When instrumental musicians struggle with their sound they can buy new strings, order more reeds or grease their gears.
When a singer struggles with her sound, fixing the problem is not as easy. Consistent strain on vocal cords can cause damage and create nodules, or polyps, to form. Although benign, the nodules can lead to bleeding when they are not properly rested, which then causes scarring. Vocal cords that are scarred sound more hoarse and are more prone to cracking.
A cracked voice, however, is not the fate for all singers. Properly managed and maintained vocal cords can provide a singer with a lifetime of beautiful sounds.
Here are our 4 tips to protecting your singing voice:
1. Healthy Lifestyle: Like everything else in life, a healthy lifestyle reaps many rewards. If you want to give your vocal cords a long life then stay away from smoking and drugs and opt for a healthy diet that includes drinking lots of water and aerobic exercise.
2. Rest When You’re Sick: Just as your body needs to rest when you’re sick, so does your voice. If you must sing while sick, schedule several days of rest soon after so your vocal cords can begin healing.
3. Warm-Ups and Cool Downs: Just as a runner stretches before and after a race, singers must also get their vocal cords warmed up and ready to perform. A voice coach can work with you on tailoring a set of exercises that works best for you.
4. Technique: A good voice coach — including someone from The Music Junction — will work with you to understand how your voice works and the proper techniques for singing including understanding how to breathe and how to use your diaphragm. We like this piece of advice from voice trainer Judith Farris on the benefits of a properly coached voice.
“In singing, if one’s breath is balanced, it is nearly impossible to have any kind of strain on the vocal apparatus, and the easiest and most beautiful sound is achieved,” Farris told Theatre Communications Group. “ Thus obtaining a correct vocal technique is the key to the prevention of vocal problems. The vocal cords themselves are muscles. Athletes and dancers know that any muscle that is used correctly gets stronger with use, not weaker or injured.”
The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.
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