Warming Up and taking care of our Voices

Weekly Teaching Tip March 4, 2013

It’s important, that as singers, we spend time preparing the voice, strengthening it, freeing it up, making sure we are breathing correctly, as well as thinking about posture etc.

After I a visit to my E.N.T. specialist, I was told I had good vocal technique when I was singing, but not when I was speaking. It wasn’t till then that I realized that my talking voice was what was tiring me out vocally.

I went to a wonderful Speech Pathologist who guided me through exercises that improved my speaking voice immensely.  I then learned to speak correctly without any tension in my throat and was able to project my voice without pushing.

Since then I always do a daily warm up routine to make sure that my speaking voice is ready for the day ahead, whether it be for teaching, singing or being a busy Mum. I also found that these exercises improved my voice when singing.

The following exercise is only a part of my daily warm-up / warm-down routines.

To start, I make sure of the following:

  • My throat is relaxed
  • My tongue is resting behind my bottom teeth
  • My jaw is relaxed
  • Teeth slightly apart
  • Lips softly closed
  • My muscles under my chin are relaxed.

At a comfortable volume, I then say “mmm” like I’m agreeing with someone.

Then I say “mmm” followed by as many “m” words as possible (about 20).

I have a practice list of “mmm” words recorded on my phone that I repeat.

Then I also do some “m” phrases… Eg: “My Mother makes milkshakes”.  Whilst doing these exercises I had to make sure I was aware of where my voice was naturally resonating in the front of my face.

These exercise ensure that my voice is in a relaxed resonant condition and helps make sure that my voice does not get fatigued as easily.

We owe it to ourselves as vocal coaches to maintain good vocal health.

Hope this helps.



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