Music & Entertainment

Warming Up

Christina Aguilera

Lesson time 9:03 min

Your vocal cords are like any other muscle—you must stretch and warm them up before a performance. Let Christina walk you through the vocal warmups and exercises she uses to get ready for the show.

Christina Aguilera
Teaches Singing
Christina teaches you her unique vocal techniques in over 3.5 hours of voice lessons and exercises.
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Your vocal chords are kind of like-- well, they're like any other muscle. You know, if you train it, if you exercise it, if you practice, it's going to get stronger and build. You also want to make sure you don't overdo it and you cause a strain or you cause weakness and overexertion. At a certain point when I was on tour, I took my first vocal lesson because I was like, I need to know how to preserve my voice-- you know, how to warm it up. I have no clue how to do this. So I met with Don Lawrence out of New York. And he gave me this vocal warm up tape that I could take on the road with me, travel with it. And I've used it ever since. Like since I was 16 years old, I've had this vocal tape. OK, start from here, Christina, in soprano on "ooh." [SINGING SCALES] I found that, you know, the actual lessons portion of it, you have to be careful with because you don't want to-- I mean for me, singing is just so pure. And it's just such an innate thing I have to do for myself and my soul. So making it anything too contrived didn't really flow with me, didn't really help me in any way. And the stuff that I used to love singing when I was little was like, you know, blues and soul and your Etta's and your Nina's and your Billie Holiday's. Those were the songs I would sing-- old time rock and roll, even Bob Seger at certain gigs of mine when I was really young. And those are songs that really is just-- those things come out of raw emotion and love and just being natural and from the heart. That doesn't really require, you know, just this note has to be perfect. And this note has to be that. It was only later on, when you're working so much that your voice needs a little bit of help to just stay warm when you're just on the go constantly using it like that. [SPEAKING ITALIAN] [PIANO SCALE] [SINGING SCALES IN ITALIAN] Another thing I was kind of taught was your throat has a ton of muscles in there. And even if you're in a place where it might be very soft-- and, you know, sometimes you're a little embarrassed to be like [SINGING SCALE] wherever you are. And you don't want to be drawing attention to yourself or even if you have a strained or a sore throat. Sometimes, it's just good to just-- if you have a memory of already knowing what your vocal warm up feels like-- not just sounds like but just feels like when you do it in your throat-- you can actually exercise those muscles without doing anything verbally. Or, you know, you don't have to actually sing in order to warm up your voice. Even a little bit of throat opening, muscle contractions, and things like that-- almost do it in your head, but don't even sing out. Sort of contract your muscles in the way that you're thinking in your head about some of your vocal warm ups. And that even helps, I mean, mentally to listen to the vocal warm up in a headphone or in the car or whatever that may be and just expanding your throat and your mu...

Your New Voice Teacher

Christina Aguilera teaches you how to expand your range, find your voice, and master the techniques that have earned her five Grammy Awards. In her first-ever online singing class, you’ll learn warm-up exercises, breath control, vibrato, her signature growls, and hear Christina break down her biggest hits. You’ve never had vocal lessons like this before.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This class was everything that I hop;ed and dreamed it would be! <3

Good info... I love the "permission" to just be you... So many artist trying to be "like" rather then just "be" and that resonates with my heart.

It is inspiring, the main thing I brought out of this - sing from yourself, be who you are, keep growing.

Christina is a true master and is a meticulous artist! Thanks!


Siya X.

So far not seeing anything really helpful. Feels like I'm watching a documentary. It's all about herself.

A fellow student

Have not enjoyed any of these. Won't let me give a star rating either. But 1.

James M.

My favorite part of this lesson was holding a vocal pitch recorder up to the speakers and discovering she still leans sharp and/or flat on an exercise she's done for decades. And I think that's important to know for singers who expect that they won't be able to make an impact without perfect pitch. But it still sounds lovely. So I think that's what she's getting at when she says she doesn't care about a rulebook.

Joe S.

Thank you Christina! Excellent job, I absolutely love listening to your story and insight you share! Keep up the good work. To all the disappointed and negative subscribers, two thoughts - 1) Good practice for development is always start with something positive that you liked or helped, no matter how small. Only then can you offer some constructive insight on what may be improved upon or more helpful. 2) Check out principle #1 by Dale Carnegie, the three Cs - "Don't criticize, condemn or complain" These are prerequisite and fundamental principles for any advancement at any skill level. If one thought or idea shared here at Masterclass causes the light bulb in your head to glow, a paradigm shift in your perceptions, the realization that you get to decide! This is priceless.

A fellow student

I trained as a classical vocalist. A good portion of technique we learn is through these vocal exercises. Many are documented in the manuals produced by the early masters of singing for the bel canto repertoire. We encounter exercises for the proper vowels, learning to sing through various passagi, and more. There are some signs of misuse of the voice production that I think can lead to unhealthy singing. Singers should work on evenness of the voice from the low to high range or high to low range. Always find someone who is knowledgeable and can evaluate your technique in person. I'm still curious to see what more she has to say since I sing without amplification. Obviously she's doing well in her field or she would not be as much of a pop icon. There could be healthier singing even in the pop style.

Rainy H.

Thank you for this section, Christina. I am very much in the situation you describe where I don't want to "bother" others in the house with constant singing, so learning that I can sing without vocalizing is greatly helpful! LOVE LOVE LOVE your lessons, you are so inspiring me.

Barbara G.

I'm a bit disappointed at this point. This is a Master Class which I assume is meant for people who already know how to sing but need some additional techniques and tools. I had hoped for more actual instruction from Christina rather than a "figure it out for yourself" approach with youtube links that I had already found myself over the past few years (for free) and used and worked on extensively. I'm hoping that going forward in this class there will be more actual helpful information.


This lesson was a huge disappointment, very carelessly executed. The 'rate this lesson' feature isn't working either. 'MasterClass' implies that it's for advanced learners that already have awareness of the basics. A masterclass should offer concrete, masterful techniques to practice with. No tools were actually provided; just a link to a youtube search and another link to an off-topic website about ENT surgery at Mount Sinai. (I mean, huh?) Christina gets to enjoy the added income from giving this vague pep talk all while avoiding giving away any insider secrets. It took her 9 minutes to say, 'Teach yourself to warmup, do some yoga and breathe'. Gee, thanks. Knowing how to properly execute a warm-up and work with your body is so fundamental to everything else. The foundation is completely missing from this course so there's nothing to build on from here. It's not worth continuing past this point. Can we get a real Masterclass from Don Lawrence?


at this point im just wondering when the teaching is going to start? rather than just hearing stories about when she learnt ... but not exactly how.

AuthorSheryl C.

I am glad that I learn how long or many times a week. I am going to use my singing coach and teach yourself to sing to exercise or warm up.