Try your best to maintain a good general health. Get adequate rest to minimize fatigue. If you do get sick, do not attempt to override a cold or laryngitis. See your physician and rest your voice.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a balanced diet including: vegetables, fruits, and whole grain foods
- Maintain body hydration (drink 7-9 glasses of water per day)
- Avoid dry, artificial interior climates
- Avoid breathing smoggy, polluted air
- Vocal Use Practices
Less is more if we think of vocal longevity. Do not speak excessively. Try reducing the amount of voice use and increasing the frequency of vocal rest periods. This is especially important when suffering from vocal or generalized fatigue.
- Avoid speaking/singing in a pitch range (tessitura) that is continually near the extremes of your own vocal range.
- Limit the use of the voice in high-noise environments (loud restaurants, parties, cars, planes).
- Avoid shouting, screaming, loud laughter, and excessively loud speech. Also, some vocal sound effects can be very damaging to the vocal folds and should be avoided. Avoid whispering. In fact, it is more damaging to whisper than talk when you are ill. This especially includes the “stage whisper.”
- Reduce general voice use before a performance. Reduce your mileage. Think voice conservation.
- Vocal warm-ups should always be used prior to singing. Vocal cool-downs are also essential to keep the singing voice healthy.
Some additional suggestions for good vocal care are:
- If you need to get someone’s attention, use non-vocal sounds such as clapping, bells, or whistling
- Move closer to those with whom you are speaking
- Face the person(s) with whom you are speaking
- Use amplification as needed if possible
- Be aware of noise in the environment
- Do not strain your voice
The Do’s of Optimal Speaking
Goals of Voice Therapy
- Use good abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing and support
- Learn to use your voice with as little unnecessary effort and tension as possible
- Take frequent breaths with speaking long sentences
- Maintain a smooth legato speech pattern with clear articulation
- Allow the neck, jaw and face to be relaxed
- “Place” or “focus” the voice appropriately. Watch here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xYDvwvmBIM
- Speak at a normal rate of speed
- Use good vocal inflection