Group Warm-Ups

 

Most warming up should be done by the individual as people have different needs as we inferred on the previous page.  Since many do not do it, and particularly in choruses, Group Warm-Ups seem necessary.


Group Warm-Ups are often combined with singing “Crafts”.  That is good but it also causes some confusion.  Both Craft and Warm-Up activities should have a goal (or more than one goal).


There are three goals for warming up: 1) awakening the mind, 2) relaxing the body and 3) warming up the voice.  But the goal of Crafts is to improve our singing skills and  craft activities may require more exertion that is good for the Warm-up activity.  Good warm-ups should not require much exertion and thus familiar things are frequently done.  Fine!, but people think that anything familiar can be used for warming up.  However the voice range and/or volume may be too much for a Warm-Up activity.  Another problem is the Warm-Up activity may end up as meaningless repetition and actually be a waste of precious rehearsal time.  Rather using “easy-on-the-voice-repertoire” and with a goal of improving them, is probably more valuable.  But a good warm-up with a clear goal(s) may be even more valuable if the goal(s) are carefully chosen.

Warm-ups should be varied according to the needs of the group considering the three warm-up goals noted above. 


For warm-ups with my H.S. guys, we sing the “Scale in Syllables”, going up a half step or down a half step.  Then we do it with a whole step lift and drop.  We also sing the “Chromatic Scale” in syllables.  This teaches Sight Singing, understanding whole and half steps, making them more alert - as well as warming up the voice.  While doing this we also give attention to good vocal production.


We also use the following “Warm-Up Cool Chords” as a warm up, for tuning and for learning half and whole steps as we do it with lifts and drops.  You will find that the whole step is harder for the Tenors going up and the Basses and Leads going down as that forces them to go out of the scale tonality.



AWAKENING THE MIND

Don’t have much to suggest here but anything that challenges the men or makes them more aware, is good.


PHYSICAL BODY WARM-UPS

If the need is to release tension, then some physical movement can help.  Here are some suggestions.

  1. 1. Stretch to the sky and then touch the toes (bend the knees if necessary)

  2. 2. Turn and massage the shoulders of the next member.  Turn back the other way.

  3. 3. Turn the head in 8 different directions: 

  4. 1 & 2 Up and Down (Look at the sky, look at your toes) 

  5. 3 & 4 Left and Right, 

  6. 5 & 6 Tip head to right  & then left, 

  7. 7 & 8 Push head forward the back inward (Turtle Move)

  8. 4. Rub the cheek downward










 

                                  I would love to hear from you. 

                          I appreciate any comments or suggestions.

                                  tednorton@roadrunner.com