Help! The weather is changing and so is my voice
Many singers face the dreaded October “hoarse” voice or even worse a “temporary” voice loss. The weather is changing and there are people coughing and sneezing all around us. Its inevitable we are going to feel under the weather at some point. Luckily we are all equipped with the knowledge on how to take proper precautions to avoid getting sick. We wash our hands regularly, sneeze into our arms etc. For a singer, there is always that extra pressure to stay healthy and strong as we want to protect our biggest asset. A loss of voice means lost opportunities resulting in a loss of income.
I wanted to touch upon this issue and go over some important tips for maintaining a healthy voice through the dreaded climate change. These are just a few of many tips that I find crucial to practice in order to keep the voice healthy & strong.
For more preventative and healing vocal tips, contact me.
Beyond any other solution or liquid, water is the best thing to keep your chords lubricated and healthy. Water flushes the mucus out of the vocal chords making it easier to sing and far less straining. I would recommend 64oz a day and 80oz a day on performance days. The weather plays a large part in drying out our vocal chords. When the temperatures drop the cool air becomes drier than the warm air we were previously used to. Interestingly enough, the cooler it is, the more water we should be taking in.
Even in the warm fall months it’s important to cover up our necks and chest so that we don’t fall susceptible to a cold or flu virus that would weaken our chords. Don’t sleep with windows open.
I cant stress enough how important it is for singers to give themselves a much needed rest when they feel their voices getting tired. A tight feeling voice is your body indicating that it does in fact need a break. Vocal rest means being completely silent no talking, no singing and even more importantly no whispering. Whispering is one of the worst things we can do. I would suggest carrying a pen and paper around with you to communicate. The length of a singer’s vocal rest varies per individual case and is something that you should discuss with your vocal coach or ENT specialist. Please take a look at this article about the dangers of whispering. https://www.voices.com/blog/the_dangers_of_whispering_for_your_voice/
Invest in a steam inhaler/vaporizer. They are very inexpensive and a total necessity for any level of singer. Steaming should be done on a regular basis. Once a day or every other day for about 15-20 minutes. When dealing with a cold, flu, loss of voice or coming off of a long show or rehearsal, the steaming process should be upped to twice a day.
Saline Solution/Neti Pot
I like to recommend a Saline Solution when I hear my clients are suffering from allergies, a cold or just because they feel dryness due to weather change. The saline solution works as it flushes mucous out of the nasal passages, causing less post nasal drip in turn creating less irritation to your vocal chords. You could use Saline as part of a Neti Pot or in a spray found at your local pharmacy.
Singers! Whatever you do—unless you are on vocal rest—remember to do your warm ups and exercises regularly. Keep in mind it's always important to start low and slow and work your way into a healthy, clean & open sound.