Image by Jason Rosewell

SHOW WEEK VOICE CARE

Show week can be really tough on our voices. That's a lot of singing in a short amount of time and your vocal cords aren't use to it. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep your voice show ready!

Stay hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages.

  • Take vocal naps—rest your voice throughout the day.

  • Use a humidifier in your home. This is especially important in winter or in dry climates. Thirty percent humidity is recommended.

  • Avoid or limit use of medications that may dry out the vocal folds, including some common cold and allergy medications. They are designed to dry up ALL mucous. A healthy voice needs some mucous. If you need cough drops, try honey drops!

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet:

  • Don't eat large meals that can rest heavy or upset the stomach.

  • Grease is your friend! In small quantities (like a small bag of plain chips or a small fries), greasy food can help coat the throat in a way that keeps moisture in and stops it from drying out in dusty theatres. The carbs also help to absorb stomach acids that can build up from nerves. 

  • Foods to avoid: Citrus, Diary and other things that cause excess phlegm or acid. Avoid eating spicy foods. Spicy foods can cause stomach acid to move into the throat or esophagus, causing heartburn or GERD.

    • If you have persistent heartburn or GERD, talk to your doctor about diet changes or medications that can help reduce flare-ups that can cause damage to the esophagus.​

  • Seems like common sense but don't smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoke irritates the vocal folds. 

  • Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. These foods contain vitamins A, E, and C. They also help keep the mucus membranes that line the throat healthy.

  • Wash your hands often to prevent getting a cold or the flu.

  • Get enough rest. Physical fatigue has a negative effect on voice.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise increases stamina and muscle tone. This helps provide good posture and breathe support, which are necessary for dramatic speaking and singing. 

  • Use steam for tired and hoarse voices. Run a hot shower, or pour hot water into a bowl, and cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Not too hot though so you don't burn anything!

  • Avoid mouthwash or gargles that contain alcohol or irritating chemicals. Try a salt water rinse if you need to or:

    • Try this recipe for a gargle:​

      • 1 cup warm water​

      • 1 tbsp of vingar

      • 1 tbsp of honey

      • 1 tbsp of salt
        DO NOT SWALLOW

Use your voice wisely:

  • Try not to overuse your voice. Avoid speaking or singing when your voice is hoarse or tired.

  • Rest your voice when you are sick. Illness puts extra stress on your voice.

  • Avoid using the extremes of your vocal range, such as screaming or whispering. Talking too loudly and too softly can both stress your voice.

  • Practice good breathing techniques when singing or talking. Support your voice with deep breaths from the chest, and don't rely on your throat alone. Singers and speakers are often taught exercises that improve this kind of breath control. Talking from the throat, without supporting breath, puts a great strain on the voice.

  • Avoid talking in noisy places. Trying to talk above noise causes strain on the voice.

  • Speak with your voice coach if you have any additional concerns. 

 

Want to learn more about singing and your voice? Reach out to find out how voice lessons and vocal coaching can help you!