Warm-ups and vocal exercises are not-one-size-fits-all. Group warm-ups, much beloved by choral conductors, music directors, and others in our field, typically take singers to their highest note in rapid succession over a period of 5 minutes. Since singers can’t really hear themselves in group warm-ups, they will be prone to try to sing louder than the singer next to them – which will lead them to push. In turn, this will frequently cause vocal fatigue set up a tight vocal mechanism for the rest of the day. Rather than warming the voice UP, group warm-ups all-too-often simply blow the voice OUT, constricting rather than loosening, and limiting range rather than expanding it! Beware the group warm-up!
As a serious voice student, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor if you get to know your individual voice and how it likes to warm up. One key for everyone is to be patient. Take your time. A proper warm-up should last 20 minutes, and should keep you in the comfortable middle of your range until about 12-15 minutes into the session. Sing for a few minutes and then take a break. Get some water, take a walk down the hall. Look at your diction homework for a few minutes. But don’t rush. Most importantly, remember to practice mindfully. In other words, know exactly WHY you are doing each exercise. Make sure you clearly understand what you are trying to accomplish with each scale or arpeggio. A good voice teacher will be able to help you understand the technical basis for each exercise.
There is an art to warming up. Don’t just "make noise for the sake of making noise". And watch out for those group warm-ups...
Vocal Audition Advantage (VAA)
Helping young classical and musical theater singers develop their talent and polish their craft.