From ‘Adventures in Sound’ by Jonathan Lambert

Age: 10 to adult
Players: Whole Group
Time: 10 minutes
Skills: Vocal warm-up, Breath awareness

A good exercise for exploring and extending the vocal range.

This voice warm-up will help to eradicate unexpected ‘catches’ in the throat from occurring when speaking or singing. It’s also a very good icebreaker.

Before you begin, hum for a while. Don’t clamp your lips together but rather see how lightly you can let them touch. Can you feel them tingle at the point of contact? Smile and see what difference that makes. OK, now let’s make a start.

  • Take a deep breath and make an ‘ooh’ sound. Keep this soft to avoid straining the vocal cords.
  • Move this sound upwards until you reach the top of your vocal range, then come down to the bottom of your range. From here, turn and move back up towards the top again.
  • Continue up and down through your range, breathing when you reach the end of each breath and restarting from where you left off. ‘Massage’ with sound any parts where the voice disappears, or is broken, by singing up and down through that area of your range until the voice returns.

Note: Singing softly, as well as preventing damage to vocal cords, should prevent anyone from hyperventilating. Even so, at the outset advise people to sit down and
rest if they begin to feel dizzy and keep an eye out for anyone who begins to look light-headed.

This activity is used with permission from Adventures in Sound by Jonathan Lambert, available in paperback and Kindle.

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