As singers, it's crucial for vocal health, to care for and maintain our vocal organ. We do vocal exercises and take a ton of different mixtures and tonics in the name of vocal maintenance but there are simple and easy practices we can do daily to show our vocal folds some love and keep them happy and healthy!
Here are seven basic daily tips for vocal care and maintenance:
1. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!
Staying hydrated is one of the most basic but important and beneficial habits a singer can have. Believe it or not water does not wash over our vocal folds when we drink. If your body is dehydrated Vital organs will be hydrated before the rest of the body, this includes the vocal cords. Singers speaker and teachers should consume 8 glasses of oxygenated alkalized water daily and keep in mind this increase if your consume dehydrating drinks or foods.
There is a thin layer of mucus that coats the vocal folds keeping it lubricated protecting the folds from friction and damage. Maintaining this thin mucus layer is highly dependent on our daily water intake. So, DRINK UP !
2. Vocal Rest:
This is especially crucial for speakers or singers. Talking or speaking too much or too loudly should be avoided. It's necessary to incorporate periodic vocal rest where no speaking, no singing is done. Sit back and enjoy some quiet time!
3. Avoid clearing throat:
As much as we hate the feeling of mucus, or annoying "tickle" or discomfort in our throats, clearing the throat is far from a solution. This is actually vocal abuse. This action causes the cords to snap together violently, aggravating the cords and it can also send a message to the brain to produce more mucus! Try sipping water or simply swallowing instead.
4. No Smoking:
Stay away from environments filled with cigarette smoke. Inhaling smoke, second hand smoke included, irritates the vocal cords greatly!
5. Avoid alcohol:
Drinking alcoholic beverages can cause dehydration, increases mucus production, reduces vocal flexibility and inhibits muscle coordination. These effects increase the likelihood of off pitch singing and may cause you to put strain on your cords unnecessarily.
What you eat is no doubt a big part of vocal health. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream are mucus producing and should be avoided. Highly caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soft drinks can actually cause dryness in the throat and should definitely be avoided, spicy, or acidic foods also cause irritation to the throat and cords. That doesn't mean we should NEVER have these things, but remember, Everything in Moderation! And sure you flush with WATER regularly!
Sleep is very important for a singer. The quality of sleep and regularity of your sleep pattern affects your vocal ability. Your body & the muscles involved in singing will become tired if you lack sleep. This creates a greater likelihood for puffy folds, vocal strain and diminished vocal out put. Develop healthy sleeping habits, making sure to get enough rest each night.
Which of these or even others do you use to care for your voice? Let me know in the comments!
You can also tell me what else you'd like to read about or what else you'd like to see from us at PRVM!!