Vocal Hygiene – How To Keep Your Voice Healthy

The term “vocal hygiene” refers to the things you can do to keep your voice healthy and in good shape. Here are my tips to maintain a good voice!

DON’Ts – 10 bad habits and things to avoid

  1. Don’t eat too many fats and acidic foods because they can cause acid reflux.
  2. Don’t go to bed right after eating (for the same reason).
  3. Avoid warm drinks after singing.
  4. Avoid direct exposure to air conditioning or heating. Use a humidifier in dry environments and regulate your water intake accordingly.
  5. Avoid yelling and speaking in noisy situations.
  6. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, drugs and smoke.
  7. Don’t sing when you are sick.
  8. Avoid clearing your throat and coughing often.
  9. Don’t talk too much after a performance. Give your voice some rest.
  10. Don’t whisper for prolonged periods of time.

how to keep the voice healthy singing

DOs – 10 good habits for a healthy voice

  1. Sleep at least 7 hours per night.
  2. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day (around 8 glasses), and more before a performance (on the day before and the day of the performance)
  3. Exercise regularly.
  4. Eat a balanced diet.
  5. Keep allergies under control but avoid medications that dehydrate. Antihistamines tend to dehydrate.
  6. Practice singing multiple times a day for shorter periods of time, rather than once for a long period of time. Take enough breaks.
  7. Maintain good posture and head-neck-shoulders alignment.
  8. Learn how to warm up the voice before singing and cool it down afterwards.
  9. Study vocal technique with a teacher to learn to sing without damaging the voice.
  10. Stop singing if you experience pain, discomfort, hoarseness or voice loss. If this kind of problem persists, go see an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) specialist or a laryngologist that specializes in voice disorders as soon as possible.

References:

“Le parole della scena. Glossario della voce del cantante e dell’attore” by Franco Fussi and Silvia Magnani
– “Taking care of your voice” by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

 

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