“Warmups” (vs Structured Exercises)

A common myth that is bouncing around concerns the idea of “Warm-ups.”  

A person might say, “All I need is a few warm-up exercises and my voice will just work fine.”  Well, that maybe true, but only if the voice is functioning healthy already.

For the sake of discussion, let us say that a person’s voice is not functioning in a healthy manner.  Ok, so we do some warm-up exercises. These exercises will most likely be generic. For example, “Mee, May, Mah, Moh, Moo” or “Bumblebee” or “Buzzing our Lips.”

The problem is that a few warm-up exercises are not done over a long enough period of time to fix a vocal problem.  To repair and retrain muscles takes time and consistent correct work.

Also, if the warmups are generic, then they do not address the person’s specific vocal issues. Actually, in that case, the warm-ups might not be the vocal medicine that the person would need at the moment, and could do more harm than good.  

On a positive note, in a good voice lesson there is time at the beginning where the person’s muscles and mind are “warming up.” We think of it like stretching before lifting weights or running. If we are well trained with good muscle tone and function, then we will be “warmed up” pretty quickly. We can move into exercises with increasing difficulty so as to get a good workout complete with correct form so as to not hurt ourselves.  

If our muscles are not functioning so well, then this beginning period may take longer. Yet, as soon as the muscles respond in a more healthy manner, then we begin to move more and see good growth.

Note: even what may be considered warm-ups should be designed by the teacher to specifically address the growth needs of a particular student. All exercises should be structured with an ultimate purpose of balancing muscles so the muscles are in equilibrium and our voice is ready to go!  

Allen Rascoe

about the author

Allen Rascoe Allen has been enjoying singing since he was a little kid. He officially studied voice at ECU and USC. However, he ran... Read More