Chances are you’ve heard that vocal warmups are key to keeping a singer’s voice in tip-top shape. But, did you also know that cooling down after a performance is just as important? Any vocal lessons instructor will tell you that cooling down after prolonged singing should be a routine habit for all vocalists no matter how long they’ve been singing.
Why are Vocal Cool Downs Important
Your voice is not just an instrument; it’s also a muscle that’s susceptible to injury and strain just like any other muscle in the body. That’s why it’s wise to think like an athlete! As you probably know, athletes make it a point to warm up and cool down after an athletic event. They do this to help calm the muscles, ease tension and allow the body to return to normal. In turn, this minimizes the chance of injury.
The same basic principles apply to singers as well. Cooling down after voice lessons, a performance or just intense practicing will help you preserve a healthy singing voice for years to come.
Vocal Cool Down Exercises
To help keep your voice in singing-shape for as long as possible, you’ll need to incorporate vocal cool downs into your everyday vocal care regimen. Here are a few of the most popular and effective cool down exercises for singers.
1. Descending Siren Slide
This vocal exercise for singers is as simple as they come! Start at the highest note you can comfortably sing and slide down your range to the octave below, making an “ahh” sound as you move from one note to the next. This helps to loosen any tension in the voice and gradually relaxes your vocal muscles.
2. Lip Roll
A lip roll is a terrific exercise that can be used both before and after a performance. The purpose of this vocal exercise is to release tension around the jaw and help regulate blood flow in the larynx. To perform this exercise, all you need to do is gently hum notes while simultaneously rolling your lips. The key is to keep your lips relaxed and produce a continuous soft sound without straining your voice.
3. Head Rolls
While this exercise isn’t strictly voice related, it’s still beneficial for singers regardless. Often, during a long performance, vocalists forget to practice proper posture and find themselves with hunched shoulders, a bent head or stiff neck (none of which are ideal for singing and can cause aches and pains later on). That’s why it’s a good idea to stretch out the head and neck muscles after singing. A simple head roll (dropping the head and slowly rolling it from left to right and back again) is an extremely effective way to relax the body and release any pent up energy and tension.
Upgrade Your Vocal Care
Although cooling down is a simple process, it’s often ignored by singers. Don’t be like the majority of voice lesson students or professional singers in Phoenix and Scottsdale who underestimate the power of these easy, yet effective cool down exercises. Implement vocal cool downs into your voice care routine to help maintain good vocal health and keep your voice sounding its very best!