- Choirs performing
- Holiday plays
- House concerts
- Studio recitals
- Christmas Caroling
- Church pageants
- Musical Theatre Shows
‘Tis possibly the season for colds and flu, more eating and drinking, less exercise – my least favorite health time of the year.
So what are you going to do to maximize your singing and performing and minimize the possible effects of the germs and lifestyle traditions of the season?
Follow these tips to keep singing through the holidays!
- Vocalize very single day. “Stretch” your voice fully, doing semi-occluded exercises that take you to the very top and bottom of your range (where you may never even sing a note publically). Here’s some information about why this helps your singing. Here’s an example of what that means.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Read this for a wonderfully geeky article about this. But in a nutshell, if you are dehydrated, so are the cells that comprise your vocal folds and the underlying tissues. If those cells are dehydrated, the tissue is unable to optimally absorb the collisions that the vocal folds must make with each other in order for us to sing. Dehydration can put you at increased risk for vocal injury. Plus, being well hydrated is a good thing for ALL of your body. How do you know if you’re adequately hydrated? It’s all about the color of your urine. Clear or straw colored is what you want. Yellow or amber is no good.
- Eat well and healthfully. Everyone has a different idea of what their “best” diet is. If you are truly honest with yourself, what is the best medley of food and nutrition you could put into your body on a daily basis? Write it down. In detail. Then do that at least 80% of the time, and you will most likely be getting what your body needs to fight off germs, build muscle, and have good energy levels.
- Keep active. Do things that make you breathe hard for at least 20 minutes, daily. (I heard that thought. Let’s keep this G-rated.) Just as you don’t have to classify yourself as a professional singer to need to function as a vocal athlete, you don’t need to be a world class athletic competitor to be physically fit. And because you ARE a vocal athlete (asking your voice to do things that most people don’t), you have to take good care of the rest of your body. Your instrument is made of living, human, tissue – it is a part of your body. As your body goes, so goes your voice.
- If your voice does get sick for more than 3 days or you have any sudden vocal change, get the treatment you need. If you’re not sure if you need treatment, consult with a voice coach who is well-schooled in vocal physiology and function. Vocal coaches who are members of PAVA or Vocology in Practice are good places to begin if you don’t already have a knowledgeable coach. Many of us work with clients over Skype or FaceTime. If they recommend you see a physician or another voice specialist, take their recommendation. Our job is to keep you singing!
‘Tis the season indeed. Do what you now know to do to sing out all winter long and share your gift. You will make the world a better place by doing so. If you have questions about your vocal health and best ways to stay healthy, I’m just an email away: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to help you.