Vocal Health & Maintenance

Here are some tips for maintaining good vocal health. I think the most important thing you can do is to create awareness. Create awareness around your vocal health and over all health. You are your own advocate. Only you know what is best for you. Pay attention, trust your instincts, and take care of yourself.

Your body is your instrument. Treat it with respect. 

Care, Love and Honor it.

1.   Your singing voice is an extension of your speaking voice. Notice how you speak. Do you tire easily? 
    - avoid vocal fry
    - avoid yelling
    - don’t try to talk over noise
    - avoid prolonged speaking
    - breathe while you speak: take frequent breaths while speaking long sentences.
    - work on using your voice with as little unnecessary effort and tension as possible. (Notice if you strain when you speak.)

2.   Avoid harsh coughing (if possible) and throat clearing. Instead try swallowing.

3.   Avoid smoky environments.

4.   Avoid smoking.

5.   Drinking alcohol excessively is not your friend, especially the night before you sing. 

6.   While singing, be careful using anti-inflammatories, such as Advil (ibuprofen). It can increase the risk of a vocal hemorrhage. Also, know that cold medicines, especially decongestants are EXTREMELY drying and are not conducive with singing.

7.   If you use lozenges, avoid menthol which can be found in cough drops like Halls.  It is drying as well as has a numbing affect. 

8.   GET SLEEP. SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT. Lack of sleep affects your singing voice, not to mention your energy level. You need energy to sing. Don’t forget, your body is your instrument.

9.   Drink lots of water. Keep a bottle on you at all times. It’s important to keep your chords hydrated and it also helps to clear the mucous off your chords.

10.  Exercise regularly. Go for walks, ride your bike, go to the gym… whatever floats your boat. Singing involves your whole body, so you need energy. Exercise gives you energy.

11.  Speaking of energy……Eat regular meals. Eat healthy food. Keep healthy snacks on you for when you need a boost. 

12. Warm up before you sing.

13. Don’t sing if it hurts.

14. Pace yourself. If you are rehearsing for a long period of time, don’t push it. Take breaks and “mark” when needed.  Make sure to rest your voice before and after a big singing day.