin up along the jawline until you reach your ear. You want to drop the jaw between your ear and the jaw. You can warm up this joint by pretending that you’re yawning, but don’t open your mouth.
4. Try Straw Phonation
This may sound like an odd exercise, but it will help you warm up those vocal cords. You will need a straw (any type of straw will work) for this one.
Put the straw in your mouth and hum, starting at the lower end of your range and working your way up at a nice, even pace. Once you’ve done this a time or two, hum a song through the straw.
Another fun way of warming up using a straw is to actually put it in a glass of water and blow bubbles into it, doing your best to keep the bubbles appearing at a slow and even rate.
5. Buzz Your Lips
Another easy warm-up exercise is to buzz through your lips. To do this, blow air outward from your mouth as you make your lips vibrate. Think of it as making an engine noise.
6. Glide Up and Down Two Octaves
For this exercise, start making an “oh” sound. Go up and down the chromatic notes of two octaves, going up and down several times. This exercise helps you move from your speaking chest voice to your singing head voice.
7. Try the Portamento Exercise
Portamento is an Italian term for carrying something. In this case, you’re carrying your voice from one note to another. Start at the bottom or the top of your range, then slide to the next note in the sequence, skipping over in-between notes.
A similar exercise involves making a sound like an emergency vehicle siren. Start making this “ooo” noise at the low end of your range, then go up to the high end and back down again. Keep the sound continuous.
Our Teachers Teach Warm-Up Techniques and More
If your child is interested in private vocal lessons, give us a call today. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we virtual music lessons, too. However, our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child!