Taking the strain out of speaking and singing
May 11, 2020
Is a happier feel to your voice one of the many changes to your life over the past few weeks? Maybe you’re working from home, or not working at all; perhaps you’re in solo shielding; and if you sing in a choir you’ll have discovered that unfortunately you can’t rehearse together on Zoom - though it is good for a virtual meet-up with singing buddies, especially with non-virtual drinks :) So it’s quite likely you’ve been using your voice less than you would normally. Has that made it feel different?
If your voice gets tired and it feels uncomfortable when you use it a lot, but has improved with some rest, you could be suffering from vocal fatigue. Having a name for your problem isn’t much help unless there’s something you can do about it, but thankfully there is.
Keeping well hydrated, not smoking, warming up your voice gently before using it, and not shouting will help. But the human voice is designed to be used, and if used in a healthy way won’t get fatigued even when you are speaking or singing all day. So it’s how you’re using your voice that counts. If your throat hurts when you speak or sing a lot it suggests that, like many people, you’re driving your voice from your throat. If, instead, you transfer the emphasis from your throat to your head, the strain is removed from your throat and the fatigue goes. This can be done by using humming as an intermediate stage. Transferring the emphasis like this also makes your voice more focused, resonant and pleasing to listen to.
This method of talking and singing has been taught with great success for over a hundred years, and is now available in easy step-by-step Better Voice courses individually designed for speakers, singers and teachers.
[Photo: Luiza Braun]
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