Voice Care Essentials: A Healthy Environment

I have already covered what I call the Post-Performance Syndrome (the vocal problems that “mysteriously” surface when singers drink, smoke, and shout at late-night post-performance parties). But even if you don’t live such a glamorous lifestyle you might find that some of these factors still affect you at one time or another.

Sometimes it’s difficult to control the environment you find yourself in but when your surroundings are in your control you must take care to avoid things that will damage your voice. If you can help it don’t expose your voice to excessive pollution and dehydrating agents: cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, alcohol, caffeine, dry air. Instead:

  • keep the air and your body clean and humid: drink 8-10 cups (2 liters) of non-caffeinated beverages daily — more if you exercise. This takes planning and discipline but you’ll see the results.
  • if possible maintain 30% humidity in the air.
  • quit smoking!

Finally — and you’re mother knew what she was talking about here — do not slouch or adopt unbalanced postures when you are using your voice extensively. This reduces the volume of the chest cavity and promotes shallow breathing from the upper chest, which in turn puts unnecessary strain on your voice. Instead:

  • learn and use good posture and alignment habits.

Maintain a healthy environment for your voice by:
– keeping the air and your body clean and humid
– maintaining 30% humidity in the air, if possible
– quitting smoking
– learning and using good posture and alignment habits

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