Care of the Ultimate Instrument
Key Assumption: A lack of understanding about the voice is a major cause of vocal career problems.
Fact: It is easier to be prepared and avoid vocal pitfalls than to recover from them.
- Only YOU can keep your voice healthy. Learn to “manage” your instrument. BE ACCOUNTABLE.
- Practice proper vocal hygiene. Be guided by COMMON SENSE!!
- Decisions – count the vocal “costliness” of your lifestyle choices.
- Consider yourself a vocal athlete.
- Vocal wellness encourages PREVENTION not treatment.
- Effective speaking and singing should feel relaxed and effortless, like “hitting the sweet spot.”
Helpful care concepts
- Larynx (voicebox): susceptible NOT FRAGILE
- ALL voices have a threshold of abuse – learn YOURS and stay within acceptable limits
- Vocal “finances” perform on interest, don't use up principal
- Managing: flexibility plus discipline
- Common sense: RESPOND to how your voice sounds/feels
- Vocal athlete: conditioning; warm up/cool down; training (coach)
- Vocal lifestyle: All factors impacting on voice
- Abuse = Misuse + overuse
- Speaking affects singing: same instrument
- Influencing factors: smoking, alcohol, drugs, allergies, diet, reflux, hormones, stress/tension, training, techniques, repertoire
- Avoid physical/emotional exhaustion (eat/sleep wisely)
- Hydration/humidification are key
- Reduce caffeine intake (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate)
- Avoid smoking (active and passive)
- Alcohol in moderation
- Rest when not performing (no unnecessary infection)
- Avoid whisper as a “voice” alternative
- Respond “smartly” to URI (upper respiratory infection)
- Promote voice caution/conservation vs. silence
- Caution with coughing/throat clearing
- Don't be an amateur druggist
- Avoid late night eating/drinking
*This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.