From singing in the shower and performances to conversations, we use our voices every day. Despite the range of use, we may not put much thought into keeping our voice box healthy. However, when we forget to treat our voices well, we leave our larynx open to developing more serious issues that may impede our ability to sing or (worse) talk. Like the rest of our bodies, our vocal cords require proper health, exercise, and rest.

Learning the proper techniques to support your voice will prevent strain or damage. As your physical health involves your vocal health, participating in a balanced diet and regular exercise will keep you in shape and strengthen your voice.

However, following these four steps will help maintain the health of your voice, so you can continue singing.

1) Drink enough water

Drinking caffeinated beverages can dry out your voice. If you use caffeine for fuel, drink one glass of water for each cup to avoid dehydration. Water and other good drinks lubricate your throat. Along with adequate rest, lubricating your throat with water is one way to alleviate a scratch in your throat.

For moderate hydration, you should consume one-half of your body weight in ounces daily.

Bonus tip: Avoid certain foods such as the ones outlined in this blog.

2) Listen to yourself

Your body will always tell you what you need, and sometimes it even gives clues when other issues are present. Hoarseness may be a consequence of speaking too much, but it can also indicate allergies or laryngeal cancer. Either way, you should never have a sore throat or hoarseness for an extended time. If hoarseness persists for more than a few weeks, you may want to consult a doctor.

Remain vigilant about your oral health to identify symptoms when they occur. A bad taste in your mouth, frequent heartburn, burping are common signs of acid reflux. If you experience any of those symptoms, see a specialist.

3) Do not abuse your vocal cords

Phonotrauma is a voice disorder caused by overuse or misuse of your vocal folds, which leads to lesions including polyps, nodules, cysts, and other benign conditions. Behaviours such as yelling, screaming, and singing too loudly are common, damaging contributors to phonotrauma. 

Yelling strains your voice, and constant yelling can create damage over time. If you’ve ever screamed so much you lost your voice, you’ve experienced a fraction of the impacts of phonotrauma. Keep yelling to a brief. If you need to raise your voice, limit the length and volume, then return to normal.

Tip: When you’re sick, don’t try to speak loudly or for long as this can worsen the effects. It’s best to avoid performances when you have a hoarse or sore throat, as singing may aggravate your condition.

4) Train your voice

Improper vocal technique is one way to strain your voice. Not only is learning the proper technique important, but fundamental steps such as posture, warm-ups, and stretches all work together to support your ability as a singer. To warm-up, do neck and shoulder stretches, hum, and glide your voice from low to high tones using different vowel sounds.

Another part of training is rest. Know when to practice and when to rest. 

If you have any issues with your voice, try the following:

  • Lessen how much of your voice you use by utilizing vocal amplification tools and increasing vocal naps
  • Optimize the environment to stretch the capability of your voice without straining it
  • Don’t sing too loudly and keep talking to a minimum
  • Avoid potential allergens 
  • Use a steam vaporizer at night

These are just suggestions and should not replace a consultation with a physician if problems persist.

Let professionals help keep your voice healthy.

Heritage Music is a leading music school that builds singers of all ages and helps them reach their full potential. Our instructors are experts in training students how to work on their breathing, pitching, and projection, so they can vocalize in the genre of their choice (whether pop, jazz, opera, or musical theatre) and have fun while doing it.

For more tips on singing and keeping your voice healthy, read our previous post on 5 tips for young singersYou can also 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.