You are on page 1of 13

Choral Warm-Ups

Compiled by Kim Watkins

2016

Please also consider using


A Daily Workout for a Beautiful Voice by Charlotte Adams

Warm-ups for Resonance

1. Yoo tee

Yoo yoo yoo yoo

yoo tee yoo tee yoo tee yo fa

2. Hmm

mm mm mm

3. Mm-ah

mm ah mm ah mm ah mm ah

Mee oh mee oh

5. Sama Soo

Sa

sa

ma

sa

6. Nee-oh

Nee oh nee oh nee oh nee oh

nee

fa la

Use hand circles with shoulder taps to promote vitality and flow.

ma

la la la

Humming helps focus the ah vowel.


Ask students to feel vibrations in the mask.

oo

bing bing bing bing boo

ma

oo oo

la la la la la la la la la la la la fa

Humming is easy on the cords and great for resonance.


Women, open to noo and noh as you ascend.
Men, change to noo or nee as you ascend.

Hmm mm mm mm

4. Mee-Oh Bing

Initial "s" promotes breath flow while "m" promotes resonance.

sa

ma

soo

oo

oo

oo

oo

Use hand circles to promote flow and vitality.


Moving up and down in half or whole step sequences
helps tuning the lower of the two pitches.
Change to Neh oh for more a more open sound.

Warm-Ups for Mixing Registers

7. Vee-ee. vee-eh, vee-ah

8. Ha-kee

Vee

ee vee

eh vee

ah ah ah

ah

Ha kee

ha kee ha

ah ah ah kee

Great for warming up high register/ extending range.


Use Thee-eh, thee-oh, thee-ah as well.
"Th" promotes increased air flow and relaxes
the tongue. Have sections hold last measure notes
to create a chord.

Compiled by Kim Watkins

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

9. Hmm glissando


OR


Hmm

Hmm

mm

mm

10. So-lo glissando

Mee

meh

12. Zee-oh-ah

So
lo oh
11. Mee Meh Mah

This exercise works at a 3rd or 4th also. It may be work better with smaller
intervals at first. Ask students to take warm bottom tones up.
Ask them to keep the high note in the same places as the low note.
Students should use glissandos in both directions.
As student improve their tendencies to over-shift, remove glissandos.
This exercise works when head voice lacks richness and fundamental.
This exercise works to ease unnecessary register changes.

oh

Glissandos help students maintain freedom and resonance.


Glissandos also help students negotiate register breaks.

mah ah ah ah

ah moh moo

13. Vee veh vah

Vee

veh

vah

Tell students to remain in high register, avoid over-shifting.


This exerciese is great for register shift development.

Zee ee oh oh ah ah ah ah

ah

ee

veh

eh

vah

vee

The "v"and the "ee" promote resonance.


3

vee ee

eh vah

ee veh eh

14. Nee-eh-ah Great for range extension and changing registers quickly. Ask students to remain in high register.

Nee ee neh eh nah ah ah

nee ee neh eh nah ah ah

nee ee neh eh nah ah ah

nee oo nee oo nee

Ask students to sing this exercise in one breath, sing it messa di voce, and to group notes.

15. Major scale intervals on numbers or solfege.

16. Blah Blah

4 1

blah blah blah blah

blah

This exercise helps with interval relationships and with register changes.

This exercise helps release jaw and tongue tension.

Choral Warm-ups (continued)


17. Tee and foo

tee

tee

tee

Tee works well to strengthen cord closure for students


with thin adduction. Foo works well for singers
who sing in chest voice.

tee

CONSIDER WESTON NOBLE'S #18 (oo, oh, ah, eh, ee)


and #59 (Sing ee, Sing eh, Sing ah) for vowels as well.

tee

Warm-Ups to Promote Tall Vowels and Breath Support

Have students open and close hands like an accordian to emphasize dynamics.
Use dynamics like messa di voce.

18. Noo ee eh ah


Noo ee

eh

ah

oo

ee

eh

ah

oo ee eh ah oo ee eh ah

oo

Explain that dynamics can be produced by opening/ closing the mouth, changing pressure,
adjusting brightness, and increasing resonance. Try to complete this exercise in one breath while feeling subdivisions.

