You wouldn’t expect a sprinter to dash 100m before stretching…
You wouldn’t let a formula one car race without a formation lap…
You wouldn’t enter a pie eating competition without pre-stretching your stomach…
Just like high-performance athletes (and competitive pie eaters), we shouldn’t jump straight into singing without correctly preparing the mind and body. Doing so can cause unnecessary strain on our voices, and reduce our enjoyment of singing.

There are many ways to warm up for singing. The following lays out a safe and effective order in which to plan your exercises to maximise effectiveness and enjoyment. If executed properly, warm-ups can be highly educational, give a sense of progress and achievement, and can be a really fun way to start rehearsal. 

  • Our breath is our fuel when we sing. Preparing it and expelling it is imperative to a good sound
  • Deep, slow breathing can help us reset our nervous system, and synchronise or reset everyone’s energy.
  • Quick, focussed breathing with resistance can engage our diaphragm, and better support our voice.
  • Engaging your body through movement can maximise breathe volume and focus.
  • Deep, slow breathing floods your body and brain with oxygen and FEELS GREAT!


  • Balanced, upright, open posture gives our body the best chance to create a strong sound without tension.
  • Releasing tension in the neck and shoulders is really important to a good sound.
  • Give your singers some simple, consistent postural guides to come back to throughout the rehearsal.
  • Prepare the voice with a yawn position.
  • Gently and effortlessly connect the voice and the breath.
  • Focus on how it feels, rather than how it sounds.
  • Use slides and sirens to engage the larynx.


  • Use face massages to loosen the jaw and tongue.
  • Use fun tongue twisters to improve annunciation.
  • Use different vowels and consonants to fully prepare the voice.
  • Include exercises that encourage listening as well as singing.
  • Prepare the brain for concentration and awareness.
  • Exercise the brain’s ability to keep time and pitch whilst NOT singing too.


With One Voice Sydney community choir performance

  • Simple rounds or cannons are a great way to teach harmony and section independence in an enjoyable way.
  • Exercises or songs that build competencies can be re-visited weekly to show progress and growth.
  • Some rounds make great performance pieces too.
  • Integrating movement with songs is a great learning tool, and amplifies enjoyment for many.