Vocal warm up routines that are fun make it easier to remember singing exercises from week to week, and at home in-between singing lessons. Vocalises using animal sounds employ a lot of the "primal" sounds beginning singers need to learn how to use.
Of course, it makes beginning singers feel very silly to make sounds like a puppy... or a mosquito... or a gorilla. It breaks the ice, though, if you the teacher act like it's all fun, and do the warm up along with them. (I do a LOT of singing along with my students - especially the shy beginners.)
Download Free vocal sheet music Animal Sounds vocal warm up routine
I always tell them, "This is going to make you feel very silly -- but part of becoming a singer is being willing to look silly!" Eventually, they will get used to singing crazy sounds, especially with you, the teacher, or fellow students, joining in. It will become second nature.
The real purpose of these singing exercises is to get children singing sounds and experiencing what may be new sensations in their facial "mask" (especially the nose and cheekbones) and throat. With the Panting Dog exercise, they should feel the rise and fall of the diaphragm dramatically.
I hope you find these singing warm-ups helpful in your studio.
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Useful Sites for Vocalists
Cantorian.org, home to free classical sheetmusic
ChoralWiki, Home of the Choral Public Domain Library
International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) Petrucci Music Library
Musicnotes.com - transpose vocal sheets up or down!
Note-Perfect.com, Resources for Choral Singers and Soloists - hear your part!
Singwise.com - Technical singing advice
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Thank you thank you thank you!! I have recently started my own vocal studio, and though I have studied music education for years in college, a private studio is a daunting task for me. Your site has made everything seem so simple and straightforward and has helped me to really get started. It is so comprehensive and well put together. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge so that music can be shared everywhere. :)
Good for you! Yes, I know just what you mean. Every new endeavor requires a little bit of chutzpah -- not to say just brazening it out a bit, because you just can't be an expert at anything until you've done it for a while. All of us teachers have to learn how to teach... and you have to start somewhere.