It’s Not Too Warm to Warm-Up

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on July 26, 2012

It may be warm outside right now, but it’s a good time to think about warming up even more.  How?  I’m talking about vocal warm-ups you can use to improve your articulation.

Most of us wouldn’t think of not warming up our muscles before going for a jog or doing strenuous exercise, but we often forget to warm up before voicing.  The vocal mechanism is almost all muscle, especially the articulators, which include the lips, the tongue, the jaw, and the teeth (okay, the teeth aren’t muscle).  In the same way we stretch and warm up our leg muscles before exercise, we should warm up our vocal muscles before voicing.

Try these simple warm-ups:

Repeat the phrases below ten times each before you begin your voicing to warm up your articulators.  Exaggerate the explosion of the /t/ /d/ and /p/ /b/ ending consonants.

Put a cup.                             Fat lazy cat.                    Hot and cold.

Now exaggerate this simple phase:  You see Oz.  Pucker your lips and pull them forward when you say “You.”  Smile an exaggerated smile when you say “see.”  Finish by opening your mouth as wide as you comfortably can for “Oz.”

Let these warm-ups be part of your daily routine when you’re getting ready to get in front of a mic.  And remember, warming up is a good thing for the mouth!

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