SINGERS! Winter is coming, and soon the bitter cold will be upon us. Here are a few tips to keep your voice healthy through winter and ensure your vocal survival through these bitter cold months!
1) Give yourself a nice long warm up.
Your vocal folds are muscles and you must treat them as so. It’s important to keep your vocal folds and the surrounding extrinsic muscles warm and limber (like any muscle) to avoid injury and enhance vocal flexibility. When our muscles are cold they get stiff. Singing in this fragile state could not only cause potential vocal strain, but it ain’t gunna sound all that great either!
2) Keep your neck warm.
Similarly to the above point, protect the vocal mechanism from the cold by wearing a scarf. This will assist in keeping your muscles warm and prevent stiffening of the muscles in the neck.
3) Avoid heating systems.
Well that’s pretty much impossible…right? Heating systems actually have a drying effect on the voice due to the fact they extract the moisture from the air, similarly to air conditioning. To avoid this effect you can invest in a humidifier. These can be most useful in your bedroom.
This is a must-do for singers as it’s the quickest way to hydrate the vocal folds, by passing water vamper straight to them. Just fill a large bowl with boiling water, position your face over the bowl with a towel over your head and inhale the steam through your nose.
5) Drink hot drinks
Hot drinks can be nice in winter to sooth and warm your throat. However AVOID caffeine! Caffeine has a dehydrating effect on the body, the vocal folds included. If you drink tea and coffee, have a glass of water for every mug you drink. This will assist in keeping you hydrated.
Which brings me to my last point, one of the most important parts of healthy singing.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!! You should aim to drink around 2 litres of water a day.
A good way to measure how well your hydrated is by the colour of your urine. Clear wee is good wee!
If you follow these guidelines then you should keep your voice healthy through winter!