Must-Know Pointers for Your Vocal Health
By VICTORIA LAVAN
We all have a voice. We use our voices every day, all day without even thinking about it. Yet your voice, how you use it and care for it, is one of the most important responsibilities we have as performers. Your voice is as unique as your thumbprint—no one else has your identical sound. Owning something that is one of kind is a pretty exciting thing to recognize, explore and, ultimately, develop and care for.
Here are a few vocal tips if you are rehearsing for a show or concert:
- Get sleep (as much as you can)
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stay hydrated with water and other healthy drinks - no soda
- Good general hygiene: Do NOT share your water bottles, lip balm, makeup, food or anything else that is a personal item with someone else – and wash your hands all the time!
Remember, vocal health starts with being healthy in general!
8 Tips to Keep Your Voice Healthy and on Track
- Do not overuse your voice by talking loudly, speaking constantly throughout the day and then singing for several hours during a rehearsal.
- Come to every rehearsal with water, snacks and your voice warmed up with vocal exercises that focus on good breath support, vowel resonance and onsets (the three different ways we initiate vocal tone).
- When you are not on stage or rehearsing - be quiet, don't talk - hum your music instead. Humming will recover your voice quickly in the middle of a long rehearsal.
- Do vocal and physical cool-downs every night. Cool-downs will return your voice to a healthy balance. Look for more specific information on cool-downs in an upcoming blog.
- During your rehearsal process, pace yourself! Use more mix than belt during rehearsals lasting longer than an hour - your belt will be healthier and stronger. Sing more mezzo forte and mezzo piano than forte and fff - loud is just a choice, not a necessity for every single note you sing.
- Use as many sounds and dynamic levels in your singing as you can to support the character or song you are working on. The vocal folds love variety, and so do our ears!
- Remember, you only have to sing the money notes ONCE in every show. Repeatedly belting sections of songs does not create vocal stamina! It actually breaks down the muscles and tissues of your vocal mechanism. Look for more specific information on creating vocal stamina in an upcoming blog.
- Singing should feel good and the production of your singing voice should have an element of ease – even in loud singing and belting.
Now go explore, enjoy and express your one-of-a-kind instrument—and take good care of it!