questions we hope to answer
How can I warm myself up?
It is remarkable how many singers who have been participating in voice lessons and choirs for years have no idea how to answer the question - how do you warm up? It's as if they weren't even present for the hours of their life spent listening to an instructor shout different vowel and pitch combinations at them from behind the piano. Without a structured layout of what options they have, and why they might choose those options, they must rely on the person who "warms them up" being in the room.
Build Your Own Warm Up reverses this paradigm, giving the students the tools and leadership in their own vocal learning process. They can be as empowered, informed, and accountable as their instructor for the work their bodies are doing. Picking warm ups no longer has to feel haphazard and inaccessible, there are only a few questions you have to answer, after all -
This also gives instructors a way to guarantee that students are accountable for warming up on their own. Together, student and instructor can design a warm up plan that is creative, structured, repeatable, easy to follow, and progress measurable.
What order should I warm up in?
Each step in the Build Your Own Warm Up builds on the previous step. Balance is established before breath exercises, because balance informs breathing. Each step adds a level of complexity to the previous step, or a "modulation" to the original "carrier signal". In other words, if the source of the sound (the job of the vocal folds) isn't lined up, adding open mouth vowels (the job of the vocal tract) can cause unnecessary strain.
The sequence is based in principles of vocology , which are drawn from the order infants learn to make sounds in early developmental stages. This order of sound making follows the automatic reflex and regulatory systems.
We explain our goals for each warm up and warm up pitch pattern. When singers understand the purpose behind why they're doing certain exercises, they feel more engaged and empowered in the warm up process. Imagine preparing for a race and spending 30 minutes stretching the muscles in your arms instead of your legs, and not knowing why. Because the vocal mechanism cannot be seen and is easily misunderstood, people can easily spend warm up time making uninformed sounds that fail to target the specific muscle coordination necessary for singing.
"Vocal Warm Ups"
meaningful & purposeful exercises that habituate the voice
"Will you warm me up?"
Can an instructor actually warm up a singer? Whose body, brain, and voice is responsible for doing the learning and the work, instructor or singer? Would a track coach ever say to a runner - "I'm going to run you"?
Or do they say, "here is the course and the guidelines, now you go run."?
structure & Creativity
When building a personalized warm up for you or your student, you can be as structured or as creative as you want.
For a singer who enjoys details and structure, you can choose to write in very specific instructions like 'start on an Eb' and 'repeat for 5 repetitions'.
For a singer who enjoys more creativity and variety , you can choose to write in more free form instructions like 'start in your middle voice' or 'pick your favorite three in this category and alternate them for minutes'
The goals are structured, the methods are creative and varied.