How to Warm Up Your Voice

Vocal warm ups are an absolute must in my studio. Warm ups give us the opportunity to check in with our instrument to make sure it’s working properly. Students spend approximately 1/3 of their lesson time working on warm ups and vocalises, some of which might sound a little “odd” (see “Vocalises Do Not Always Sound Pretty“).

My favorite analogy to use with students is one about running. A runner wouldn’t launch into a cross-country trek without warming up their muscles first. The same goes for singing. It’s important to warm up our vocal folds before we sing. Warm ups let us “stretch” our instrument before we use it, and they can also serve as a diagnostic tool to let us know how our voice is feeling and functioning that day.

Not sure how to warm up your voice?

There’s a lot of information out there, and sometimes it can be difficult to slog through. Well, they’ve done it again! The folks at Encore Music Lessons made a fabulous (and easy to use) infographic about “How to Warm Up Your Voice.” (Click below to enlarge.) Not only is this infographic visually appealing, but there’s a lot of good content in it as well; I particularly like the long list of resources found at the end, many of which I’ve actually used over the years.

Current students: See? Vocalists and teachers love to use sirens and lip trills! I’m not (such) a crazy teacher after all!

If you missed my previous post from Encore Music Lessons, check out their “Piano Lessons are Good for You” infographic. It’s one of the most shared links I have on Pinterest! I plan on printing out both of these infographics to display in our new studio. They’ll make great reference charts, and they are really beautifully put together.

Cool T-Shirt Update!

51a6d7e5911be0dff09b1d743feb7146Yesterday afternoon I was very surprised to see that Teespring featured our “Keep Calm and Make Music” design on their Staff Favorites on Pinterest! They even made a special music background and included one of my favorite music quotes…

“Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine

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12 Comments

  • by Maddie Cordes Posted September 5, 2014 10:27 am

    Hi this is useful thanks Sara. I’m not sure about practising scales in half steps though? what do you think? Maddie

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted September 5, 2014 10:33 am

      Glad you like it! I think they mean to continue singing scales in a chromatic fashion – C Major Scale then C# Major Scale, then D Major Scale, etc. That’s how I interpreted it 🙂

      Singing a *chromatic scale* (1/2 steps) is a *great* way to warm up as well! It’s a challenge to keep the 1/2 steps tight. A great, and pretty easy, chromatic warm up that I use goes up and down the 1/2 steps found in a major 3rd.

      C – C# – D – D# – E – D# – D – C# – C

      • by Maddie Cordes Posted September 5, 2014 10:36 am

        yes that’s a good way of interpreting it. I like the mini scale idea, will try it out with my choir, I must admit I haven’t really used chromatic scales with my singers – just with my piano students! Thanks again, Maddie

  • by Mel Posted September 5, 2014 10:41 am

    I think they mean move the progression up by 1/2 step… I vary mine — moving by half steps on the way up and then maybe moving the progressing by whole steps – all depends on who I’m working with. The progression itself I keep in a major scale or minor scale…

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted September 5, 2014 10:49 am

      I use mostly 1/2 steps as well. It just seems natural.

      It’s fun to challenge students with minor scales, and then of course you can always play around with blues, octatonic, and other modes as well. Now *those* are a challenge!

  • by kristinsmusicstudio Posted September 11, 2014 3:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Small Town Music Lessons and commented:
    Wonderful Resource! 🙂

  • by muzeek Posted September 12, 2014 1:42 pm

    Reblogged this on Suzanne Gilmore Muzeek Blog and commented:
    Love the info graphic!

  • by mdgriffin63 Posted September 15, 2014 5:33 am

    Thanks for these tips, Sara. Your followers might be interested in my resource ‘Bumblebee! Rounds & Warm-ups for Choirs; available through Amazon. Best wishes, Michael.

  • Trackback: 15 Awesome Facts About Your Voice & Vocal Folds | Sara's Music Studio
  • by Anna Posted September 9, 2017 8:12 pm

    I know this is an old post but having trouble printing this info graphic out in large scale any ideas?

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