Generating Choral Warm-Ups: Let them Do it!

Generating Choral Warm-Ups – Let them do it!

Steven Archambault
[email protected]
Turkey Hill Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School




Computer with a notation program installed, printer


15 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Vocal students should have;
1. experienced simple 4 measure diatonic warm-ups that move by step in 4 bar phrases,
2. introduced to simple notation entry,
3. introduced to simple text entry.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 


A computer with a notation program installed. The educator should pre-set up a warm-up template that has 4 measure blanks with a “name” text box set up for each line. The number of “blank” entries should equal the number of choral members participating in the warm-up writing. It might be advantagous to print a “warm-up” worksheet to allow students to brainstorm ideas outside of class.


Many vocal musicians read and sing notated music but often do not have an opportunity to create or manipulate notation. This activity gives those musicians a chance to compose a simple 4 bar vocal warm-up which is then printed and passed out for use during the year. The parameters of the warm-up will be dependent on the level of the indivicual group. This activity fosters creativity, personal ownership, a chance to experiment, introduces vocalists to a simple notational program (a hook)and quickly exposes vocalist to many different material.


1. Pre-set up – Explain project, demo, model and pass out a “warm-up” worksheet.
2. Set up a computer station within your rehearsal room with notation template set-up.
3. Student task: Create a 4 bar vocal warm-up that begins and ends on “Do”, by step, within a “fifth” using quarter and half notes. Vocalists will also enter their name.
4. Vocalist can rotate onto the station during rehearsal to enter their warm-up idea or at other specified times.
4. Once everyone has entered and “edited” their mini warm-up the director prints out the “new” warm-up packet, which includes the “composers” name, to use and experiment with in class.


“Warm-up” Rubric

4 – Composer * 4 measure melody moves by step within a
5th using quarter and half notes
* melody begins and ends on “Do”
* name correctly entered

3 – Scribe * Same as above with some minor mistakes
or inaccuracies. Usable with minor

2 – Apprentice * Same as above with many minor mistakes
or a major mistake or inaccuracy.
Usable with major editing

1 – Novice * Many major & minor mistakes or
inaccuracies. Unusable needs to be
completely redone.

Follow Up:

1. Students can direct their own personal warm-up
or at least be credited for composing.
2. Warm-ups can be cycled up and down chromatically.
3. Generated warm-ups can be used for sight reading
Both in notation or using Do, Re, Mi, etc.
4. Students can expand and utilize other intervals or
parameters and create new warm-ups.
5. Discussions can be generated about the melodic and
harmonic elements/implications of warm-up
6. Vocalists can both self and/or peer assess their warm-ups

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