My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

An Ounce of Prevention

Posted in: Blog, Featured, tip of the week, Uncategorized ♦ Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019, 1:35 pm ♦ No Comments on An Ounce of Prevention

Remember the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Or how about “a stitch in time saves nine”? Well nothing could be truer when it comes to your voice.

We often find ourselves in situations that are not going to be healthy for our voices. Some examples of this could be: singing or talking in unhealthy (or freezing cold) air, singing or talking for extended periods of time, unrealistic vocal expectations put upon us, having to sing or speak while sick, back-to-back rehearsals or performances, loud environments, etc… While the best prevention is avoiding the situation altogether, this can’t always be managed and I understand. So here are a few things you can do to help you through those situations.

Nasty Air

If you find yourself somewhere that the air is not good, short of wearing a mask, make sure you breathe through your nose. Your nose is a filter that will help clean, warm and moisten the air you are breathing. Suck on a pectin drop (like Hall’s Breezers)-not a mentholated drop-and that will help you to keep your mouth closed. It will also aid in stimulating the salivary glands to keep you moisturized. As always, keep your water bottle handy and stay hydrated. Get fresh air as often as you can and limit the time spent there to the best of your ability. If you know ahead of time and can prepare, bring along a cup of fresh brewed Throat Coat tea and sip on that. Avoid breathing freezing cold air if at all possible. If you must sing outside wear a scarf to keep your neck warm and follow the above instructions.


There are times in life that just require us to overuse our vocal cords. During these occasions there are still things you can do to help. Make sure that you use a speaking voice or singing voice that is healthy. Speaking or singing in an unhealthy manner is never a good idea, but doing it for an extended period of time will exacerbate the damage. Do your best to limit your speaking as much as possible-become a great listener! Don’t clear your throat, cough, raise your voice and seriously limit your laughing. I know that may sound crazy, but laughing can be very hard on the vocal cords. If you are in a prolonged period of overuse, try to eliminate these things and it will help preserve your voice as much as possible.

Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes we are asked to do things vocally that are really quite stressful and not at all healthy. Often we are asked to do this by people in charge who, unfortunately, are not as aware of healthy vocal practices as they could be. I want to encourage you to take care of you in these situations. You don’t have to be loud and vocal about it or necessarily draw attention to it, but just do what you have to do.  Don’t belt out note that are uncomfortable for you-regardless of who asks you to. Don’t sing for prolonged periods at the extreme ends of your range. Don’t talk during breaks so your cords can rest. If your voice starts to hurt: stop

Back to Back Rehearsals/Performances

Holiday seasons and special performances can bring on extended rehearsals, often draining singers before the performances even start!  Try to prepare ahead of time as you know when these are scheduled. Rest your voice as much as you can leading up to these strenuous times. Refrain from talking and other stressful activities already mentioned, but do not refrain from singing, warming up daily and doing vocal stretches and exercises to keep you conditioned and to build vocal endurance.  During rehearsals: don’t talk. Also rest as much as possible vocally in between rehearsals. Talking is not your friend during these times! Stay super hydrated (avoid caffeine). Always be armed with Throat Coat Tea and pectin lozenges. Use Throat Saver spray as often as you can. Sing lightly (or in a high register) if you have extended rehearsal times. It’s tempting to “give it your all”, but best to save that for when it’s really needed.

You’re Sick

You should not sing if you’re sick but likely you will anyway. If you do, please follow all the above instructions except for this: do not speak at all. Save your voice for singing. In addition, warm up very gently, on an “N” hum only. Avoid anything with caffeine. Make sure you moisturize the air you’re breathing in as much as it’s possible for you to do it (use a vaporizer). Gargle with Vocal Rescue (you can find this and Throat Saver spray on my website: use code SG10 at checkout). Delegate any singing you possible can and don’t push yourself vocally at all. When you’re done singing; go home and rest.

God bless you as you sing for Him and take care of your voice!


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