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Ten of the Easiest Ways to Maintain Your Professional VoiceTen of the Easiest Ways to Maintain Your Professional Voice

1. Drink Water— Staying hydrated is key to the health of your professional voice. Replace soda, coffee, or carbonated beverages with water and void alcohol and caffeine.

Your vocal cords vibrate very fast, and having a proper water balance helps keep them lubricated.

Important note: Foods containing large amounts of water are excellent hydration-conscious snacks, including apples, pears, watermelon, peaches, melons, grapes, plums, bell peppers and applesauce.

2. Give Your Voice a Break — Allow yourself several "vocal naps" every day, especially during periods of extended use (tour, regularly scheduled appearances, speaking engagements, conventions, etc…).

3. Don't Smoke — No brainer, right? Smoking raises the risk of throat cancer tremendously, and inhaling smoke first or even secondhand smoke can irritate the vocal cords and cause long term damage.

4. Speak at Normal Volumes — Avoid yelling or screaming—even whispering can be hazardous to your voice. If your throat feels dry or tired, or your voice is getting hoarse, reduce your voice use—don’t think whispering will help…this will actually cause more harm than good.

The hoarseness is a warning sign that your vocal cords are irritated.

5. Rest Your Muscles —Keep your throat and neck muscles relaxed while speaking or performing— even when singing high and low end notes.

Some singers have a habit of tilting their heads up when singing high notes and down when singing low notes. This puts strain on your vocals and can cause long term damage to both your voice and supporting muscle structures.

6. Your Voice is Never Off the Clock — Pay attention to how you speak every day, especially if you are a singer. Be sure to maintain your proper breathing and breath-flow when you are speaking in everyday life.

7. Don’t Clear Your Throat — When you clear your throat, it's like slamming your vocal cords together. Doing it too much can injure them and make you hoarse—take a sip of water or swallow and avoid the urge to clear your throat.

A constant feeling that you need to clear your throat may mean more serious problems such as acid reflux disease, or allergy and sinus conditions. Call your doctor!

8. Sleep — Sleep is the best way to maintain your voice and improve your long and short term vocal health. If you sleep with a fan in your room—point it away from your face and be sure to maintain temperature and humidity in your bedroom. A dry or chilly environment when sleeping can reverse all that healthy rest.

9. Amplification —When you can, use amplification when speaking so you don’t have to speak loudly. Microphones exist for a reason…use them!

10. Allergy Control — Don’t let those allergies get out of control. Eat a healthy diet and be sure to get serious allergy issues checked out by your doctor, as they may indicate more serious problems going on with your voice.

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 9:56 AM MDT Posted by
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