Tips for a Healthy Voice
Recently, it seems like we see a growing number of popular singers like Meghan Trainor, Justin Timberlake, and Adele canceling tour dates and even undergoing surgeries because of vocal injury. Too often, the demands of a busy schedule (required performances several nights in a row, the rigors of life on the road, etc.) can cause poor vocal health. Being aware of your own health as a singer and being conscious of proper vocal technique limits the possibility of developing any physical vocal problems.
Like playing sports, singing requires your whole body and mind. Just as athletes prevent injury through stretching and keeping their minds and bodies healthy outside of the game, singers should give themselves the same consideration. Here are several tips to help keep your voice in shape and to prevent injury:
We need to drink a gallon of water a day in order for our bodies to function properly. Drinks containing caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body, inhibiting vocal flexibility, and should be avoided the day before singing. Consider a gallon of water just as a starting point. Every can of soda or mug of coffee you drink in a day should be counteracted by an additional 8 ounces of water.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Another necessity for your body to function correctly is getting plenty of sleep and rest. A busy schedule and a hectic lifestyle can make this hard to achieve, but your body needs time to recover if you want your voice to perform at its best. If you feel fatigue from a night out or staying up late into the morning hours doing homework let yourself have a day off from singing.
Eat food that is healthy and never right before going to bed. To keep our bodies running efficiently we must feed it good fuel. Avoid acidic or spicy foods before singing and try not to eat 3 hours before lying down to go to sleep, all of which may trigger acid reflux, a common digestive disorder which can easily harm your vocal cords. If you have persistent acid reflux or heartburn seek medical advice from you doctor about treatment.
"Being aware of your own health as a singer and being conscious of proper vocal technique limits the possibility of developing any physical vocal problems. "
Control Your Allergies
Many of us suffer from seasonal allergies that affect the way our bodies work and can ultimately affect our voices. Take the time to find out what is causing your allergy symptoms and seek proper treatments.
Sing a Little Bit Everyday
This sounds like an easy task but sometimes life gets busy and we can go from a lesson one week into a lesson the next without actually singing at all. This does not mean mindless karaoke in the shower. The point is to get your brain and body in the habit of thoughtful singing everyday. If you know you have a full day and you won’t have time for a full practice session, I suggest at least 10 minutes of focused practice time. Think about a small, specific goal that you wish to accomplish such as “I want to memorize the chorus of this song today.” This will keep your vocal folds limber and ready for longer practice sessions when you have more time.
Be Gentle With Your Voice!
Don’t scream! If you need to reach someone across a crowded room, please consider walking over to them instead of shouting. Daily interactions where we are careless with our voices lead to vocal fatigue which contribute to vocal injuries.
Singing should never hurt. If something becomes uncomfortable, stop and evaluate what you are doing. Do not just push through the pain. Proper singing technique is about discovering the most efficient way to make sound which should never involve discomfort. If you are singing in a lesson do not hesitate to communicate concerns to your teacher. Think of your voice teacher as a doctor; their job is to diagnose your symptoms to help you sing better and more comfortably.
"Think of your voice teacher as a doctor; their job is to diagnose your symptoms to help you sing better and more comfortably."
Take Voice Lessons
If you care about the longevity of your voice, study good vocal technique. Voice lessons are the best way to prevent vocal injury. As a vocal teacher, I strive to help my students to make sounds in a healthy way. I want my students to avoid the fate of many untrained singers who produce popular sounds with unneeded tension (and who often develop avoidable problems down the road).
Schedule a voice lesson with Jen today! Click here for info.