19. Thee-eh-ah

Thee ee ee ee eh eh eh eh

20. Oo ee eh ah

Oo

21. Vee-ah

ee

eh

ah ah ah ah

ah

oo

OR Thoo oo oo oo

ee

eh

thoh oh oh oh

tha ah ah ah

ah

Promotes tuning descending scales.


Have students rise slowly from a seated position
or have students raise hands slowly while descending.
Have boys sing this alone in falsetto to learn to mix
head voice into low range.

ah


Vee ah

ah ah ah

ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

vee ah

ah ah ah

ah

22. Ho oh

Ho oh oh oh oh Ho oh oh oh oh Ho oh oh oh oh Ho oh oh oh oh Ho oh oh oh oh Ho oh oh oh oh oh

For # 23, Play I, IV, IV arpeggiated chords underneath on 8th notes.


The arpeggiated chords promote a feeling of subdivision and spinning air.
Try this exercise in one breath with a messa di voce.

23. Thoo Thoh Thah Thoh Thoo

Thoo

thoh

24. I love to sing

thah

Love

to

thoh

sing!

thoo

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

25. Fah foh foo

Fa

ah

ah

foh

Warm-ups for Diction

oh

oh

fah

ah

ah

foh

oh

oh

foo

Change initial consonant to V or P as well.

26. Pee eh peh

Zee eh zeh zee eh zee zee ai zik ky zai zee oh zoh zic ky zai oh zee oh zoo zi cky zai zoh zoo

Make sure students have space between their molars during patter music.

27. To Be Clearly Understood

If I want my dic tion to be clear ly un der stood

lips and teeth and tip of tongue will help it to be good.

28. Picolomini



Pi co lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni

pi co lo mi ni pi co

lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni pi

co lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni pi co lo mi ni

29. Bumble bee


3

3
3
3

Bum

ble bum

ble bum

ble bum

30. Voiced and unvoiced consonants

bb

bb

bb

bb

pp

pp

pp

pp

ble

bum

ga

zin

ga

zin

ga

zin

pp

ga

bee

Change consonant combinations.


Th/ Th V/F Place shadow vowel "ih" after
D/T voiced consonants.
G/K
Z/S
J/Sh
Dz/ Ch

31. Zinga Zing

Zin

ble

No pitch on the descending scale as these are voiceless consonants.

zing

zing

zing

Choral Warm-ups (continued)


Change text to 1. nama mana mia 2. bella bella dona 3. prima prima dona

32. Papagena

Pa pa pa pa ge

nah

pa pa pa pa geh

nah

pa pa pa pa geh

33. Lah beh dah meh

Lah ah beh eh dah ah meh eh

34. Bum biddly

Bum

nee ee poh oh too oo lah ah

bid dl y bid dl y bid dl y

bum

beh

eh

nah

35. Zinga Zinga Za

Zin ga zin ga za zin ga zin ga za

zin ga zin ga za zin ga zin ga za

zin ga zin ga zin ga zin ga za

36. Lah beh dah meh nee poh too

lah beh dah meh nee poh too lah beh dah meh nee poh too lah behdah meh nee poh too lah beh dah meh nee poh too lah beh

37. Lah beh dah meh nee poh too with syllablic stress changes

lah behdahmehneepoh too lah behdahmehneepoh too lah beh dahmehneepoh too lah behdah meh neepoh too lah behdahmeh

nee poh too lah beh dah meh nee poh too lah beh dah meh nee poh too lah beh dah meh nee poh too lah

38. The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue

The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue, the

tip of the, tip of the, tip of the tongue.

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

39. The Big Black Bug



The

big

black bug

bit the big

40. Syllablic combinations for diction practice.

OR

black bear

OR

and the

Double or triple the length of the exercise to improve breath control


Use these possible vowel/ consonant combinations:
Snee-oh (promotes good breath flow, resonance and roundness)
Pree-oh (promotes lifted palate, tongue release, and resonance)
Ming-uh (promotes resonance and forward placement)
Puti poo (promotes lifted palate and resonance)
Nyoo (promotes resonance, forward tongue, and roundness)
Doo bee (promotes roundness and resonance)
Kya Kyo (promotes lifted palate and forward tongue placement)
Vio-la (promotes brightness and forward tongue placement)
Diphthong and tripthong words in music (like, house, tour)
Words with r, l, m, or n in the middle
Christmas (helps practice long vowels and short consonants, especially s)
Short word combinations like:
Dog Stuff
Love Cat
Sun Fox
Mark Well
Fire Wood
Pop Pez
Nice Mum
Way Far

big black bear bled bad

Weston Noble's Building Beautiful Voices exercises 31 (A Cup of Proper Coffee)


and 33 (Yellow Leather) are great for additional diction exercises.
Warm-Ups for Agility and Range Extension
41. Thee-eh-ah

Thee

ee

ee

eh

42. Melismatic Thee-eh-ah

thee ee ee ee ee

eh

eh

ah

theh eh eh eh eh

ah

ah

thah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

ly.

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

"Ya" helps keep the vowel forward while "th" loosens the tongue.
Staccati lift the soft palate.

43. Thee-eh-ah melismatic extended

Thee ee ee ee ee

theh eh eh eh eh

tha ah ah ah ah



ya
ya
ya

ah

44. Fa nine note scale

Fa

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

Start slowly. Consider swinging or dotting rhythms.


Teach students to group pitches.
Insert consonants between each note to help students secure exercise (Doo-bee).
Practice staccato with "h" in between notes and then take the "h" away.
Listen for glottal attacks.

ah

45. Fa advanced melisma

Fa ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

fa ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

46. Pree preh



Pree

ee

ee

47. Zee eh ah

Zee

preh

eh

ee

eh

prah

ah

ah proh oh

oh

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

48. Fayah advanced exercise



Fa

ya

ah

ah

ah

Staccati will help raise the palate while zee will focus the tone.
Make sure the staccati are abdominal and not glottal.

eh

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

ah

Choral Warm-ups (continued)


Fo/fa and thoo/thoh work as well.
Ask students to clap hands with a neighbor on beats 2 and 4.

49. Yoh Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Yoh

Yah

Non-major Warm-Ups
50. Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of wa ter Jack fell down and broke his crownand Jill came tum bling af Thoo

51. Thoo

Thoo

oo

oo

oo

52. Loo minor

Loo

oo

oo

oo

oo

oo oo

oo

oo

Change the high note to a D for two perfect 5ths.


Great ear-training.
This exercise helps develop smooth register transitions.
Ask students to stay in high register throughout.
Advise minimal register shifting.

loh

loo

oo

oo

oo

low

Advise students to put more energy into slow, minor exercises. They should not let the tempo drag.
Demonstrate pure oo vowel with an owl hoot.
Release the jaw to increase oo purity and space, especially encourage space between molars.
The oo vowel is often infected with ee. Insist on a pure vowel.

53. No ah Perfect fourths

No

ah

no

ah

no

This exercise is great for ear-training,


negotiating registers, and range extension.
No-ah promotes resonance and roundness of tone.

54. Many mumbling mice

Ma ny mum bling mice are mak ing mid night mus ic in the moon light migh ty nice

migh ty nice.

Choral Warm-ups (continued)


9
Use multiple vowels during warm-ups to free the tongue/ jaw, etc.
Move vowels more with the tongue than with the lip and jaw.
To free "ah", alternate "tee-ah" rapidly. It will result in proper
placement, resonance, and in a free sound.

55. Pah poh oo ee


3

3
3

Pah

ah

poh

56. Taya thah oh oo

oh

Ta ya ya ya ya ya

57. Too toh

poo

ya

oo

ee

oo

ee

oo

that ah ah

ee

oo

ee

oo

ah tho oh oh oh

thoo

Great ear-training exercise. Work on having the same freedom


in the final two measures. Work on tuning the last two measures.

Too oo oo toh oh oh too oo oo toh oh oh too oo oo toh oh oh too oo oo toh oh oh too

Try to complete the exercise in one breath. Change to Thoo/thoh to get more breath flow.
Spend breath on ascending scale, save it on the descending scale. Add I, IV, V, I chords.
Feel the subdivisions to get through the phrase. No diphthong on toh.

Canons as warm-ups

58. One Bottle of Pop

1.One

five

2.Don't

don't

3.Fish

bot tle of pop

your

trash

and

bot tles of pop

trash

chips

and

bot tles of pop

in

my

in

my

vin

gar

bot tles of pop

yard

my

back

my

yard

bot tles of pop

gar

yard's

full.

yard

back

vin

pop

my

back

vin

four

back

yard

sev'n

back

bot tles of pop

three

six

throw your

bot tles of pop

throw

two

Also consider 150 Rounds for Singing


by Edward Bolkovac and Judith Johnson

gar

10

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

58. (Continued) One Bottle of Pop

Fish

and

59. Freedom Train

This

bo

vin

free

dy

and

dom

train

can af

ford to

is

gar

Enter 1 or 2 measures apart

old

chips

such

vin

gar

wait so

pop.

time com in'

long

board it

while it's

run

ain't

nin'

gim me that


Free dom gim me that

60. Do Re Round

Do


do

re

do

do

re

mi

fa

sol fa

fa sol

la

ti


mi

re

do

re

do

mi

re

la sol fa

mi

re

do

do

do

do

re

do

mi

do

re

fa sol la

mi

do

re

do

do

ti

mi

mi

mi

sol

la

ti

re

la

ti

do

do

do

do

re

do

re

fa

fa

sol fa

ti


mi

mi

re


do

Free dom gim me that free dom free dom free dom chick a chick

no

ti

la

sol fa

do

ti

la

sol


la

ti do

do ti la sol

fa sol la

ti

do

do ti

la sol fa mi

fa sol la

ti

do

do ti

11

Choral Warm-ups (continued)


la sol fa mi

re mi fa sol

la ti do

do ti la sol

fa mi re do

re mi fa sol

la ti do

Once students learn this in unison, they can try it in canon. Then, return to unison and leave
out certain solfege syllables and clap where solfege would occur if sung. Then, incorporate the clapping into the round.
62. Lai lai round

lai lai lai lai lai lai lai

lai lai lai lai lai

lai

lai

lai lai lai lai lai

lai lai lai lai lai

lai

Have students move to increase energy in minor. Also, keep a faster tempo. Be mindful of tuning on descending
passages.
63. Sing a little

sing a

lit tle sing a

lit tle ah

Ha

Ha

Ha

va

na

va

va

shi

na

na

shi

shi

lit tle sing a

ra

sing a

ra

ra

shir

ha

shir

shir

ha

ha

- le

le

le

ah

ah!

lu

lu

ja.

ja.

lu

ah!

ah

lit tle ah

sing a lit tle sing a lit tle ah ah ah!

ah!

sing a lit tle sing a lit tle ah ah ah

ah


64. Hava Nashira

ja.

12

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

65. The Alligator Song



Have you ev - er been to the wa - ter spout to the ver - y bot - tom of the wa - ter sys - tem

ther you'll find

lit - tle al - li - ga - tor who

do,

he's

mine.

wa - ter spout and now I'm

feel - ing

goes

lost

him.

by the name

lone - ly 'cause he's gone.

of

threw

Al - fred

him

If

down

you

the

miss him.

Students can tap the beat on each other's right shoulder to keep the canon together.
Ask students to lean forward and whisper text to practice enunciation.
Canon enters after "Have you ever been." Canon can begin after "Have you ev-" for an atonal sound.

Warm-ups with harmonies


66. For SSA Choirs

No

ah

S1 holds the g on the way down the scale. S2 holds the e. A holds c.

no

ah

no

ah

no

ah

no

67. For SATB Choirs S holds the c on the way down the scale. A holds the a. T holds f. Bass holds the d.
Then, they transition to the final two chords.

13

Choral Warm-ups (continued)

68. Bo Bo with 2-pt harmony


Soprano

Alto

Bo

bo

bo

Bo

bo

bo

bo

veh ya

veh

ya

veh

ya

veh

ya

veh

ya

bo

veh ya

veh

ya

veh

ya

veh

ya

veh

ya

veh

veh

69. Mee meh mah moh moo for SATB Choir in 4-pt harmony
Soprano

Mee

Alto

Mee

Tenor

Mee

Bass

Mee

meh

mah

moh

moo

meh

mah

moh

moo

meh

mah

moh

moo

meh

mah

moh

moo

Sing these chords and move up or down by half steps at the end of each 2 measure sequence.
Change dynamics and articulation at each half step and make student dependent on gesture for these changes.