5 quick tips for maintaining good vocal health

A man of wisdom delights in water. Confucius

1. Keep well hydrated (1.5-2l water/day).  

Your vocal folds (cords) need moisture to help them slide over each easily for sound production and pitch adjustment. Caffeinated drinks unfortunately contribute to dehydration of the vocal cords.

2. Prolonged pain, huskiness, loss of voice and changes in vocal tone are a signs of vocal problems.  

Get your voice assessed before continuing with singing, either with a reputable teacher or an Ear Nose and Throat doctor.

3. Regular short practice sessions

Regular 10-15 min daily vocal practices are far more effective and healthy than a long practice session once a week.

If you want to do more each day then split up longer practice session over the day e.g. half in the morning and half in the evening.

4. Warm up and down before performing.  

Your voice is made of muscle and ligaments, just like the rest of the body these need to be prepared for heavy use. This includes talking for long periods e.g. teaching or call center work.

5. Restrict use of drugs and alcohol

Smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, some prescribed medications, chemical fumes, extremes of heat and cold are some of the external factors that can affect the voice and it’s ability to function well.   If you are serious about singing you will consider eliminating or restricting these elements. If you are on a prescribed medication that appears to be impacting on your voice then seek medical advice for alternative options.