Choir warm-ups are an essential part of any choral rehearsal or performance. Not only do they help to get the singers' voices warmed up and ready to sing, but they also help to build ensemble unity and focus. Here are some tips for incorporating effective choir warm-ups into your rehearsals:
Start with some basic vocal exercises. These can include lip trills, sirens, and vowel sounds. These exercises help to loosen up the muscles in the face and throat, which will make it easier for the singers to hit high notes and produce a full, rich sound.
Incorporate some breathing exercises. Proper breathing is essential for good singing, and warming up the diaphragm and other muscles involved in breathing can help singers to sing with more control and power. Some simple breathing exercises to try include deep belly breaths and "hissing" breaths.
Practice some simple melodies. Once the voices are warmed up, it can be helpful to work on some simple melodies to help the singers get a feel for their vocal range and help them to find their pitch. You can use familiar tunes or simple folk songs for this purpose.
Do some physical warm-ups. Singing involves a lot of physical movement, especially when it comes to performing. To help singers get their bodies ready for this, try incorporating some physical warm-ups into your rehearsals. These can include stretches and movements to help loosen up the muscles in the face, neck, and shoulders.
Work on blend and harmony. Once the singers are warmed up, it's time to start working on ensemble skills. This can include focusing on blend, balance, and harmony. You can do this through ear training exercises, sight-singing exercises, or by singing simple rounds or harmonies. (see warmup below)
Overall, choir warm-ups are an important part of any choral rehearsal or performance. By incorporating a variety of vocal and physical exercises, you can help your singers to get their voices warmed up and ready to sing, while also building ensemble unity and focus.
Download a fun "Grace Kelly" harmony warmup for SSA choirs: