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Did You Warm-Up Before You Sang? with Tessa Smith - The Vocal Advancement Podcast - #021

Do you do vocal warm-ups before you sing?

If you’re like a lot of us, you may gloss over this part of your singing process. Maybe you feel you don’t have enough time. Or maybe you think good warm-ups can’t be done without a piano.

This week’s guest Tessa Smith knows how you feel. In fact, she spent much of her early life skipping her warm-ups and going straight to singing. 

But a chance meeting with session singer Kim Chandler showed Tessa that beneficial warm-ups could be done in five minutes, anywhere and anytime, with no special tools.

Intrigued, Tessa began researching vocal warm-ups. What she found enabled her to embrace a new philosophy where warm-ups don’t have to be prescribed exercises but adaptable activities that performers change based on what their voices need.

Join us as Tessa reveals why warm-ups are so important. We’ll also delve into the benefits offered by short and long warm-ups and the obstacles that keep musicians from warming up. Finally, we’ll explore how performers can check-in with themselves to discover what warm-ups or cool-downs will help them the most.   

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How her early music teachers inspired Tessa to pursue a career in jazz — and later teaching 6:44
  2. How a meeting with Kim Chandler caused Tessa to re-evaluate her beliefs about vocal warm-ups 12:25
  3. The different benefits offered by short, physiological warm-ups and longer warm-ups 16:25
  4. Common obstacles that keep many students from wanting to do warm-ups 18:24
  5. What singers need to ask themselves before deciding what vocal warm-ups they need 19:25
  6. How much time a singer should spend warming up their voice to avoid straining it 22:58
  7. How to approach “cool-down” periods and get your voice back to its base position after performing 25:50
  8. How singing lessons can help you understand what warm-ups and cool-downs your voice needs at any given time 31:35
  9. The type of vocal warm-ups non-singers (professional speakers, podcasters) can benefit from 32:56
  10. Why teaching students how to adapt vocal warm-ups to their needs motivates them to actually use those exercises in the field 34:14
  11. The responsibility singing teachers have in properly explain vocal warm-ups and their purpose to students 38:16
  12. How Tessa teaches students to alter warm-ups to fit whatever they’re working on 38:59
  13. Tessa’s favorite SOVT exercise — and the importance of not relying on external tools for warm-ups 40:32

Find the educational courses and resources on vocal warm-ups Tessa describes at her website.

Learn what researchers are learning about different types of warm-ups and their effectiveness.

Ready to get some more help with your warm-ups? IVA is coming out with a vocal warm-up IOS and Android app in October 2023 for both male and female singers. Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when the app is released!  

And don’t forget to follow the Vocal Advancement Podcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an episode! 

About the Institute for Vocal Advancement

The Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA) connects you with many teachers who help you see traditional exercises like vocal warm-ups in a new light. This allows you to become a better prepared vocal coach with more teaching tools for your classrooms. The IVA community and trainers teach from the empathic mindset that students of all ages benefit from, showing you how to improve your own teaching style.

Interested in checking out our webinars and online courses? See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!

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