Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vocal Science… Because… I LOVE my voice!



In this blog, I would like to speak about the human voice in general and the speaking and singing voice in particular.

Many people, especially those who are not singers, have no Idea that something may happen to their voice. They get the odd cold or virus, lose their voice momentarily and for a short term, but then regain it fairly quickly and go back about their lives, as per normal.

Unfortunately, they do not even have a clue that, at the time of the cold or when the virus occurs, they have to be extra careful and extra gentle to their, somewhat bruised, voice. Being quite unaware of what the consequences might be, they continue as before; speak a lot, speak loud, scream and sing.
Then, finally, they get rid of the cold but, to their surprise, find out that their voice never got back to normal! 

It still sounds raspy, low and actually, altogether hoarse, as it does not have its usual tone or resonation for that matter. That’s when, unfortunately, the ordeal with their voice begins. For singers, it is a double devastation, as not only their speaking voice is not sounding right, but, to their horror, they discover that they have lost most of the range of their singing voice and it does not sound anything like it sounded before. In more severe cases, people get one or even, God forbid, both vocal cords paralysed.

That voicedisorder is called vocal paresis.

On this note, it brings to memory a case of a Pastor who, prior to his strep throat occurrence, has been traveling all over the world, preaching and singing. When he got rid the actual strep throat, neither his speaking nor his singing voice ever came back to its original state.
He became a victim of a very nasty vocal disorder – vocal paresis; but luckily, there was only one vocal cord effected. You, my reader, could only imagine how devastating it must have been for a person whose livelihood depended solely on his voice!

Sad, but true.

He had to continue to work and fulfill his obligations and never gave his voice a rest during the strep throat occurrence. He loved his work, but he did not love his voice and continued to act as per normal, not realising that he could get a permanent damage to his speaking and singing voice, in his case.

Love your voice!!!

If you are sick with whatever it is concerning your vocal box or respiratory system, give it a deserved rest. Don’t pretend that nothing has changed.
It has, so treat your voice and your vocal anatomy accordingly:

  • Drink lots of water and tea with honey and lemon

  • Speak less. If you have to speak, speak very quietly  
  • Don’t sing under any circumstances, you will pay a much higher price later in the full understanding of that word

  • Take some natural herbs and homeopathic remedies
  • When free of the disease, take some appropriate voice/vocal lessons on how to restore both your speaking and singing voice
Usually, when the person gets stricken by a disease, hers/his immune system is weakened and the disease manifests more so in those organs which are weaker than others.

So if the person speaks a lot for a living or if it is a singer who puts an enormous pressure on his/hers throat, he/she could be assured that the first organ which the disease is going to strike will be their vocal anatomy. So those people have to be extra careful, use a proper technique for speaking and singing and baby their voices at all times, and especially at the time when the cold or virus has occurred. 

Don’t neglect your voice, as once damaged, it could be quite difficult to restore it to its original condition, however, not necessarily impossible. So…

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