7am Children’s Choir Rehearsal?

Honor Choir coming before school to rehearse? How do you structure the vocal warm up? Is the warm up the same as the afternoon class? Should the warm up at 7am be the same as the vocal warm up at 7pm? This video shows how  to get the brain, body and voice engaged so the early morning rehearsal is the most productive it can be.

In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.

Your Body is Your Instrument.

Keeping in great physical shape is a professional necessity for singers.

Exercise improves singing by increasing your cardiovascular strength and breath stamina. A good sweat stimulates your endorphins and strengthens overall muscle tone.  If you chose the right kind of exercise at the right time of day, you will feel relaxed, clearheaded, and invigorated.

Recommended Exercise for Singers

Swimming

One of the best exercises for singers is swimming. It conditions your heart and lungs, strengthens your abdominal and rib muscles, and increases your breath capacity.

Martial Arts and Yoga

Both of these can help with stage anxiety. Body alignment, breath control, power confidence and energy will also improve. Yoga can further help with strength, balance, mental clarity, concentration and relaxation. Tai Chi, a fluid Chinese martial art, can teach you to center your energy while building a sense of connection to the breath.

Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) possess greater volume in people who exercise as opposed to people who don’t.

What’s good for the heart is good for the brain . . .

  • Aerobic exercise improves brain function, but also acts as a “first aid kit” on damaged brain cells.
  • Exercising in the morning before going to work not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stresses throughout the day, but also produces increased retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations.
  • Hitting a wall or mentally exhausted? Try rebooting with a few jumping jacks for your brain improvement exercises.

 

Active brain cells stimulate a better blood supply so cells get more oxygen and nutrients. With increased connections, cells get more stimulation and generate more activity.

Breathing is a function that is fortunately controlled by our bodies autonomic nervous system. Autonomic control means that our body can effectively regulate respiration without us having to consciously think about every breathe we take. Basically, for the majority of our day our diaphragm and lungs are on cruise control.

Early Morning Sequential Vocal Warm-Up

Structure your vocal warm up to include movement to stimulate circulation, engage the diaphragm, and jump-start the brain with exercises that make the brain think.

  • Body movement to call on the diaphragm to be more efficient – taking it out of cruise control.
  • Establish head voice, mixed voice, chest voice
  • Differentiate resonators from articulators
  • Aural training and intonation

REFERENCES and RESOURCES:

Jumping Jacks for brain fitness?

Exercise Improves Memory and Thinking Skills

Use It or Lose It!

Exercises for Singers

 

Published by

Lynn Swanson

Executive Artistic Director Milwaukee Children's Choir

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