Singers,

If you are experiencing pain or any other problem in your throat, please go see your primary care physician and get them to refer you to a good ENT (Otolaryngologist) or a Laryngologist, preferably one who is known for working well with singers. About 6 years ago, I ended up being a patient of an ENT and Speech Language Pathologist for issues that occurred from heavy voice usage. Going through the therapy with my SLP was life changing and helped me so much in implementing¬†better vocal practices as a professional voice user. Please avoid the temptation to self-diagnose and or try to figure things out by Googling your issue….have been there done that. I didn’t get the help I needed until I went to the Doctor. I encourage you to do the same.

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Now that school and private lessons are in full swing, I am using my voice so much more. Rehearsals, lectures, lessons, singing (working on my new Jazz rep. which I am really excited about…more to come on this at a later date), etc… etc… the life of a professional voice user. Therefore, fatigue/hoarseness has been an issue with me lately. Just recently a scratch started in my throat because I’ve been exposed to all kinds of germs being around hundreds of teenagers all day. So, it’s time to practice what I preach. This is how I have navigated through all the voice usage and issues the last week or so:

  1. Took a day of complete vocal rest. I did talk some, but was very intentional about not singing. I could tell my vocal folds were swollen. The sure fire way and most inexpensive recovery tool when this happens is to SHUT UP. (sorry for being so blunt) If you absolutely have to sing for a gig, then see your ENT immediately for advisement and or medication.
  2. Stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. My body needs at least 64 oz. a day.
  3. For the first cold-like symptoms/ sore throat, I took Echinacea and Goldenseal as well as Luden’s sugar free throat lozenges. This has worked like a gem!
  4. After resting, ease your way back into singing with vocal warm ups that include gentle slides to help stretch the folds and other exercises that are recommended by a voice professional. At the end of the day, I often resort to the straw phonation exercise to help “re-set” my voice. You can check out that exercise here;¬†Straw phonation exercise