One of the most popular questions my students ask me, is how to warm up their voice so they do not hurt themselves. There are many techniques a person can do, including the exercises in my Practicing CORE Vocal Power CD, but if you want to get the most out of your vocal warm ups, the location of where you sing is also an important factor to consider.  Oftentimes, singers are afraid that other people will hear them when they practice. If you think about it, that kind of fear is ironic, because eventually, you want people to hear you sing – right?  Being outside is great because most people won’t be paying much attention to you but they will still be in your vicinity.

When it comes to warming up your voice, it’s important to consider your whole instrument [MIND, SOUL, BODY] which means your vocal technique, and also what your MIND is thinking and how comfortable you feel in your SOUL.  Most people don’t practice the latter two, yet when it boils down to it – you could learn the best vocal exercises the world has to offer and practice them daily with diligence, but if you are not comfortable in the present moment with yourself, feel too sensitive around other people’s energy, or are afraid to come out of your shell, then it won’t matter.

I’d like to share 3 unique tips with you that will help you warm up in the most beneficial ways, which will build your stage presence, power and stamina.

 

1. HAVE FUN WHEN YOU PRACTICE AND DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY!

In the video above, I’ve got a scarf around my head and I’m doing something I enjoy – riding a bicycle!  Even though there are people around me, I don’t care because I’m having fun, and allowing myself to just be me while I do my favorite goofy looking vocal exercise – LIP TRILLS! I’m actually practicing feeling comfortable in a public setting, and guess what – it’s building my confidence and helping me to realize we’re all in it together as we all ride down the same path. What a great low-risk healthy way to practice building stage presence!  I’m not just visualizing performing, or thinking about it, I’m out and about with people, doing it in public. Yep.

 

2. SING OUTSIDE AND ENJOY NATURE

Have you ever been to a concert outside, or performed outside? It’s much different from singing inside, isn’t it? You can’t hear yourself as well and there is so much more stimuli to distract you.  That means, if you practice outside, you have to show up more in your own energy, embody your tone more [which means you may need to be more grounded and sing louder] and develop better focus.  In addition, if it’s sunny you can increase your endorphins and serotonin in the brain while getting some awesome physical exercise. [Fair ones, remember your sunscreen].  Performing indoors on a stage is like a piece of cake once you overcome the challenges of practicing outside, and grow from the benefits.

 

3. MULTI-TASKING SINGING WITH A GENTLE PHYSICAL EXERCISE CAN HELP YOU TRUST YOUR VOICE MORE AND GET YOU OUT OF YOUR SHELL

You may have seen my hula hoop video in the past, encouraging singers to burn calories while they sing.  Hula hooping for 8 minutes allows you to burn the same amount of calories as running or walking 1 mile.  Riding a bicycle is also great because it builds muscle tone and stamina. It also reduces stress. I don’t think I know of a performer who doesn’t need more stamina and less stress!  And when you sing at the same time as you gently work out, you’re not so focused on your voice, and being perfect, which actually allows more freedom in your instrument, less tension, and more of a chance to do it right!  You’re naturally developing the wiring you need to become a confident performer.

Putting it to practice:  In a perfect world, I would recommend you warm up and/or practice for precision and use a mirror when needed about half of the time, until you know you are doing the exercises safely. Then, I would recommend you spend the other half of the time singing outside, enjoying your connection to yourself, nature and other people.  Once you become masterful at warming up, you can spend more time outside in the sun!  Remember, a minimum of 15 minutes per day for a vocal warm up. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!