While the world’s oldest known played pitch instruments are flutes made from bone about 40,000 years ago, there’s little doubt that human beings began singing long before that. In fact, we may have been singing even before we could talk!
One idea about the origin of language is that it came from song. “We feel music just taps into this kind of pre-cognitive archaic part of ourselves,” says Ani Patel of The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego. So it seems to make sense that music came “before we had this complicated articulate language that we use to do abstract thinking. Even Charles Darwin talked about our ancestors singing love songs to each other before we could speak articulate language.”
Part of the beauty of the voice as an instrument is that no two people sound alike. Although there is no one way to learn how to sing, there are certain basic approaches that you will likely learn immediately. These vocal exercises will benefit you through your lessons:
Warming up your voice is essential. The lip roll, or lip trill, has many benefits for all vocalists:
1. Increases vocal range;
2. Reduces throat tension;
3. Teaches the vocal cords and the diaphragm how to communicate with each other;
4. Creates support and connection between vocal cords and diaphragm;
5. Warms up and strengthens the upper register; and
6. Reduces vocal fatigue.
Are vocals right for you?
Do you like to sing in the shower, or maybe while you’re riding in the car? Does it sound good to you? Can you tell when you’re out of tune? Has anyone ever told you you have a good voice? Do you play an instrument?
While these are not the only criteria, if you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s a good indication that vocal lessons may be right for you.
What to expect in your first lesson
While running through your warm-up exercises during your first vocal lesson, you’ll be reminded of the importance of maintaining good posture.
You’ll learn what it feels like to breath naturally. Collapsing the body cuts off the breath. And breathing is the engine that runs your “singing car,” so to speak. Breathing through the diaphragm is the most natural, relaxed and powerful way to breath.
You’ll discover the benefits of freeing the throat, including a fuller and richer tone, clearer high notes and the reduced need to push or strain.
Prior to singing, relax your face and tongue by:
- Sticking your tongue out and rolling your eyes upward for a count of five;
- Moving your tongue in a circle inside your mouth clockwise and counterclockwise;
- Moving your tongue outside your mouth clockwise and counterclockwise;
- With your mouth closed, fill your lip area with air and move it cheek-to-cheek and upper lip to lower lip, then move the air in a circle pattern clockwise and counterclockwise.
- Neck and shoulder release ~ gently tip head to ear to shoulder on an inhale Bring head up gently on an exhale and repeat on the other side. Next pull shoulders up tight toward the ears on an inhale and release with an exhale.