Student Login


You wouldn’t lift weights without first warming up and you wouldn’t do an aerobics class without first warming up, so why would you sing without first warming up? When we sing we are using our vocal cords (soft tissue) and the larynx muscles and if we don’t stretch and warm them up before starting to sing ‘properly’ then we risk injuring ourselves and losing our voices. Not good right? 

So how should we go about warming up our voices, since it is so important?!

Start carefully, quietly humming or blowing air through your lips. This is a good opportunity to practise good breathing technique too. And we should then gradually build up until we are ready to sing normally - i.e. the song you are learning. It’s a good idea to think about what kind of technique you will need for the particular song you’re working on. For example, do you have some notes which are held for a long time or do you have lots of quick runs, or perhaps you need to get really, really low… Your warm up should help you get ready for that kind of singing. 

Here are some warm up exercises you could start your singing practise with…

Inhale and fill your tummy, then feel the expansion in your sides and back (without lifting your shoulders or holding tension). Hum gently with your lips just touching and with plenty space in your mouth while counting to ten. Repeat a few times. 

Inhale as above and then slowly let out the air to a shhhh sound. Keep going as long as you can. Take a few breaths before continuing. Try the exercise for a variety of different sounds, ffff, ssss, maaa, meee…

Try a tongue twister. To the tune of Twinkle Twinkle...Which wrist watch is a Swiss wrist watch, which wrist watch is a Swiss wrist watch. Which wrist watch etc… Or...Shut up the shutters and sit in the shop, shut up the shutters and sit in the shop. Shut up the etc… Repeat a few times, gradually building up the speed at which you sing these. 

Hop up and down some octaves to mmmm (bottom note) ahhhhh (top note) mmmm (bottom note again). Then move up a step and repeat. Keep going until too high but don’t let it get uncomfortable. You might notice that you eventually manage to get a bit higher.

Choose your favourite song and turn a piece of the melody into an exercise, this could also be a tricky part of the song you’re learning, e.g. a difficult run or a melody which is hard to remember. For example, the opening instrumental part of Clocks by Coldplay. Try singing this to ‘tee’ and then ‘toe’ and then ‘ta’ etc. 

Sometimes, when we’re short on time it is tempting to skip warming up properly, but try and see it as an important part of your practise and it actually can be fun and challenging if you choose the right exercises! 


Written By

Related Articles


With an upcoming choir and piano concert looming I’ve been thinking hard about what makes a good performance. How can we make our audience feel glad that they spent their hard earned cash on a ticket and made the effort to take time out of their busy lives and show up on the day? And […]
Read More


If you have a performance coming up, no matter what it is, from making a speech, to singing a solo or playing in an orchestra, you might be feeling a little bit nervous right now. There’s nothing unusual about this, I certainly am; many performers, some with years of experience, and novices alike, feel the […]
Read More


Picture the scene: it’s Christmas; the hall is filled with proud parents and grandparents; the choir is lined up, wearing knee socks and school colours bobbles; and then they start to sing and there isn’t a dry eye in the place. Because everyone loves a children’s choir at Christmas. My children are too young to […]
Read More


1. Ukuleles are a great instrument for beginners and veteran musicians alike. You can just pick one up fairly inexpensively and start strumming. 2. Ryan Gosling plays the ukulele; the ukulele is cool. 3. Kids love them - it’s a great educational thing to experiment with - and they love the noises they make. Whether […]
Read More