• Tamara Abbott

I Have a Cold, it's Snot Funny!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It's awful waking up to the symptoms of a cold or flu. What is worse is when it affects our singing voices. When our voices are a mere crackle, or we can't get a word through the coughing, what can we do to help our voices get back on the right track?

What can we do to soothe a sore throat, get back into those high notes and onto that stage? With these cold months come dry coughs, and it is important to treat our bodies the right way. Knowing when to give our bodies a break is a crucial part of recovering, but practicing prevention techniques is even better.

Our instrument is inside us, we can’t even see it! We can’t take it out and examine any scratches or imperfections. It’s up to us to feel for any changes and be in tune with our voices, so that we can take action before it gets complicated. With the right attitude and vocal routine, you will notice a huge difference in your vocal health. Below are some tips to get you started:

1. Sing a little bit every day. Keeping your voice warm and ready is a great way to stave off the vocal stress that comes with these cold months. The exercises that your Vocal Coach gives you are there to keep your voice protected, trained and equipped with safe techniques so that you are always ready to go.

2. Drink plenty of water! This goes without saying, but staying hydrated is crucial for vocal health. If you are feeling particularly dry on a given day, then using a steam inhaler works fast in a pinch, soothing a dry throat quickly.

3. Get plenty of rest. If your body is fighting a cold or flu, it is important to give it the time to do so.

4. Laugh hysterically! It sounds bonkers, but the voice does some really cool things when this happens. When you laugh, your muscles retract and open up, which puts less pressure on your vocal folds, and let’s face it, laughing improves your mood as well, which is always a plus!

5. Work with your vocal coach. We’re all on different vocal paths, and your singing or even speaking technique might benefit from personalised adjustments. Vocal coaches can give you routines that will help you notice when something isn’t quite right, and the steps you can take if something isn't right.

Your voice will not be the same everyday. Wake up with a sore throat? It’s okay, there are things we can do to keep your voice happy and healthy, even on the off days. It’s important to know when to go to your GP, but in the meantime, cosy up and keep singing.

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