Warm Ups for Europa Cantat 2018

By Dr. Susan Yarnall Monks

From July 29- August 3 the European Voice Teachers Association (EVTA) offers a daily Voice Clinic

at Europa Cantat in Tallin, Estonia. You can find more information on the Voice Clinic here.

For more info contact president@evta-online.eu


Warm-ups to improve Focus/Tone/ Timbre

1. High hums and Clapham Junction (neck work space)
2. Massage cheek bones to ears (listening key)
3. Motorbike (tongue trill or lip trill)
4. Witchee ‘ee’ ‘Eyes’ and Mi, mi, mi (forward ping)
5. Soft palate/nasal port (A-ha) and ‘hookup’ with lower abs
6. Tongue exploration (teeth, soft tissue, plasticity)
7. Staccato then legato any vowel on arpeggio tonic/dominant 7th
8. Connection with breath:Trampoline (staccato octave bounce and descending scale)
9. Falling off a cliff (simply a falling sigh, high to low with no breaks)
10. Linklater’s resonance around the body (see separate sheet for details)


Warm-ups to improve Vowel clarity and resonance

1. Open mouth, throat and tongue space (Air bubble play to feel air pressure)
2. Tomatis listening posture (see separate sheet)
3. ‘ee-ah’ on each note down a scale (major or minor)
4. Miaou (feeling the connection between vowel positions)
5. Breathe in on vowel (play with imagining vowel space as you breathe in)
6. Pitfalls of ‘A’ (Magnificat etc.)
7. Bright ee and forward oo (see separate vowel sheet)
8. Schwa non vowel (so the singers hear/feel the difference)
9. Staccato vowel for quick muscle response
10. Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, Hodie Christus Natus Est



Warm-ups to improve Breathing and Balance

1. Loosening body and hips (Psoas muscle: the most important factor to release breath!)
2. Stroking down back from shoulders to tail (in pairs if appropriate)
3. Tulip stretch (Yoga based body lengthening and shoulder drop)
4. Rib swing (essential movement in floating ribs release)
5. Laughs and panting (but everyone is different)
6. Count OUT 6 IN 6 walking (up to count of 12)
7. Body balance: open palms (Roger Federer secrets)
8. Noisy breath change to emotional breathing (practice different emotions)
9. Mouth/nose breathing (Yoga again)
10. Diving board and Da Vinci man (watch finger tips)


Warm-ups to improve Line and legato

1. ‘Support’ or Energy (Beware of creating tension by your language)
2. Flexible abdominals (horse riding/ laying eggs, etc with freedom)
3. No stairs smoothness scales (really listen to warm-ups in your choirs, scales can be done badly!)
4. Sniff, hum, ooo (placing the sound, lifting the soft palate and opening the nasal port)
5. Consonant positions, forward to back (see separate sheet)
6. Picking up pins (sing descending scale on ding-dong as you pick pins from the floor, feeling back muscles as you breathe, down at top of scale, up at the bottom of scale)
7. Glides on perfect 5th with/without emotion (no throat emotion)
8. W=OO Why Where When What
9. Falling scales: Fly me to the moon, Caro mio ben - Think Sinatra!
10. Open throat, feel the space and keep the space: Jubilate Deo



Warm-ups to improve Attack and Agility

1. Bouncing scales (bounce on 5th, 123455, 123455 up and down)
2. Alleluja (triplet scale)
3. One over the top (scale with extra note)
4. Kit-Kat on descending scale
5. Little Letter (the lazy tongue)
6. Popacatépetl: copper bottomed coffee pot
7. Tongue tip: ta-ka, ta-la, da-na
8. Chitty, chitty, bang, bang (songs like Disney)
9. Ta-ha, te-he, to-ho on 5 note scales
10. Peal of bells (3 repeated scales with octave leaps and change vowel before the leap on doh)



Warm-ups to develop perceptual skills

1. Decoro: conventional, Sprezzatura: unconventional, Grazia: magical movement/sound
2. Sing ‘Amen’ with
1. Furrowed brows: Glaring eyes
2. Lips protruded: Sparkling eyes
3. Overly broad smile: Jaw jutting out
4. Shoulders raised: and down
5. Sneer: and ecstatic nun face!
3. Loosening tension when nerves kick in: untying middle knots
4. Imagining colours and textures (see embroidery sheet)
5. Use spectrum analysis if appropriate.