RELAX those nerves before the big performance!
Warming up your voice .
Warming up your voice or vocal chords before singing or performing or speaking in public, is no different to the idea of warming up before doing vigorous excercise or before playing sport. You need to warm up your muscles beforehand, in order to prevent injury, and to prepare your body for the big performance! Warming up also helps to relax those pre-performance nerves!
1. Start with gentle humming ascending (and descending) from a 5 note scale (within your vocal range) on “mm”, then repeat the scale with an “nn” sound, then “ng” (as in “song”), then on the last ascending/descending scale, open your mouth, drop your jaw, and make a gentle “ah” sound.
2. Make an “oo” sound (like an owl). Now put an M in front of it, so it is a ‘moo’ sound, being careful not to sound like a cow! ie don’t sing through the nose). Then start singing a long ‘Moo’ note from a comfortable low note, and continue the sound slowly
up continuously as though you are making a long ‘Up-siren‘ sound! Then start from the top note of your range, still with the “Moo” sound, and descend the note in a long continuous ‘Down- siren‘ sound. Repeat these ‘siren’ steps using different words up and down the siren call: ‘Mah’,’Noo’ ‘Nah, ‘Fah’,’Foo” ‘Sah’ ‘Soo’.
3. Stretch your face and jaw muscles by making a happy clown face, (with eyes wide open, raised eyebrows, mouth wide open) then do the opposite and squeeze your face in, closing your eyes tightly, eyebrows in, keeping mouth closed tightly, as though you are about to blow out candles!)
4. Counting. Lie down flat on the floor, supporting your neck with a cushion, keeping your spine flat, arms by your side and count on one note from number 1 to as far as you can go in one breath. Using your diaphragm, making sure that as you inhale, you should see your stomach area rise, and then gradually fall as you exhale the ‘numbers’.
These are just a few easy vocal warm up steps to get you started. There are PLENTY more!