🎙VOICE-CARE TIPS FOR SINGERS, ANNOUNCERS/DJs, PUBLIC SPEAKERS
Sound is vibration, and the voice is an instrument that sends a signal – or vibration, into a space or to a recipient. Being aware of the sonic vibrations we send to others gives insight into the healthy ways we can approach using our voice. After all, the voice takes its cue from our thoughts, so in order to help the voice reach its full potential, we must clear any clutter from the mind so that it can sprout and nurture healthy and positive thoughts, and the voice will respond in kind.
Using your voice for extended periods of time takes a lot of energy and requires maintenance. That, along with spending lots of time:
•in air/conditioned studios
•warm/hot carpeted vocal booths
•on flights where there’s limited fresh-air circulation
•on tour buses where you’re seated for an extended amount of time
•at sound checks, testing the mic ’til it’s right
You get the picture.
A lot of artists send emails, or call to ask for practical home remedies and exercises to relieve sore throat asap, help a cold/flu fly by quickly, or prepare the voice for rigorous 🎸 rehearsals, live performances, upcoming 🎙recording sessions or a series of interviews. I do my best to answer these questions based on first-hand insight and tips shared by artists along the way.
I realized the importance of voice-care:
- when bookings for recording studio sessions as background vocalist racked up to 8 a day, with 3 hours ‘rest’ a day. I was then providing a 24-hr mobile studio service.
- when my coaching client and I were given 39 songs to learn and rehearse for a major concert in 2 days
- during a packed season of 44 shows in 7 weeks (most nights up to 5 high-energy onstage appearances with marathon rehearsals in the day.)
- while coaching clients who seldom had sound checks but often had sore throats, congestion and challenges with nasal drips.
It became clear that a solution was needed and care was the key! Especially for those whose bread-and-butter is directly linked to The Voice; after all, everything in life requires maintenance in order to be sustainable.
There’s nothing worse than hearing a particular note in your head and realizing that your voice sounds like a squawking gawling bird or a bellowing bison. It can be embarrassing, frustrating and pretty disheartening – so being proactive and responsible for your instrument makes a big difference in nurturing a loyal relationship between you and your voice.
Here are a few voice-care tips and home remedies to help nurture and take good care (naturally) of your primary instrument. Stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing more tuning tips from some of your favourite artists.
– drink a good supply of clean 💦 water (preferably room temperature or fresh spring water) and stretch during the day. A good way to start the day is to open up the lungs, meditate and refresh the brain, and extend each limb to its fullest potential. Don’t compress yourself; express yourself.
– humming warms up the voice naturally (remember to breathe from diaphragm and relax throat muscles). Start with light humming, deep breathing and calm mind
– sea-water / warm salt water (gargle 1 small cup repeatedly, only in the case of sore throat which ideally should not happen.) Swimming 🏊 also assists in opening up the lungs and with vocal endurance.
– Friar’s Balsam oil (available at pharmacy and in herbal oils aisle in supermarket) Place a few drops into a large bowl/pot of boiled and barely-cooled water. Lean face over bowl, cover head and bowl with towel, and inhale (mouth) and exhale (nose) for 7 – 10 minutes (outside of dew/rainy/night hours.)
– 🔊 Less noise = no shouting, yelling, or fear. Interestingly enough, whispering isn’t good either. It’s like sending a gust of energy and sound vibration through a constricted passage. speak with a quiet and calm voice only when necessary. This is a good lesson in general, and helps us to be more aware about what we’re saying and measure when speaking is needed. Silence is sometimes golden.
– Tamarind (rich in antioxidants) and seasonal fruits. Fruits are eaten on an empty stomach (tamarind however is a bit tangy for first snack)
– Brown mint for quick boost to bring the voice forward. Bite in half to release eucalyptus and eat like normal. Contains sugar so please use in moderation.
– Watch and limit flour and all dairy products!! They are mucus building.
– Lime/lemon/fresh bayleaf tea to jumpstart and open the vocals in the morning, especially to remove any phlegm. 🍋
– Stretch! A tense neck is a recipe for a strained throat. Keep the body limber and free from stress on any level.
– garlic is a good natural antiseptic. A pod can be eaten, or steeped in boiled water and drank as a tea in moderate doses, as it comes through the pores especially in sweat
– black pepper in a small glass of lime juice for close to instant vocal clarity.
– fasting is helpful in intervals, but not recommended during extended periods of extreme outputs of energy (like during intense rehearsals and the Crop-Over season, whether physical or mental.)
MORINGA nuts/seeds, leaves (energy booster, immune system builder, cancer bunner-outter, and much more)
AIR PLANT /WONDER OF THE WORLD / leaf of life (edible and great recovery leaf for coughs, colds, flus, headaches, migraines.)
Please note that we can do all the exercises, eat the best food, and have a lovely voice – but creative and artistic happiness is so much more than that. For me, voice care starts with thought care which starts with prayer care. One feeds and leads to the other. Whatever’s most important to you, be patient, positive and proactive, and your voice will respond in kind.
(This info is in no way intended to override or replace advice/treatment/medication administered by a registered physician. We incorporate natural herbs and plants and their inherent properties available for all to use and benefit from.)