Gifts? Check. Eggnog? Check. If you’ve completed your to-do list, it’s time to sit back and take a deep breath. You’ve made it – Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s time to celebrate (and relax!) with family and friends. From all of us here at TakeLessons, we hope you’re enjoying the holiday season and making the most of it!
One of our favorite parts of the season is all of the holiday music, and sharing that gift of music with others. And of course – if you’re heading out caroling this weekend, make sure to warm up your voice, as with any practice session or performance. Here’s a simple voice exercise sure to get you on Santa’s “Nice” list, courtesy of Performancehigh.net:
You have probably heard many times that singing is all about breath support and airflow.
And you may think you’re singing with good breath support and airflow. But if you’re getting tension in your neck and are unable to sing past a certain ceiling without “flipping” into the next higher register, you probably still have some work to do with breath. Let’s get down to the basics for a moment.
Put your hand on your belly.
Spread your fingers wide so that you cover as much vertical area as possible.
Now, say “Ho! Ho! Ho!” in a percussive way.
Don’t worry about hitting any particular pitch. Just focus on feeling your stomach muscles actually act, and expel air with each syllable. Your throat is simply a passage the air goes through. Let the air pass through without trying to “grip” it or control it with your throat muscles.
Your belly should go in, not out, with each syllable.
This is completely natural for some people, but not for everyone. Just check to make sure. (If you’re pushing your belly out with each syllable, how in the world are you pushing air up and out through your throat as well? Think about it…)
Once you are doing “Ho! Ho! Ho!” correctly, then do a variation: “Ho! Ho! Hooooo…”
Hold out that last syllable for a second or two, making sure that you are still supporting your breath from your belly and not moving the compression and effort up into your throat just because you are now “singing” a sustained note.
How did the voice exercise go for you? What other tips would you add? Leave a comment below!
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Image courtesy of http://www.singingsantaclaus.com/