Are your pipes healthy?
So many of you ask of the question, is there a way to keep my voice strong & healthy? What tricks help me avoid getting sick?
Here’s my answer. Unless you live in a bubble and are never exposed to germs you will eventually be under the weather. However, I do believe there are some things one can do to prevent catching the common cold or seasonal flu and its all about keep a healthy voice routine.
My career depends a healthy set of pipes, so here a few of my “go to tips” for vocal maintenance. Think of them as preventive measures, ensuring we are at our optimal state.
My daily routine to keep my vo mojo going is simple, I call it my Magic Mouth Recipe
M: Muscle Tone
Having a strength training workout for your voice is critical. Her are a fiw mini-workouts I do every day to keep my voice in shape.
- Things that make you go Mm-mmmmmmmmmmmm!!
- Say “Mm-mmm (as in yummy) Mmm-hmm (like yes) ” Repeat 5 times. This develops mask resonance, which creates a clean and vibrant sound by creating a clean approximation of the cords and a resonance that will sound great and project easily.
- Say “Mm-mmm. Mmm-hmm.” up and down your vocal range, from low to middle to high and back again, 10 times. This will help to enhance vocal flexibility and coordination.
Drink lots of water. Hydration is the name of the game folks. We all know we should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. As a voice over performer, it’s critical to stay hydrated. The water helps with the overall health and hydration.
- Use a vaporizer when living in dry climates, every day. (Cool mist vaporizer is better than hot mist because it doesn’t promote bacteria growth.)
- Drink plain water to keep your vocal cords moist.
- The cords need to be hydrated from absorption through your system.
- Water dilutes & flushes mucous in the throat so it won’t collect on the vocal cords. Keeping those cold & flu germs at bay!
- Anyone else have a love hate relationship with caffeine? We all know it is a drying agent, which is why I limit my intake to one cup, in the morning, BUT before grabbing my java, I drink a glass of, you guessed it, H2O!
Get your Zzzzs…..rest is essential, not only to being fully present and but in having a healthy voice.
- Not to get all Bill Ney the science guy on ya, but did you know that not getting enough sleep doesn’t give the tissue in your body — in your throat — time to heal?! Depriving yourself of sleep only makes your voice feel sluggish. If you’re sleep deprived, your voice and brain react more slowly, making it harder to speak your best.
- Bye bye dairy. If you are a real cheese head I suggest you at least cut the cheese for an entire day leading up to a performance!
Lastly, remember that cliché, you are what you eat? I know voice –over performers that can eat everything from gouda to swiss to brie and bowl of ice cream and be completely fine in their sessions. I am not that talent. While I love me some goat cheese on my salads- I do my best to avoid dairy. Casein has been the cause of quite of bit of controversy in the last few years. It’s that stuff that helps to create mucus that can find it’s way to your vocal chords. So if to cheese or not to cheese…. is the question, I say…
Being well isn’t always about treating a symptom! It’s about having a daily practice to ensure you are performing at the top of our game