Welcome back dear reader! Today we are talking about the importance of warming up for good vocal health. The American-Canadian soprano Sondra Radvanovsky said, “The vocal cords are a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, they can be strained. So you have to warm up.”
To open up you have to warm up.
There is no opening up without warming up. Let’s think about it. In this blog you will get an explanation of the importance of warming up, followed by an easy warm up exercise.
If you’ve ever tried to run even a short distance without warming up you can sure feel sore and maybe even hurt yourself. Whether you are a runner warming up your calf muscles or a speaker warming up your vocal cords, warm-ups are essential. Here’s why.
Warm-ups increase blood flow to your muscles, open them up and gets them ready for vocal work. Yes, your vocal apparatus is made of muscles. You know that warming up the voice is something that actors, singers and radio/tv announcers do to get their voices ready for the rigors of their profession. They’re back there behind the scenes doing their exercises. You don’t see them but that’s what they do.
Well, there are many ways to warm up your voice and one of them is by humming. As I researched for this blog I came upon Carole Bourne’s work at the Rejuvenation Lounge Community. She wrote a piece called, How to practice a simple humming meditation.
You can find her here.
Here’s my take on how to practice humming:
Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes, straighten your spine, neck and shoulders and then relax. Gently touch your lips together so your hum can travel easily into your head, face and neck muscles. Relax your jaw. Play some soft background music to enhance your experience.
Take a deep slow breath in, and then create a “mmm” sound on your exhale. Continue to hum the “mmm” until your breath is exhausted. When you are finished exhaling don’t rush to inhale. Simply allow your lungs to fill up.
Start with 1 minute of practice and increase the time in small increments until you get to 5 minutes.
When you can do this exercise for 5 minutes pause and check yourself out. How am I feeling? Is there a sense of opening up, of being relaxed? Just notice.
You can find out more about my programs on my “How it Works” page here on my website. You can write to me there and get on my monthly newsletter list. The newsletters are always filled with life affirming and interesting tips to help you get the most out of your voice.