One of the most important but often overlooked aspects of the rehearsal is the vocal warm-up period. Much like physical training, warm-ups are crucial to establishing the overall tone of the rest of the rehearsal – no pun intended. While many directors fear that warm-ups use valuable rehearsal time, many directors have discovered that the rehearsal is more purposeful and effective if some singing fundamentals are addressed at the start of the rehearsal and reinforced throughout its duration. I have attached some warm-ups that I have found effective and helpful in a once-a-week student choir rehearsal settting.
Of course, the great thing about warm-ups is that there are endless possibilities. Think of a repeated vocal/choral problem in your choir and try to create a warm-up that exploits and addresses that issue. There are TONS of resources out there, but in the end you know your choir better than anyone.
Keep in mind that it is important to warm up the body, breath, voice, and mind–in that order. Start the rehearsal by getting students moving, then transfer that movement energy into singing energy.
I’d love to hear from you if you have questions or suggestions. I have more that I can share with you, but this will get us started.