Highlights from Swannanoa (Vocals)

Thought I’d post this information just sent by Herschel Lee Brown… enjoy!


1. Singing is not just about the throat, it is a full body exercise and experience requiring athletic discipline as well as artistry.

2. Any athlete knows that an effective warm-up is essential for optimal performance.

3. Ideally, the warm-up should be unhurried, allowing adequate time for gradual loosening and coordination of countless muscles, large and small, which contribute to vocal production.

4. Begin by warming up the entire body with gentle physical exercise (e.g. stretching, yoga, Tai Chi). Pay close attention to the breath.

5. Next, warm up the muscles of articulation (jaw, tongue, lips, soft palate) using appropriate exercises.

6. Example followed in class: Book and CD by Anne Peckham, The Contemporary Singer(Berklee Press) the one with the purple cover

7. Example I demonstrated at our meeting is by: Eric Arceneaux and can be found here:

Vocal Warm-up Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Q5CWsFaVnWM
Vocal Warm-up Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=jZ_RwV52DMw&NR=1
Vocal Warm-up Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=lSOn-b3V6rQ&NR=1
Vocal Warm-up Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=AnmlpVe3B40&feature=related

8. Maintain good posture while performing. Keep your spine straight. Don’t stretch your neck up or forward.

9. If you hold a guitar while singing, hold it in a ‘dancing’ position, as if you and your partner were waltzing.

10. When you are finished performing or rehearsing, cool down your voice by gently repeating a series of the warm-up exercises.


1. Maintain a balanced diet. Eat protein. Reduce the amount of sugar, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. This will help reduce mucus in your throat.

2. Drink plenty of water. Room temperature water is best. Allow plenty of time before a performance to hydrate.

3. Stay physically fit. Your body is your instrument!

4. Do not smoke.

5. Don’t sing if it hurts.

6. Develop good rehearsal habits. Warming up before rehearsals will help you avoid straining your voice. During a long rehearsal, be sure to take breaks and drink plenty of water.
____________ _________ ___
Herschel Lee Brown

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