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Drlawley. Titze's Favorite Five vocal warm ups for singers

Submitted to Common Times by Mark Lawley, SWACDA President-Elect

The following material is provided courtesy of Amy Clift, Springfield, MO, Speech Pathologist

1. Lip trill, tongue trill, humming, or phonation into narrow tubes (all partial occlusions of the vocal tract) on glides, scales or arpeggios.

  • Gets respiratory muscles into full action rapidly
  • Minimizes upward force on vocal folds because of positive oral pressure
  • Spread the vocal folds to vibrate their edges only
  • Lowers phonation threshold pressure by providing an inertive acoustic load

2. Two-octave pitch glides, up and down, high vowels /i/ or /u/

  • Low chest to high pure falsetto
  • Mixed voice
  • Gives maximal stretch to vocal folds (first ligament, then muscle)
  • Maximum dichotomy between TA and CT muscles, then unity between them
  • Avoid teh difficult passaggi
  • Gets F0 above F1 for varying acoustic loads

3. Forward tongue roll and extension, vowel sequence /a/-/i/ scales

  • Creates independence between the phonatory and articulatory structures
  • Loosens the tongue and jaw
  • Helps keep vertical larynx position stable during articulation

4. Messa di voce, proceeding from a partially occluded tract, to high vowels, to low vowels

  • Engages the layers of vocal fold tissue gradually in vibration, medial to lateral
  • Helps singers match tension in muscle to tension in ligament
  • Tests symmetry of crescendo versus decrescendo control under changing respiratory conditions
  • Makes all intrinsic muscles of the larynx work in coordination with changing lung pressure

5. Staccato on arpeggios

  • Elicits clean and rapid voice onset, establishing a dominant mode of vibration
  • Trains adductor/abductor muscles simultaneously with tensor muscles during pitch change