Warm Me Up! App Review
Here at the JCSOM vocal department we’re working on recording our own custom vocal warm ups to provide students. But in the meantime, here is a great app you can use to help warm up and give yourself a vocal workout.
First, some notes about vocal exercises. Vocal exercises perform two main functions - one is to “warm up” the voice, that is, to remind us what parts of our body we need to engage for good singing, and how.
The breath - am I engaging my diaphragm? Are my chest and shoulders quiet when I breathe? Am I taking in enough air, is my body being active enough to help me breathe correctly?
Placement/resonance - am I directing my sound forward? Where can I feel my voice resonating? (for most contemporary singing, this should be at the front of the mouth!)
Intention - good singing is all about having the right intention, and having this intention clear. When warming up, it is important to check into a singing headspace, that is, where you have a clear idea of the sound you want to make, and you are directing your voice confidently out into the world to accomplish this task. Having this clear intention about making sound is essential to having good coordination between your breath and the vocal mechanism.
Relaxation - having a relaxed, supple body is essential for good singing. Always check in when you warm up to see if you are carrying any tension in your body - in your throat, shoulders, neck, face, hands. Doing some stretches, having a good shake, or combining some gestures with your warm up exercises can be a great way to warm your body up to be relaxed in the way you need it to be for good singing.
The second function of vocal exercises, is that they can act as workouts for vocal technique. We might want to extend our range, develop more balance and breath control, make cleaner, more consistent vowel sounds, work on smoothing out our vocal break, become more agile and flexible with our voices, or work on correcting some kind of vocal fault we might have habitualised, such as tension in the jaw or throat, or chest breathing.
Different exercises help us achieve different things - for example, humming and lip trilling can be excellent for warming up the voice, but might not be the kind of exercise that will allow us to work on a specific vocal technique.Your warm up should be divided into two sections, the first comprising exercises that warm your voice up gently and get you in the right headspace for practicing. Then you can move into more complicated exercises that workout your technique.
Words by Luara.