Blog
 Loading... Please wait...

Posted

Keeping The Throat Healthy

"If I cannot fly let me sing." -- Stephen Sondheim.

Singers and speakers alike will often acquire throat irritations. This interferes with the voice and interrupts the singing process. This can be most frustrating, especially when we don't know what causes the irritation. Any type of irritation in the larynx can rob the vocalist of a successful performance. Every singer has a responsibility to learn what to do to avoid throat problems. The tips I'm going to talk to you about are proven -- they've been tried and tested for years among singers from every genre.

  • When we sing loud and long, it is crucial that we use proper breath support to avoid abusing the voice. Always measure the amount of air needed for each phrase. When releasing air as you sing, hold back (suspend) and don't allow all the air to escape at once.
  • A tickle is caused by dryness in the throat. The dryness can cause coughing. To avoid this, drink plenty of room temperature water to keep the vocal cords hydrated. You may also try drinking warm lemon tea, with a small amount of honey before singing. This is better than anything on the market, which really does nothing anyhow.
  • Avoid any yelling, screaming, and extreme temperature changes, such as going from air conditioning to a hot temperature, and vice versa. When we yell or scream, it's much like scratching your vocal cords with your fingernails.
  • Sleeping with a humidifier is necessary for serious singers. The steam from the humidifier, enters the nose and throat, bringing much-needed moisture to the area. This is highly important for those who sleep with the mouth open, which dries out the throat. You can also inhale steam from a hot shower or boiled water (put a towel over your head when inhaling the steam). Be careful not to get a steam burn.
  • Moisture to the throat is needed at all times, particularly when singing and giving speaking presentations. Sip, sip, and then sip some more all day long. Keep a bottle of room temperature water with you at all times. The throat must be wet and moist in order to function well. Soft drinks and fruit juices are no substitute for water.
  • Neverdrink ice cold water, juice, or soda within three to four hours before singing. Cold temperatures restrict the vocal bands, hindering the vibrations needed to produce sound.
  • Avoid coffee on the day you sing. The caffeine in coffee will dry the vocal cords.
  • The same holds true for alcohol, antihistamines, most medications, and of course, smoking (including second-hand smoke and vaping). If you can't control these substances, you're better off not singing. I personally have worked with very famous singers, who smoke, drink, and do drugs and I have witnessed what happens to these voices. Some artists have spent a small fortune for "quick fixes" just to be able to do a concert and sound great. You would be amazed at who these singers are. So do not fall into these bad and destructive habits in the first place. It will take its toll.

"A song will outlive all sermons in the memory." -- Henry Giles


Visit Music Books Plus for a wide variety of books and resources for your vocal performance and care.

Author: Respected vocal coach and professional singer, Audrey Hunt lays it on the line when it comes to the responsibility of singing.

The Power of Your Mind, Your Body & Your Voice Part 2

By Teresa CirilloYour MindHave you heard the expression, “What you think about expands?” It means that what you focus on, you will attract. Have you ever been in search of something to buy – a jacket maybe? You have a particular one in mind and, all of a sudden, you start seeing that jacket everywhere you go – like [...]

Read More »


The Power of Your Mind, Your Body & Your Voice

Since the 1990s, Teresa Cirillo has provided professional vocal instruction to developing artists and performers throughout Canada. Recently, she has toured Canada and the U.S. coaching developing artists, sitting on panels alongside Grammy-winning producers and label executives, and producing vocals for various artists. She has also just released a highly anticipated book on her vocal technique called  The Vocal Compass. As the owner [...]

Read More »


6 Things A Choir Needs to Feel Daily

Sometimes we overlook the obvious, here's a quick reminder list of 6 things a choir needs to feel on a daily basis to be successful as a choir.1. SafeIt is hard to sing in front of anyone much less our peers and yet we ask our students to do this daily. It is crucial that [...]

Read More »


Procedures and Routines in the Music Class

By Steve EngelI remember once watching my daughter playing school, pretending to be the teacher. She sat in a chair holding a book up to her class of stuffed animals. She showed her class the book, and said “Front cover, back cover, spine, title page, dedication…”It was obvious that she had learned the parts of a [...]

Read More »


Keep Music Classes Fun

By Steve EngelFirst, it’s no secret that classrooms have become less fun in recent years. It’s true that students may always complain about school not being fun, but now experienced teachers are now protesting as well. Many fun, creative lesson plans have been eliminated because they don’t fit into today’s curriculum. The word “enrichment” has [...]

Read More »


What’s the Right Age to Begin Music Lessons?

By Dr. Robert A. CutiettaWe’ve all heard the stories of famed musical prodigies, from Mozart writing his first symphony at the age of eight to Stevie Wonder signing with Motown at 11. Even if your child isn’t performing with the New York Philharmonic or the Chicago Symphony by age 11 (like violinist Midori and Herbie [...]

Read More »


​PROFESSIONALISM: A DAILY DOZEN

By Mat MarucciWhether playing part-time or full time, if someone earns money playing the drums he or she is a professional drummer. Sometimes how often one works has less to do with his or her abilities as a drummer and more to do with how those abilities are applied.The following tips will help the young drummer in getting a perspective [...]

Read More »


​DAILY RUDIMENTS

Written by Mat MarucciNot every drummer is expected to be a rudimental expert but familiarity with all forty rudiments is highly recommended for each of us. And it isn’t as big a chore as you might think. If one new rudiment is studied and learned each week, it is only a matter of about 6 months to learn all 26 [...]

Read More »


​Bluegrass or Clawhammer Banjo - Which One is Easier to Learn?

By Wayne ErbsenYou’ve got your heart set on learning to play the banjo. Come to find out, there are currently two popular styles of banjo playing: bluegrass or clawhammer banjo. Which one should you choose? And most important, which style is easier?First, let me explain each style and then we’ll talk about which one is easier to learn.Bluegrass banjo was more [...]

Read More »