Is it really important to warm up the voice before a show? How long do i need to warm up my voice? Why cooling down exercises are important?
Warming up and cooling down exercises are really important for singers who want to start a professional career.
A singer who wants to start a professional career in the music business need to start to take care of his/her voice in order to obtain the best from every show.
The role of the singing teacher is to guide the student in every aspect of his music life. When a student start his learning process through vocal lessons , the teacher introduce some vocalizations that could help him based on his tendency.
Every vocalization is focused on develop new sensations and skills in the student in order to obtain a balanced voice.
The student start to lean into different kind of vocalizations and involve these exercises in his daily routine.
When he/she starts doing gigs and concert, slowly understands how much important are the warming up and cooling down exercises before and after the show.
What kind of exercises do you recommend?
Generally the most common exercises gave it from the majority of teachers are lip bubble, tongue trill, humming and sirens.
Not all of these exercises could be effective on every singer. Depending on the tendency, maybe some students need more release in head voice for his performance or maybe some reinforcement on his chest voice.
The goal of the singing teacher is also to let a student understand better which exercises are better fit for him, in order to find every time the best vocal balance.
How long do i need to warm up my voice?
Before a performance is important to warm up the voice but is also important to not exaggerate.
Warming up need to be something which prepare you for the performance but not replace the performance. Like an athlete who need to warm his body muscles doing some run with some stretching before a game, so the singer need to prepare his body for the performance.
The best advice is to do the warming up close to the performance so your voice is gonna be ready straight away for the concert.
Why cooling down exercises are important?
During the show our vocal folds made some thinning and thickening work(depending also on the genre,tessitura and vocal range we needed to cover).
After a show a good advice is checking the situation of the voice.
A good example for determine if vocal folds are still in a good shape is to check the speaking voice when you finish the concert. If you feel your voice a bit raspy, tired or too thin on the high range with consequent loosing of your low notes, maybe is because during the concert you tended to overuse one register than another.
In that case (but also if you feel good) cooling down exercise could help you to reset your voice as the beginning of the concert. In this case is preferrable to do light exercises which allow you to bring the voice back the normal more easily.
Daniele Calimera is a certified singing teacher for the Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA). He is an expert of the MIX method, use by international singing stars. Lesson in Cardiff and via Skype