Vocal health is important for all musicians and is essential to lifelong success for singers. Understanding basic care of the voice is essential for musicians who speak, sing, and rehearse or teach others. Because practicing, rehearsing, and performing music are physically demanding activities, musicians are susceptible to numerous vocal disorders, many of which are preventable and/or treatable. Some points to consider:
- Sufficient warm-up time is important.
- Begin warming up mid-range, and then slowly work outward to vocal pitch extremes.
- Good posture, adequate breath support, and correct physical technique are essential.
- Regular breaks during practice and rehearsal are vital in order to prevent undue physical or vocal stress and strain.
- It is important to set a reasonable limit on the amount of time that you will practice in a day.
- Avoid sudden increases in practice times.
- Know your voice and its limits, and avoid overdoing it or misusing it.
- Maintain healthy habits. Safeguard your physical and mental health.
- Drink plenty of water in order to keep your vocal folds adequately lubricated. Limit your use of alcohol, and avoid smoking.
- Day-to-day decisions can impact your vocal health, both now and in the future. Since vocal strain and a myriad of other injuries can occur in and out of school, you also need to learn more and take care of your own vocal health on a daily basis. Avoid shouting, screaming, or other strenuous vocal use.
- If you are concerned about your personal vocal health, talk with a medical professional.
- If you are concerned about your vocal health in relationship to your program of study, consult the appropriate contact person at your institution.
This information is provided by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA).
Links to Vocal Health Resources:
Duke Voice Care Center
Singing For A Living
Texas Voice Center
Guide to Vocal Health - Successful Singing
Ten Tips for a Healthy Voice