As I’m writing this, I’m lying on the couch with a stuffy nose, watery eyes and hope that I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling much better. Yes folks, I’ve got the dreaded cold. As a singer, I feel every part of a cold, from the warning signs that it’s on its way to the ‘not quite 100%’ a week after it’s gone. It makes me wonder about ‘non-singers’ in the same way I wonder if they get that same amazing feeling when they hear a fantastic voice or piece of music for the first time…
While I’m here, I thought I’d share my top tips for looking after your voice in lessons when its cold outside!
- Hydrate! In winter, when it’s cold, we often forget to drink enough water. This dehydrates us and that has a negative impact on our singing voice. The NHS in the UK recommends 6-8 glasses a day (http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/07july/pages/eight-glasses-of-water-a-day.aspx) and don’t forget sugary, fizzy drinks don’t do the job. If you’re bringing water to a lesson, make sure it is room temperature. You will just undo your warm-up if you grab an icy cold bottle!
- Wrap up! Always wear a coat and, especially if you are walking to your singing lesson, wear a scarf to keep that extra heat in the right areas! You sing with your whole body so you need to protect your whole body!
- If you have a cold, sore throat or both, stay away! Sometimes, the best thing to do is rest. Your teacher should encourage you to rest if you’re not feeling well. You could be doing more damage than good. Don’t have a lesson if you don’t feel up to it!
- And finally… arrive to your lesson around 10 minutes before your start time, especially if you walk to give your body a chance to warm up. Of you are still cold, ask your teacher to do a physical warm up with you before you start and vocal warm ups.
So, if you adhere to all of the above, you should keep your voice nice and healthy. Colds do slip through though! The best we can do is try to defend ourselves! Or we could all move to a warmer climate? