The Dwarf's
40 Minute Voice Warm-Up

I. ALINEMENT AND POSTURE
· First assume neutral posture
Have feet flat on the floor
Lock the knees loosely backwards
Move the hips forward
Tuck the stomach in; bring the chest forward;
Take the shoulders back
Keep the neck straight
Relax in this posture and be still
Observe the breath gently flowing through the body for one minute

· Straightening the vertebra.
Do the 'actors hug' and bend over
Let go of the arms and slowly come up vertebra by vertebra. Lifting the head last.

· General Warm Up
Repeat each of the following movements five times and repeat on both sides of the body or in a clockwise and then an anticlockwise direction.

· Head:
Start nodding the head gently just rocking the top two bones of the vertebra
Slowly turn the head as through 90° to the left and continue to nod as you go.
Then nod back again through 180° to the right, then nod back to centre.
Roll clockwise, roll anticlockwise.
Turn to left, turn to right.
Bend back, bend forward.

· Eyes:
Roll clockwise,
Roll anticlockwise.

· Arms:
Swing in a circle backwards, swing in a circle forwards.

· Shoulders:
Rotate backwards, rotate forwards.
With elbows bent and at shoulder height and swing backward.
With arms outstretched swing backwards.

 

· Elbows:
Keeping upper arm still circle forearms from elbow joint.

· Wrists:
Rotate clockwise, rotate anticlockwise.
With forearm still move wrist from side to side.
With forearm still move up and down.

· Hands:
With forearm still shake the hands, then flick (as though flicking off water).

· Torso:
Raise arms to shoulder height and use them to swing torso from left to right

· Waist:
Facing forward bend left from waist, right arm moves over head.
Bend from waist and then rotate the torso around the waist.
Forward bend, backward bend.

· Hips:
Keeping upper body and legs relatively still rotate in a large circles.

· Tailbone:
Rotate in small circles.

· Legs:
Kicks.
Lift the knee so thighs are parallel with floor - swing lower leg side to side.

· Knees:
Lift the knee so thighs are parallel with floor - circle lower leg from knee.
Kick buttock with heel.
Hold the foot with one hand and pull against buttock.

· Ankles:
Lift foot off the floor, keep the leg still and circle foot from ankles.
Keeping leg still move foot side to side from ankles and then shake.

· Feet:
Stand on tiptoes several times.

· Squat:
First on ball of foot and then with feet flat.

· Return to neutral posture

II. BREATH SUPPORT
To improve, strengthen and deepen breathing

1. Deep relaxed breathing
· Assume neutral posture standing position
· Clasp the shoulders, crossing the arms across the chest
· Bend over and breathe deeply into the chest, diaphragm and rib cage, five times, (you should be unable to move the shoulders)
· Let the arms drop, and continue to breath in the same fashion, and slowly come up to standing stacking the spine vertebra by vertebra, finishing with the spine.
· Continue to breathe without moving the shoulders

2. Wall Push
· Stand about 18" away from a wall and place your palms flat on it.
· Take in a deep breath
· Push against the wall.
· As you push, your abdominal muscles will contract.
· Breathe out as you push making a hissing sound
· Contract the muscles below your rib cage as if you were rowing a boat against the current. · Do this 5 times.

3. Supine Breathing
· lay flat on your back.
· Place your hands on your waist, fingers pointing towards your belly button.
· Focus on filling up your stomach from the bottom to the top taking a slow deep breath. (The aim is not to fill yourself to bursting but to inhale enough air so that you can feel the difference between a shallow breath taken when breathing from the chest).
· You should feel your stomach rise and your hands being raised gently up and outward until you feel your chest expanding.
· The expansion is not only at the front of the body but also to the sides and back as well.
Breath out slowly to a count of 5
Repeat the exercise 10 times

4. Progressively sustained breathing
· Breathe in to the count of 4 seconds (deep into the diaphragm)
· Hold to the count of 4 seconds
· Breathe Out to the count of 6 seconds
· Breathe in to the count of 6 seconds (deep into the diaphragm)
· Hold to the count of 6 seconds
· Breathe Out to the count of 8 seconds
· Breathe in to the count of 6 seconds (deep into the diaphragm)
· Hold to the count of 6 seconds
· Breathe Out to the count of 10 seconds
· Breathe in to the count of 6 seconds (deep into the diaphragm)
· Hold to the count of 6 seconds
· Breathe Out to the count of 12 seconds
· Breathe in to the count of 9 seconds (deep into the diaphragm)
· Hold to the count of 9 seconds
· Breathe Out to the count of 14 seconds
· Breathe in to the count of 9 seconds (deep into the diaphragm)
· Hold to the count of 9 seconds
· Breathe Out to the count of 16 seconds
5. Breath of fire.
· Force air rapidly out of the lungs in a pumping action by rapidly contracting the muscles in the abdomen. Continue for one minute.

