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Monthly Column – December

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HARD-WORKING VOICE

However you use it, taking care of your voice should be a top priority because your vocal cords are precious.

At Spangles, singing to the best of our ability means taking care of our voices, never more important than when singing with Christmas Joy!

To help you, here are 10 tips we use to help keep a healthy voice. We will explain each tip more fully over the next few months…

1. Warm Up and Cool Down Your Voice

If you are going to sing at Christmas whether in Concert or simply at your church service, it’s essential.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water

Sometimes the reason you have a hoarse voice is as simple as being dehydrated so drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, and do all you can to avoid alcohol or caffeine, especially before performances.

3. Don’t Clear Your Throat

To keep your voice in shape, you want to avoid frequent throat clearing. This can damage your vocal cords because throat clearing is essentially violently slamming the vocal cords together. Sounds painful, right?

4. Listen to Yourself

To keep your voice healthy, you need to listen to yourself and monitor your voice. Don’t ignore any warning signs. If you notice hoarseness or your voice starts to feel scratchy, rest it as much as possible.

5. Get Quality Sleep

Like many other things, a lack of sleep is the enemy of your singing voice, and to sing well, you need to sleep well.

6. Use Natural Throat Products

Just about anything that helps your throat can help your voice. Look for lozenges, teas, and throat sprays that have slippery elm, a great throat lubricant.

7. Take Vocal Naps

Most personal trainers will tell you that you need to take a couple of rest days after exhausting exercise routines. Just like your body, when your voice is tired, it is more prone to injury. You have to give your vocal muscles rest.

8. Don’t Abuse Your Voice

Many people damage their voice through overuse…… Don’t speak loudly, give long speeches, and keep from straining your voice.

9. Breathe Through Your Nose

The most important breathing habit a musician can create is breathing through their nose. Humans are designed to be nasal breathers because the nose provides humid and warm air to your throat and lungs.

10. Don’t Force It

Perhaps the best piece of advice that most vocalists will ignore is that you shouldn’t force it. If your voice is hoarse because of laryngitis, a cold, or the flu, take it easy. Live to sing another day.

Put These Vocal Health Tips to Use

Now that you know how to keep your vocal cords healthy, you can truly start to improve your voice and elevate your singing skills.

So, what can you do? I sing with Spangles Ladies’ Harmony Chorus and we will be recruiting in the New Year, so why not think about joining us and learn more singing tips?

Just email me for more details: info@spangleschorus.com

Wishing you a fabulous Christmas and New Year!

Lyn Baines
Author: Lyn Baines

Chorus founder and manager, bass section leader.

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