Partner Warm-Ups for Young Voices

Through much of the history of Music K-8 magazine, Teresa Jennings has created unique warm-ups that capture the attention of young singers and help develop their vocal skills. These songs are good for teaching precision, enunciation, articulation, and, as they are true partner songs, they help develop the independence that part-singing requires. Partner Warm-Up #1 - Here is a great aid for staying on pitch. Because it is mostly slurred, the interval movement is challenging. Singing in half-steps is also a good workout for those developing vocal cords. Students should be singing in their head voices and using their diaphragms for support. Partner Warm-Up #2 - Aside from practicing staccato singing, this warm-up helps with the proper use of the diaphragm, or stomach muscles, when singing. Students should separate each syllable that is marked staccato, and not connecting will force the stomach muscles to work. Partner Warm-Up #3 - Emphasize enunciation, sliding pitches, and diphthongs with this silly warm-up. It should not be sung sweetly. In fact, the "meows" of part 1 should be quite nasal and harsh as a result of very open and moving mouths. Partner Warm-Up #4 - Get your singers' mouth muscles warmed up and moving while they work with enunciation. Part 2 also puts a bit of emphasis on intervals and could be sung entirely in a head voice. Partner Warm-Up #5 - This warm-up focuses on breath support mostly. Breath marks are indicated to enforce breathing patterns. Students learn to stagger breathe if necessary, keeping the phrases sounding homogeneous. Partner Warm-Up #6 - Exercise the tongue and mouth using the scat syllables "dee" and "deet." The muscles in front of the jaws and under the chin will feel this if done properly. Breath support, intervals, and intonation at faster tempos are also covered in this exercise. Partner Warm-Up #7 - The lively 6/8 style is amplified by the fact that the lyrics are lighthearted. The humor will help get even older students interested in joining in. It stresses the use of mouth muscles, enunciation of consonants, vowel sounds, and focus on pitches, even when the intervals move quickly.
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