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Keeping Your Holiday Voice Healthy

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Keeping Your Holiday Voice Healthy

The holiday season is great for musicians.  There are a lots of gigs to be had and it is crucial that your voice stays healthy.  As soon as Thanksgiving hits, I do these things to try to healthy.

  1. Drink 100 ounces minimum a day of water.
  2. Take 2-3 grams of Vitamin C a day.
  3. Only sing when warming up, rehearsing, or gigging.
  4. When gigging, I don’t sing over talking, noise, or other music.
  5. Limit my singing to 5 hours max (includes all singing).
  6. Designate a 1-2 days a week as vocal rest days.
  7. Eat clean, nutritious food. (Limit/cut caffeine and sugar)
  8. Exercise regularly being mindful of any body fatigue.
  9. Check in every day with your voice.
  10. Sleep 8 hours a night

For the most part, I do these things throughout the year.  But in December, there is usually a spike in gigs for professional musicians.  #5 are especially important because generally singers want to take as many gigs as possible.  But if you are singing 4-6 hours a day with no breaks and running around to gigs, your voice might start to show it’s fatigue.  It’s better to knock every gig out of the park and take less gigs, than sing with 1/2 a voice. #4 is also really crucial.  Many holiday gigs are at parties and events.  There is a tendency to try to sing over room noise.  It’s a loosing battle. The louder you sing/play, the louder people talk.  So get yourself a good monitor or in-ears so you can hear yourself sing without trying to sing over talking/room noise.

#9 is something I started to do about 5 years ago. It has really changed my relationship with my voice.  In the morning, I’ll focus in on my throat and gauge any swelling I feel in my vocal chords. At that point, I might drink water drink some throat coat tea.  I may take some supplements that reduce inflammation like ginger or tumeric.  I’ll cut out any caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods.

Every singer has their own “emergency” recipe for getting healthy.  If you search the web, you’ll find lots of them. I usually focus on prevention.  If I do get sick and it doesn’t affect my throat, I can usually sing over it.  But if my cords are swollen/irritated, I DO NOT sing.  Singing on damaged/swollen cords is how you get permanent damage, nodes, polyps. Not worth it.

Happy singing! Jocelyn

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