At times it seems nearly impossible to escape the cold season. As vocalists, it's important that we not let that keep us from doing what we love, but also knowing how to sing safely. Here's a few tips to ensure that you get to sing through every season!
S T A Y H Y D R A T E D :: The importance of hydration is often overlooked. It's important for everyone to drink lots of water, but this is especially true for singers. With excessive use, vocal chords can become easily damaged, as they are made of extremely delicate tissue. In colder seasons, when it's dryer, we're more likely to catch colds and get sore throats. Staying hydrated will set yourself up for excellent vocal quality.
W A R M U P :: lip trills not only help you warm up your vocal cords but it actually helps to loosen up all that phlegm that's keeping you from singing. Some light humming throughout your day and before each practice time, will do wonders for your vocal health.
H O N E Y? :: Yes! Honey actually helps to coat your vocal chords and protect them from getting damaged. So grab some honey sticks and stick them in your backpack for those "just in case" moments.
S T A Y W A R M :: Well this just seems obvious, but some often forget. Your voice is your instrument, so just like with a guitar, when there's harsh weather, you want to put it in a case. Wrapping a scarf around your neck will ensure that your vocal chords are nice and warm, avoiding the effects of the cold weather.
C O U G H D R O P D O N ' T S :: Don't sing after eating a cough drop - I know it may be tempting because you feel such relief, but the cough drop can be a bit decieving. The cough drop not only soothes your throat, but actually causes momentary numbness which makes you unaware of the damage you may be causing your vocal chords. Because it doesn't hurt to sing, often times you will find yourself oversinging, and once the cough drop has worn off, you'll feel your throat in worse shape than when you started
C O U G H C O U G H :: If you already have a cough, you should treat the infection. This may mean a trip to the doctor, or simply taking Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Additionally, you should take plenty of Vitamin C - grab some OJ or try something like Emergen-C or Airborne. You can further relieve your sore throat by gargling with warm salt water or drinking hot tea.
Above all, we want you to be healthy! Taking a few extra steps will ensure that you not only get through the flu and cold season, but you're still able to do what you love, sing! So stay warm and stay healthy, singers!!
Melisa Garcia graduated from SAGU in 2011 with a bachelors degree in Music Ministry, with a specialization in voice. She has been singing since the age of ten and has been playing piano for six years. She leads worship in her local church and loves to help train and mentor young vocalists. Melisa also loves to create beautiful things and writes about it on her blog -- Pie in the Sky.