5 Tips for Young Singers

5 Tips for Young Singers

Singing isn’t easy. It’s a skill, but one that can be taught and cultivated. Improper care before, during, and after singing can do more harm to your voice than good. Parents who may not be professionally trained singers may struggle to know how to take care of their child’s voice to ensure they remain in tiptop condition. Certain activities and foods can negatively affect your child’s voice. 

1. Warm up your voice

Before singing, young singers should practice breathing exercises. Jumping straight into singing weakens your vocal folds and increases the risk of injury. Your vocal cords are a muscle located in the larynx. Like any other muscle, you should stretch before working out to avoid aches, cramps, and injury. Vocal and breathing exercises strengthen your vocal cords, so your vocal vibrations sound better and you can produce a stronger sound.

Practice inhaling and exhaling before your start singing. When you exhale, all the air should leave your lungs and exit your mouth. During the inhale, your stomach should be relaxed.

Warm-up before practice and performance to loosen up and relax your voice box, this reduces the chances of sustaining injuries. Poor breathing support and improper techniques are damaging. Breathing, however, is not only good to warm up your voice, but it is essential for control. When you warm-up, you can use the time to focus on and sharpen new techniques. Not only are you allowing your larynx to get used to the sound, but you are training yourself to become better.

2. Maintain proper posture

How you stand is an important part of singing. Proper posture keeps the airways clear and enhances breathing for a more measured, optimized sound. If you position yourself correctly, you will allow more air into your lungs and this will help the longevity of your sound. The quantity of air in your lungs dictates how long you can sing. Singing is simply the vibration created from air passing through your vocal cords.

When practicing with your child, ensure their head is up, neck straight, shoulders down, and stomach is relaxed. When performing and practicing, the temptation may be to hunch, but this prevents air from properly leaving your lungs. An upright posture creates space in the chest cavity and allows the lungs to expand more.

3. Sing from the Diaphragm

The diaphragm is the muscle at the base of your lungs that aids your breathing. Many vocal coaches will instruct you to sing from your diaphragm to sing clearer. Moving the diaphragm helps you empty your lungs. Contrary to how it sounds “sing from your diaphragm” is not pushing your diaphragm out, but flattening it to control how much air is released to support the voice. Singing from the diaphragm increases control and strength when singing.

4. Avoid Certain Foods

You may be surprised to learn that what you eat can affect how you sound. Oily and spicy foods are terrible for singers because they grease your throat and cause phlegm. Spicy food is also a major culprit for heartburn. Acid reflux and heartburn can weaken and irritate your vocal cords and throat leading to hoarseness, wheezing, or excess mucus production. When stomach acid reaches the esophagus, it can result in swelling of the vocal folds which affects not only your singing but your voice in general.

Dairy is another contributor to mucus, so avoiding yogurt, ice cream, milk, and other dairy products will help with the quality of your sound.

Instead of milk, drink lots of room temperature water to stay hydrated and lubricate your throat. Coldwater shocks your vocal cords, creating tension, and limiting your vocal range, while hot water creates inflammation and increases mucus. And, while caffeine isn’t the best for your voice, warm, decaffeinated herbal tea helps warm the vocal cords.

Fruits are another great way to stay hydrated, especially when they contain a high concentration of water like cantaloupe and watermelons do. 

5. Enroll your young singer in vocal lessons

When your children receive training from trained professionals, they can learn the proper techniques to control their breathing and prevent vocal strain. A professional with experience and a complimentary teaching style can help train your child’s voice.

Our trained instructors teach our students to master and refine their singing through proper exercise and vocal techniques. This serves as the first stage to learning, growing, and developing as a singer. For many singers, Heritage Music School provides students and families with a platform to enhance their singing ability—even if they aren’t naturally gifted. Through our assessments, we offer advice on skills that need improvement and offer families the reassurance to know they are in good hands.

Contact us at our Surrey or Langley music schools today with any questions you have about vocal lessons, fees, and schedules, or for a free music assessment.