Singing at Home

Renaissance Choir soprano, Susan Yarnall-Monks, has provided a daily exercise routine to keep the voice in top condition during the coronavirus lockdown.

  • #77: June is bustin’ out all over
  • #76: Bali Hai
  • #75: The hills are alive
  • #74: Flowing river
  • #73: Water droplets
  • #72: Fingal's Cave
  • #71 Calm seas - maintaining a specific tone
  • #70: Stormy waves: windy howl followed by “shhh” breathing out.
  • #69: Bubbles - getting an awareness of pharyngeal space and how flexible it can be with vowels.
  • #68: Practice “water” = “ooater”. Recommend Guggenheim museum video of Bring me little water Silvy.
  • #67: “Chelsea flowers” - random flowers in your imagination.
  • #66: Imagine you are a tall tree: a string pulling us up, elongating the spine.
  • #65: Imagery of flowing grasses: breathe out gently, make sounds change as you move lips and mouth.
  • #64: Sing with your mouth closed; buzzing bees, humming. Good way to feel pitch and tonality.
  • #63: Think of how smelling a flower focuses the sound when you start to sing.
  • #62: Calm water lilies inspired by Monet, and a “singing waterfall”. Sing internally.
  • #61: Practice Mozart’s “Tu virginum corona” from his “Exsultate Jubilate”.
  • #60: Energy needed when you make a “leap”of e.g. a fourth - grow through the previous note.
  • #59: End of Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate Alleluia - a happy piece covering many vowels.
  • #58. Energy levels. Be aware of them before you sing.
  • #57: Flexibility. Breaking up the scale into 5-note patterns. Ah Ee Oo.
  • #56: Bibbedy Bobbedy Boo sound exercises.
  • #55: Peal of bells exercise, where you change the vowel sound at the bottom.
  • #54 Descending scales. Start at the top in the E maj scale.
  • #53 Mixing sounds - negotiating the “passagio”. Colours change as you move up and down.
  • #52 Carrying on with a sound-painting theme. Think about how we use voice with different timbres.
  • #51: this time it’s all about inspiration by painting and art. Sound painting, for instance going…
  • #50 Working on the “flow”- important because of the breath - connect notes - psychologist Mihaly…
  • #49 Click track play - vary your vocal sounds to a metronome.
  • #48 You are telling a story when you are singing. You might need to “act out” if your mind is…
  • #47 Experiment with orchestral-type colours in your voice. Sing Amazing Grace and make the tone a…
  • #46 Rhythm - sometimes difficult! Try “pitter-patter” exercise - different emphases on quaver…
  • #45 Improvisation inspired by friend Eric. Take a word you like such as “benedictus” and play with…
  • #44 Many exercises brought together - breathing out and hip rotation, sniff hum, cresc…
  • #43 Are your ears equally balanced?
  • #42 Sniff hums (part 2) - reminds us of resonance - “hang it in the beak”. Messa di voce
  • #41 Sniff hums / bunny rabbit noises (part 1) and Bel Canto - gives you resonance and power…
  • #40 Chromatic scales for warmups - try a minor key, or even give it a “blues” feel
  • #39 Red lorry, yellow lorry in 3 note scale - animate the face - “ecstatic nun” look
  • #38 A picture can give me an idea for a song. Hip rotation - combating a stiff lower body - release…
  • #37 “Fling” good after Stainer “fling wide the gates” - “fl” limits the air + “l” strengthens the…
  • #36 Flow ball for a steady output of air. Release in lower abdominals should be a reflex action…
  • #35 zzz and jjj balance the air above and below the vocal folds, feel a release in lower…
  • #34 World Voice Day on 16 April: blowing raspberries with upper lip only! oooh also releases jaw…
  • #33 “Colouring” the voice - think about the colours you can use and try to “change the colour” of …
  • #32 Easter egg: chicken laying song. Always breathe out first!
  • #31 Hot cross buns exercise for Good Friday. The Diving Board - idea from singer Thomas Hedley…
  • #30 Motorbike sounds - tongue rolling or lip rolling (push up your heels with your hands) - good…
  • #29 Peal of bells exercise (over different vowels). JK Rowling does breathing exercises to combat…
  • #28 Singing bowl - reminder of how we make resonance in big spaces. “Miaow”
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