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your own vocal workout

I used to direct a multigenerational homeschool chorus up north. Now I live in Texas and have been teaching voice privately (about 12 kids a week) for 4 years. 
I'm looking for new ways to give my own voice a workout and fresh ideas for students.
What are your favorite exercises to work on the following things:
- improving the singers ability to sing long connected phrases without sneaking a breath
- removing tension from the voice
- making the singers sound warmer without muddying the diction
I do have ways of working on all those things but just want to try new ideas.
Thank you!
Rachael Barlow
on September 2, 2014 9:34am
Hi Rachael,
I work on all of these things using the McClosky Technique.  The stance improves breath efficiency, and the exercises called the "six areas of relaxation" are designed to remove tension from the articulators.  One specific idea that removes tension AND warms up the sound: relax the back of the tongue, so that it neither pulls back nor presses down.  This creates more space in the pharynx and reduces any upward pull on the larynx.  Please excuse the plug for my organization--this really is my best answer to your request for ideas!  The book is quite inexpensive and you can read about it here: 
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