 

III. ARTICULATION

1. Jaw Neck and ears Massage
· Gently massage jaw with both hands, preferably with a little coconut or sesame seed oil. · Start with the temporomandibular joint close to the ears, and the muscles and ligaments around this.
· Slowly work down the mandible with slow gentle circular strokes.
· Move round to the back of the neck, gently massage here, concentrating on the joint at the fop of the spine.
· Massage the ears and give them a little tug
· Gently wiggle the little fingers in both ears

2. Jaw Exercises
Jaw Opening
· Open your jaw as wide as you can until you feel a stretching, but no pain.
· Hold this furthest open position for 5 seconds then relax and close your mouth.
· Repeat this open posture 5 times.

Side-to-Side Movement
· Move your jaw to the right side as far as you can until it pulls but does not hurt.
· Hold it there for 5 seconds then relax.
· Move your jaw to the left side as far as you can until you feel a stretch but it does not hurt.
· Hold it there for 5 seconds then relax.
· Alternate this right to left movement 5 times.

Increasing Circular Jaw Movement
· Move your jaw around in a circle making it move as far in each direction as you can until you feel a stretch but no pain.
· When you have completed a full circle relax.
· Repeat the circular movement 5 times.

Tongue Exercises
Tongue Extension
· Protrude tongue between lips.
· Sticking out tongue as far as you can.
· Hold tongue steady and straight for 3 to 5 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Tongue Retraction
· Retract tongue, touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth (as if pronouncing a 'k').
· Hold for 1 to 3 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Tongue Extension and Retraction
· Combine the two procedures above, holding each position for 1 to 3 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Tongue Tip Up
· Place tongue on alveolar ridge, (the area behind your top teeth.)
· Open mouth as wide as possible maintaining tongue contact.
· Hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times
Tongue Elevation Along The Palate
· Tongue tip to alveolar ridge, (The area behind your top teeth.)
· Move tongue front to back along the roof of your mouth.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Tongue Side To Side
· Tongue tip to left side of mouth, hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
· Tongue tip to right side of mouth, hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Blow a loose raspberry to relax

Lip Exercises
Lip Retraction
· Smile. Hold for 5 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Lip Protrusion
· Pucker your lips as if you were going to give someone a kiss.
· Hold for 5 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Lip Retraction and Protrusion
· Smile then pucker your lips. Use exaggerated movements.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Lip Press
· Press lips tightly together for 5 seconds.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Puff Cheeks
· Fill cheeks with air, move air from one cheek to the other 5 to 10 times.
· No air should escape from around the lips or the nose.
· Relax and Repeat 5 times.

Blow through the lips to relax

 

Tongue Twisters (pick out ones you find difficult)
B - A big black bug bit a big black bear, made a big black bear bleed.
P - Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled
peppers, where is the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
M - Military malarkey makes monstrous madmen into maligned martyrs.
W - If a woodchuck would chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck would? But if a woodchuck would chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could and would chuck wood?
TH - Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles. If Theophilus the thistle sifter sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles, where is the sieve of sifted thistles Theophilus the thistle sifter sifted?
S - Suzy Schell sells sea shells on the seashore.
Z - Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes amiss. For Moses knowses his toeses aren't roses as Moses supposes.
WH - What whim led Whitey White to whittle near a wharf where a whale might wheel and whirl?
T - Thomas Tattertoot took taut twine to tie ten twigs to two tall trees.
D - Double bubble gum bubbles double. Non double bubble gum doesn't bubble double.
N - A snifter of snuff is enough snuff of a sniff for the snuff-sniffer.
L - Likeable Lillian loves lovely alumimium
R - Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.
F - I never felt felt feel Hat like that felt felt.
V - Vern Verve is well versed in very wordy verb verse.
H - Harry Hugh hid the heel behind the high hill. If Harry Hugh hid the heel behind the high hill, where is the heel Harry Hugh hid?
K - Cass Cash can catch a check cashier to cash his un-cashed check.
NG - The ringing, swinging, singing singers sang winning songs.

 

IV. RESONANCE
To improve richness of sounds, and tune vowel sounds.

A. First a general warm up
1. Drum the chest with fists whilst making a long Ah sound, continue making the sound but drum the back.
2. Make a long Jhhhhhhhhhh sound as in the French name Jacque, and beat the diaphragm with the edges of the hand
3. This exercise is said to remove any unwanted nasality in the voice. Make a long zzzzz sound and try to make it resonate at the bottom of the spine.
4. This exercise helps to give the voice a deeper richer pharyngeal resonance. Make the sound Ngo in the back of the throat and repeat several times. Then do it twice the speed.

B. The primary resonating areas we are going to look at sanskritta vowel sounds
The reason for this is because the English sounds really cover quite a narrow band in comparison

5. Say Ka, right in the back of the throat, several times, now stretch the sound out keeping it in the back of the throat. Kaaaaaaaa
6. Say "i" just under the soft palate in the back of the mouth, now stretch out the sound again into ieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
7. Say "ra" tongue pointing upwards to the roof of the mouth and extend to a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
8. Say "re" with tongue in the normal position for ra, tip just above the back of the teeth, extend to a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, feel the front teeth vibrate
9. Say "o" with the lips rounded, extend to an ooooooo

10. Say "m" extend to a mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, really feel face vibrate
11. Now we will go over them again more smoothly" taking a deep breath between each.
12. Finish with AAA resonating in all 3 primary resonating chambers simultaneously

C. Secondary resonating areas.
Having opened our primary resonating areas we will briefly look at the secondary ones.

13. Sing aaaa at the bottom of the spine and in the legs (not as stupid as it sounds)
14. Sing aaaa in the abdomen
15. Sing aaaa in the middle of the chest
16. Sing aaaa in the throat
17. Sing aaaa in the forehead
18. And finally sing aaaa in the crown of the head
19. Now sing aaaa with the whole body simultaneously

 

D. Finish by repeating the following opening lines from King Henry V

"Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention."

V. PITCH & RANGE

Using the HMMMMMMM
· Produce a gentle "hmmmm" on an exhalation at a pitch that is comfortably positioned in the lower range. Repeat and change the hmm to "ahhh" halfway through the exhaled breath. Try to change nothing but the opening of the mouth. Maintain the same facial buzz with the "ahh" that was achieved with the hmmm.
· Experiment with the pitch. Produce while sweeping the pitch from high to low and then low to high.

Working the Breath Support System with "HUH!"
· After a slow deep inhalation, expel sharply by contracting the abdominal muscles hard with a loud "HUH!" The larynx and throat should stay relaxed and open. This is a difficult exercise and excellent focus must be maintained on separating the contractions of the abdominals with the maintenance of relaxed upper airway
· As you improve your ability to perform this correctly, increase the speed and repetitions of the expelled "HUH!"

Two Octave Pitch Glide
· Inhale slowly on a yawn. Keep your shoulders low and relaxed.
· Vocalize gently and moderately softly using the "ee" vowel from moderately high chest voice to low chest voice, and then from head voice down through chest.
· Repeat a few times and then reverse direction, going from chest to head.
· Repeat using other vowels.

Maximum and minimum pitch
· Count from 1 to 20 alternating from your lowest pitch to your highest pitch as you count, so that 1 is sung with lowest pitch, 2 with highest, 3 with lowest, 4 with highest, etc.
· On '20' go for your mid range. (This is said to be your natural singing pitch)

Higher and Higher and Higher
· Sing, "I can sing Higher and higher and higher" to an increasing scale starting from the very lowest note in your range so that each 'Higher goes up in scale'
· Sing again but add another 'Higher'
· Continue in this way adding an extra 'Higher' each time until you reach your absolute maximum pitch

Lower and Lower and lower
· Sing, "I can sing lower and lower and lower" to a decreasing scale starting from the very highest note in your range so that each 'Lower goes down in scale'
· Sing again but add another 'Lower
· Continue in this way adding an extra 'Lower' each time until you reach your absolute minimum pitch

Sing "Do Re Mi" (from the sound of music)
Do a deer a female deer, Re a drop of golden sun
Mi a name I call myself, Fa a long long way to run
So a needle pulling thread, La a note to follow So
Ti a drink with jam and bread, and it brings us back to Do oh oh oh

 

Sing 'THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN'
by Charles Penrose

I know a fat old policeman, He's always on our street.
A fat and jolly red-faced man, He really is a treat.

He's too kind for a policeman, He's never known to frown.
And everybody says, He is the happiest man in town!.

He laughs upon point duty, He laughs upon his beat.
He laughs at everybody, When he's walking in the street.

He never can stop laughing, He says he's never tried.
But once he did arrest a man, And laughed until he cried!

Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

His jolly face is wrinkled, And then he shut his eyes.
He opened his great big mouth, It was a wonderous size!

He said "I must arrest you!", He didn't know what for.
And then he started laughing, Until he cracked his fat old jaw.

Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

So if you chance to meet him, While walking 'round the town.
Shake him by his fat old hand, And give him half a crown.

His eyes will beam and sparkle, He'll gurgle with delight.
And then you'll start him laughing, With all his blessed might!

Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.