Every year, the most senior choristers in the Australian Girls Choir showcase their repertoire in the ‘Australian Girls Choir In Concert’ at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Concourse Concert Hall, and other venues across the country.
As hundreds of our choristers across Australia prepare for concert day, we’ll be sharing our favourite tips and tricks for getting ‘concert ready’ over the next couple of weeks in our News Section.
Today we’re focusing on how to take care of your voice before a big performance!
Laura Knowling, one of our senior singing tutors at the Australian Girls Choir, shares her top three tips for good vocal health. Whether you’re part of the Australian Girls Choir, in a choir at school, or have a performance coming up, these are the essential things we recommend to our girls during concert time to keep their voices in excellent condition.
1. Drink plenty of water.
The number one thing you can do to take care of your voice is drink lots of water. If your singing rehearsals are ramping up, you’ll need to ramp up your water intake to accommodate for all of the extra use. Whether we are speaking or singing, the sound our voice makes is created by the vibration of our vocal folds. Drinking water helps to keep these muscles hydrated and able to work flexibly.
This also means hydrating after rehearsals and a performance. This is similar to when we play sport. When we’re exercising we know we need to hydrate afterwards.
2. Warm up and warm down when you practice at home.
Many students skip this step when they’re practicing at home, because without a tutor running the warm up it’s tempting to jump to the fun part! But during concert preparation it’s particularly important to take especially good care of your voice. This means warming up AND warming down whenever we sing.
Remember to warm up at your own pace, which will be different on different days of the week depending on where your voice is at. And also be sure to warm up within your vocal range. An easy tip for warming down is to do your usual warm up backwards. When we warm up we’re slowly increasing the intensity. So warming down naturally involves slowly decreasing.
3. Be mindful of your day to day speaking voice.
Like any set of muscles, our voices can fatigue from overuse. Ensure that you consider how you are using your voice during regular day to day activities. When we speak we are far less likely to be focusing on breathing properly, safely projecting, and correctly supporting our voice. Think about things like yelling across the sport field, speaking over the top of each other in the classroom, or laughing our guts out at a friend’s house.
During concert week, we encourage students to implement their ‘Mary Poppins’ voice. This means speaking in a slight ‘sing-song’ voice that’s articulate, well supported and gentle as they go about the non-choir parts of the day. (It’s also just a fun voice to do!)
Good luck with your performance!
If you’re interested in joining the choir and auditioning for our incredible performance opportunities, check out all the details on our Enrollments page.