Is your voice tired by the end of the day?

I heard a story the other day of a teacher who told his students, he couldn’t answer their questions on break, he needed to rest his voice for lecture because he was experiencing vocal fatigue. I have another yoga teacher who came to see me with a similar problem, she couldn’t get though a class without feeling vocally exhausted, strained, and hoarse. And what about teachers who teach 8 hours a day with bad acoustics, having to speak over the disruption of kids in class? I had another client once who was in sales, and halfway through her day, she didn’t want to make any more calls her voice was so tired. Vocal fatigue and soreness can be experienced in a lot of professions, but it doesn’t have to be a “part of the Job” any longer.

Tired Voices Sonnet Music

So what can you do about it? If you feel vocal fatigue and hoarseness at the end of your work day, chances are you need some vocal rehabilitation and to learn how to use your voice properly to support the sound you are making and eliminate pain and fatigue. I will give you 3 tools you can use today to start rehabilitating your voice and strengthening it for good.

Vocal fatigue can become a serious problem. As a singer, if my voice starts giving me signs of fatigue, I back off because I know, singing on tired swollen vocal chords can cause more long-term damage. The same is true for continuing to speak day after day without proper vocal support. The compounded result of using your voice incorrectly and pushing though the pain can cause long-term damage and sometimes require surgery. So…let’s learn how to use that voice and breath support to have a pain-free dynamic experience speaking each day.

3 Vocal Tools to eliminate vocal pain and fatigue when speaking.

  1. Support:

Not going to get out of this one people. BREATHING. I mean it is everything. You cannot make sound without breath…it is what makes the sound through your vocal chords and it is what you need to support your voice when you speak.

When you speak powered by your diaphragm, not your throat, you will find your true voice and be able to project rather than yell to increase your volume. Connecting your voice to your breath is number 1 in my book for increasing your vocal strength and eliminating fatigue.

Watch my video here for a quick easy breathing exercise to get you on your way to diaphragm breathing. Practice this exercise daily, and start to be aware of when you are breathing correctly and when you are not. You want the power of your voice to come from your diaphragm, not your throat.

  1. Relaxation:

Okay so now we need to get your voice to relax and rehabilitate. How do we actively relax the voice besides just not speaking? The humming exercise below will help you relax your vocal chords and strengthen the connection of your voice, as well as help you find resonance for your speaking voice.

  1. Strengthen:

So now we want to connect the breath work to the sound. Vocal warm ups and exercises are vital for this part. A great one to start off with is Humming. Humming is an amazing, accessible and relaxing exercise to get your voice to open up and also start connecting your voice to your breath. You can watch my video here for an example. Humming using your proper breath support learned above and feel the vibration in the mask of your face, not in your throat, that is where we want the sound to resonate!

You can look up other warm ups online, see my videos, find a local vocal coach and start practicing your vocal warm ups for vocal strength and connection. Remember, always use proper breath support when you are doing any of these exercises.

AND one more tip for good measure – Drink lots of water. The vocal chords vibrate extremely quickly even making the smallest sound. Water helps your throat stay hydrated and helps mucus production keeping the chords lubricated and moving with ease.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice. If you’re voice continues to feel strained and in pain and you are constantly hoarse, please visit an ENT for more personalized attention.

As always, please comment and questions are welcome.

Happy Healthy Speaking and Singing!

Sonnet Simmons

 

 

 

 

 

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Well it is that time of year again…the holidays have us scurrying about to wrap up this year and start thinking about what we want for next year.

It is a time to get a little retrospective. What worked this last year? What do we want to change this year? Now is the time to take a few moments out of your day, sit with a pen a paper, and write down your goals and desires for the New Year. I know New Year’s Resolutions can seem a bit cliché – but the truth is, it really is a great time to take inventory on where you are in your life and where you want to be and set those goal markers. There is something inspiring about a new start.

Making the resolutions is the easy part, sticking to them is where the work comes in.

Here are my 5 tips on setting yourself up for success sticking to your resolutions this year. (And every year.) Special thanks to G.M. for helping me set and stick to my goals based on the advice below.

5 Tips for your new year resolutions

  1. Write it down – Declare your goals this year. Tell the universe (and yourself) what you are going to achieve this year! Get specific.
  2. Break it down – What are the steps you must take to achieve this goal? You can’t get to the top of the mountain without a lot of steps between the bottom and the top. What are those steps? Get specific and REALISTIC.
  3.  Schedule time – Get out your calendar and schedule real-time where you devote to your new goal. If you wait to see if you have time, there will be no time. Carve out REALISTIC time for the specific steps that makes sense in your schedule.  Make your weekly/monthly calendar and schedule in the action you will need to take to achieve your goals. It is better to take a long time to reach the top of the mountain rather than sprint half way and not be able to sustain. Devote realistic time each week.
  4. Take action: Keep motivated and on task by achieving one step at a time your goals. When you become overwhelmed by the big picture it can be paralyzing. Follow through on your scheduled steps, keep the steps manageable and realistic so you can stick to the action.
  5. Gratitude – This is the most important step in sticking to your goals because if you practice keeping a light and grateful heart you will enjoy the process of sticking to your goals and follow through on them. Take a moment each day to practice gratitude for where you are in your life, the process and lessons you are learning along the way, and the journey of achieving your goals. Can you be gentle with yourself to allow yourself the joy of learning and doing, rather than beating yourself down every step of the way? Give yourself the space to achieve rather than the pain of not being enough.

If singing has been on your resolution list, make 2016 your year.

Vocal lessons are more than just learning how to sing, it is learning how to use your own voice to support your express, your opinion, and your ideas; it is honing a tool we all poses, and creating a more confident, empowered, and dynamic self.

Are you ready to begin your singing journey?

Let me help you find and connect to your true voice.

Follow my blog for singing informational videos and confidence building tools and start your singing journey today.