Every singer has faced a poorly timed yawn during a performance. Every shower singer has probably also faced a similar problem, yawning at the worst time possible? But, why do i yawn when I sing? How can I avoid yawning while I’m singing?
Yawning during singing sessions is usually an indication that your voice is not warmed up, tired, or overused. yawning can indicate many other things outside of singing, such as in this article, but for now we’re focused on yawning while singing.
What does it mean when you yawn while singing?
Yawning is basically a stretch for your vocal cords. If you are constantly yawning while trying to sing, it is likely a sign your body is trying to tell you you aren’t warmed up yet.
Having studied music as a vocalist in college, yawning came often while singing. My instructors would always remind us to take care of your voice.
Properly and thoroughly warming up your voice is critical! Forcing yourself to yawn can take some time to learn, but is absolutely necessary.
How to avoid yawning while singing
You can avoid yawning while singing by ensuring you’ve had a good warm up. A warm, neutral beverage (tea), a few easy scales, and some forced yawning will go a long way to avoid yawning while you sing.
Before your singing session, try to have a warm beverage. Lemon tea is a very popular choice among vocalists. Coffee isn’t bad per say, but the acidity isn’t ideal. Even warm water is helpful if nothing else is available.
Try to avoid ice water and cold drinks right before singing as this will tighten your singing muscles.
Next run through some scales or singing exercises. The easier the better to begin, then slowly edge towards the ends of your range, on either side of your range.
Exercises like scales are the best way to warm up your vocals.
Forcing yourself to yawn is basically stretching, and it’s a good thing. If you feel a yawn coming on while doing warm up exercises, allow yourself to yawn.
Unless you’re in the middle of a performance, never fight to prevent pesky yawns, as it is beneficial for your voice to yawn.
Proper breathing techniques can also ward off the yawns. Yawning can be provoked by a lack of oxygen via improper breathing.
If you think your breathing technique is causing you to yawn, ask your vocal coach to revisit breathing exercises.
Sleep is a critical part of avoiding yawning while singing. Exhausted singers never perform well, which is why you want to ensure you have gotten adequate sleep before any performances. A lack of sleep is not you friend when it comes to singing.
Why is yawning good for singing?
Yawning is like a stretch for your voice, and can help you warm up and sing better. It can also indicate that your voice is tire, overused or not ready to sing.
Allowing yourself to yawn before singing will help your voice perform at peak performance. Anything you can do to make yourself yawn will help in the long run.
Is yawning bad for your voice?
While excessive yawning might cause damage, or indicate an underlying problem, yawning is typically perceived as beneficial, and good for your voice.
Being overtired can cause you to yawn a lot. Singing while you and your voice are tired can cause unneeded stress on your vocal cords.
So while yawning itself isn’t usually harmful to your voice, it can indicate that you should either rest, or warm up more, before your next singing session.
How do singers not yawn?
Singers avoid yawning after years of practice and proper warm ups prior to performances. Yawning doesn’t typically happen at bad moments for veteran vocalists, as they have routines in place to ensure yawns can stay away.
Many singers take their sleep seriously, as sleep is good for both vocal performance and mental performance.
A well rested and well warmed up voice doesn’t yawn. Professional singers know and understand this. They have massive control over their voice, and yawning is only a part of the voice after all.
Yawning is a natural reflex, and should be part of your daily routine and warm up.
Of course if your yawning is “excessive” you should consider underlying problems that we won’t get into here.
If you are well rested and warmed up fro your singing session, you should have no problem belting out a wonderful vocal performance, without any yawns in sight!