Vocal Health Series Part II: I'm Warmed-Up, Now What?

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  • In the Classroom
  • Remote Learning
Judy Pagryzinski, Lower Elementary Music Teacher

I did my warm-up. How do I keep my voice feeling strong and healthy while I teach to a room of students?

  • Enunciation: Here is where you cross your “i’s” and dot your “T’s”. In order to keep our air circulating properly, we need to enunciate!
  • S L O W   D O W N: As teachers, we have a habit of talking quite quickly to get as much valuable information as we can to our students in a short amount of time. Slowing down not only helps your vocal cords, but it may even help your students catch even more of what you are trying to say. It’s a win-win!
  • Inflection: Most people think of inflection as the different levels of the voice. Sometimes we speak in a higher register when we get excited, while other times we speak in our lower register when we are frustrated. However, shortening and lengthening words is another way to grab student interest and attention, while also keeping your voice relaxed.
  • Project From Your Diaphragm: Avoid pushing to make your voice happen. It may seem like there are moments when shouting seems motivating, or that students will respond by quieting down. Never shout without proper support from your breath. You can still raise the volume of your voice without creating tension in your cords.


I did the warm-ups but my voice still feels hoarse and/or scratchy. What should I do?

Sometimes we all wake up with a horse or scratchy voice despite doing everything we can to take care of our vocal cords. The biggest thing to remember is to avoid forcing your voice to happen.  On days like this when you still have to teach try the following

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Ring a Bell
  • Use a Stop Sign Visual
  • Ask a Trusted Student to be Your Voice For the Day
  • Teach Your Kids About Vocal Health and Ask Them to Be Helpful

Remember to avoid whispering as whispering is one of the most unhealthy things you can do for your voice when it’s hoarse as the vocal cords cannot properly close.

Vocal Health Series Part II_ I'm Warmed-Up, Now What_ from The Buzz on Vimeo.

How would these tips work when I’m in a room of 20-50 students? 

Watch the attached video and use the examples below to guide:

  • On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech, “I Have A Dream” during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • You have 5 minutes left to prepare before your group will need to present.
  • What answer did you come up with?


Did you miss Vocal Health Series Part I : Vocal Maintenance & Warm-Up? Here is the link: https://www.dcds.edu/mission/yellowjacketsblog/blog-read-page/~board/blog-posts/post/vocal-health-series-part-i-vocal-maintenance-warm-up


Detroit Country Day School is a private, independent, co-educational, non-denominational, preschool through grade 12 college preparatory school in Michigan focused on a well-rounded liberal arts education. Emphasis on academics, arts, athletics, and character development is prevalent across the curriculum. The school admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students in the school. To learn more visit www.dcds.edu.

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