Tips on Maintaining Good Vocal Health

Just like an athlete who stays in shape, performers need to ensure that their voice is in tip-top shape at all times.All actors should establish and maintain excellent voice care habits.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.
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