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Tips for Maintaining Good Vocal Health for Singers & Actors

Establishing and maintaining good voice care habits is the best way to care of your voice. Following are tips on how to maintain good vocal health.

Don’t:
•    Clear your throat vigorously.
•    Yell, cheer, or scream. Avoid talking in noisy situations: (e.g., at noisy parties).
•    Try to lecture or speak to large audiences without the aid of a sound amplifier.
•    Sing beyond comfortable pitch and loudness ranges.
•    Grunt during strenuous physical exercise.
•    Speak beyond a natural breath cycle: avoid squeezing out the few words of thought without sufficient breath.
•    Whisper and make "special effects" sounds with your voice (i.e., motor noises,cartoon voices, very high or low pitch sounds, etc.
•    Use your voice extensively when you have a cold or when you feel tired.
•    Expose your throat to excessive pollution: cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, etc. Avoid alcohol.
•    Ignore prolonged symptoms of vocal strain, hoarseness, or throat pain.
•    Try to sing loudly at any high pitch that you cannot manage at a quiet volume.

Do:

•    Drink frequent sips of water to clear mucus and moisturize your throat.
•    Use non-verbal noises (such as clapping or ringing a bell) to attract attention
•    Move close enough to the person you are talking with to be heard without yelling.
•    Reduce background noise.
•    Always face the person(s) you are talking to.
•    Use a microphone for public speaking.
•    Breathe out slowly or purse your lips to hold your breath.
•    Speak slowly, pausing often, at natural phrase boundaries. Don’t forget to take a breath!
•    Use a soft voice instead of a whisper.
•    Rest your voice, with the rest of your body, when you're ill or tired.
•    Maintain proper moisture in your throat. Smoke dries the throat.
•    Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages
•    Consult your doctor if you experience throat discomfort or hoarseness for more than fourteen days