Protect Your Voice As a Singer: Medical Maintenance Part I
If you want to sing professionally—or just successfully!—one of the most important things you can do is protect your voice. Most singers don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the importance of maintaining vocal health. Even singers who consider themselves professional performers don’t always pay proper attention to the care of their voices. However, it is vital that you protect your voice if you want to be able to sing well for a long time. Most singers understand the basics of how to protect your voice: avoid excessive shouting, make sure you take the time to rest your voice, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water, etc. But if you truly want to protect your voice as an instrument, there are additional steps you can take! 1. Make sure to warm up every day. A vocalist is no different than an athlete—using his or her own muscles to perform at peak capacity every day! Just as an athlete stretches and conditions his or her muscles, a vocalist must condition his or her voice. You can protect your voice by warming up carefully every day so your vocal cords stay in peak condition!
2. Never sing through songs without warming up first. Would you run a marathon without training? Of course not! (Well…you could try, but you might end up in a heap on the pavement.) You shouldn’t sing through a difficult song without training either. Warming up allows you to condition your vocal muscles so you can sing without risking an injury. Protect your voice by warming up first and singing your repertoire second.
3. Make sure to get enough sleep! If you fail to protect your voice, you may suffer from vocal exhaustion—manifesting in hoarseness or even the temporary loss of voice. However, your body is more likely to fail than your vocal cords. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t help you protect your voice. Sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to illness—so set a bedtime alarm and get some rest! Part of taking good care of your voice involves taking good care of you and knowing your body well enough to know when you’re ready to perform and when you need rest. By being more self-aware, you can also be more vocally aware. Taking regular voice lessons is one way to increase your vocal awareness and ensure that your technical foundation is solid. Singing with proper vocal technique is the best way to protect your voice! To make sure that you’re using proper vocal technique and building the strongest instrument you can possibly have, schedule your voice lesson with the Brian Schexnayder Vocal Studio today! Please remember: If you are dealing with an impaired instrument—vocal fatigue, hoarseness, raspiness, trouble phonating (making sound)—for any reason, you should always seek the advice or counsel of a medical professional.