Beth Ford - Voice Coach South Wales

Listen to your voice

If you are feeling fragile, full of infection or the voice is tired …then rest it! You can damage your voice if you continue to use it as usual when it is already under strain. Too much coughing and clearing of the throat can cause more damage so try to cough only when absolutely necessary!

Avoid throat sweets

Pain in the throat is a sign that there is inflammation and throat sweets will numb this pain luring you into a belief that you can continue to use the voice as usual but the sweets have merely masked the damage. However, sucking the sweet will lubricate the voice and a couple of good sweets a day may be helpful such as Vocal Zones, Fisherman’s Friends or Nigroids.

Less mucus and spice

It is well known in show business that one should avoid dairy before a performance. Dairy products can encourage the secretion of phlegm and increase the viscosity of mucus produced, which interferes with the natural working of the vocal folds. Professional broadcasters are told never to drink milk before going on air. Too much dairy can cause a nasal quality to the voice and spicy foods can be harsh on the throat, causing acid reflux.

Feed the Voice

Good foods include: lemon, ginger, honey, pineapple, cinnamon essence, thyme and peppermint and drink plenty of water drunk at room temperature. Try Clear Ease Enzymes.

Warming up and down

Just as an athlete will gently warm up the body before a long run then the speaker / singer should warm the voice up before prolonged use. Warming down is just as vital so that you don’t get a rush of blood to the larynx, causing swelling (oedema) and fatigue.

Less is More

Learn to say less so that you can preserve your voice. Often we can say what we need to using half the amount of words.

Free the voice

Keep your body language open and free and maintain a well balanced posture. Breathe deeply and project the voice from the diaphragm.

Don’t shout

If you are in a noisy environment such as at a concert or a football match then avoid shouting to be heard above the din. This strains the voice and can cause lasting damage to the vocal folds. This also applies to arguments as when we experience heightened emotions then we tense our muscles, causing stress to the throat.

Don’t do drugs!

Avoid excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol as these are dehydrating. If we become dehydrated then we lose vocal fold tissue which can then lead to further injury. Smoking seriously affects the quality, strength and resonance of the voice as well as the other well known effects to health.

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