While you may be familiar with the idea of warming up your voice before vocalising have you ever wondered why it is so important? Have you ever asked what purpose different warm-ups serve? Below is a brief explanation for how and why it is important to warm up vocally along with video I recently shot with Australian Musician.
As always, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments. Find your voice. Emmanuella
1) Epithelium A very thin skin layer, only a few cells deepYour vocal folds, in a very superficial description, are made up of three key layers
2) Lamina Propria Consisting of 3 layers;
a) Superficial Layer (or Reinke’s Space) consisting of a loose web of fibers with fluid spaces
b) Intermediate Layer with elastic fibers that bounce of recoil like a soft rubber band
c) Deep Layer, consisting of thick collagenous fibers that are less stretchy, more like cotton thread
3) Vocalis Muscle A muscle that forms the central structure of the vocal fold
Any of these layers are susceptible to injury and strain. Like any other soft tissue in the body, if you care for it and warm it up before activity it will function better and decrease the likelihood of injury. Any athlete or dancer would warm up before activity, so too does it benefit the vocal athlete to warm up.
Like a football player would train for fitness to help them perform better on game day, vocal warm ups are very different to practicing the artistry of singing or vocalising. Different warm ups will target different technical elements of the vocalising activity so it is important that your warm ups and practice are deliberate, and aim for stability and control. Move through the warm ups deliberately, think of it as a fact finding missions where you look for the weaknesses or stiffness in the technique or instrument and use your warm up as an opportunity to resolve inconsistencies or weaknesses in technique.