Vocal Health for Singers and Actors in the Performing Arts
As performers we must never forget that our bodies are our instruments. So, just as you would care for a violin, guitar or any other instrument, you must be prepared to look after your body.
If you fail to look after your body, you will not perform to the best of your ability and you may not be offered the opportunities you deserve. Here are three top tips to help you maintain your vocal stretch and stamina on stage:
#1 No Shouting
It’s the most obvious solution to maintaining your vocal health, but you’d be amazed at the number of performers who forget that screaming and shouting will seriously damage your voice.
There will be times when you’re not thinking about the development of your performance skills and ‘looking after your instrument’ but if you’re serious about success on the stage, you will need to constantly remind yourself that screaming, shouting or straining the voice in anyway will be detrimental to your performance.
A voice can be stretched but not pushed and quite often you will need to stretch muscles involved with the vocal process as part of your training. This is just like an athlete stretching before running a race. However, we know that if the athlete feels like he’s pulling a muscle, he will stop to prevent any damage being caused.
The same is true for singers and actors. We must stretch muscles as part of our training in order to improve our vocal performance. However, as soon as we feel we are pushing or straining the voice we must stop.
#2 Warming Up
Carrying out a full vocal warm-up is crucial before going on stage for both singers and actors. Think about our athlete again. Have you ever seen an athlete arrive at the race track and immediately run the race? No, neither have I!
They always look like they’ve been stretching, jogging and exercising a long time before the race and they’re always bouncing up and down to keep their muscles warm just before the race begins. Again, the same is true for singers and actors before going on stage.
For our best vocal performance, our voices need to be warmed-up with an effective sequence of vocal exercises. So, get into the habit of doing vocal warm-ups before going on stage and your performance will benefit greatly.
Singers and actors worldwide talk about weird and wonderful concoctions and lifestyle rules which help them look after their voices. Whilst some of these may help you to maintain vocal health, a few solid rules are sure to make a difference:
- Avoid extremely hot and extremely cold drinks
- Be aware that excessive dairy products like milk, cream and chocolate are not good for the voice
- Eat well and get plenty of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy
- If you’ve strained your voice, mixtures such as milk and honey will help you feel better but not necessary prepare you to sing
- If you’re preparing to sing, drink plenty of water or other drinks such as lemon and ginger to clean and lubricate the vocal tract
Author: Achieve performing arts success with mystagedoor.co.uk – the global community of aspiring performers. Join the performing arts platform at mystagedoor.co.uk and get free access to training tips, career advice, showbiz news and the opportunity to meet thousands of other like-minded performers.
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