Vocal warm-ups for waking the voice up in the morning... free sheetmusic exercises to do before you even open your mouth. What do I mean, before even opening your mouth? Humming!
Slow and gentle is what these singing warm-ups are about. A physical education teacher once told my 7th-grade gym class that "jumping out of bed" was the worst thing you could do to your body!
Incredulous, one of the girls asked, "The very worst thing?" At which the teacher had to moderate her statement somewhat, replying, "Well, getting hit with a Mack truck would be worse, of course!
But her point was memorable -- in, fact, her statement is the only thing I remember about that long-ago gym class. The same thing applies to using your voice in the morning... be gentle with it.
Notice that most of these vocal warmups employ humming:
Download printable warm-ups sheet music for voice
It's hard to damage your vocal folds when you hum, making humming a good way to start your singing day. Even so, focus your hum "forward," up in the "mask" at or in the nose, if you can visualize this. You don't want pressure in the throat, so "aim" the tone up and out, beyond your neck and throat.
A "new" vocal warmup for me is also humming, but with a different approach, found in The Complete Voice and Speech Workout Book and CD, edited by Janet Rodgers. The exercise is called "Hum and Chew", and it means just that -- start a hum, then add chewing, with closed and open mouth. It gets fancier after that, if you want! It seems that the act of chewing focuses one's tone right into the teeth and bony structure of the face, making the sound more resonant.
Sing a few of these lines early in the morning, perhaps for five minutes, then stop, and come back again in a little while to sing some more.
I'd love to know about your favorite warm-ups, perhaps passed on to you by a dear teacher, or one you have made up yourself and come to rely upon. Tell us how you use it!
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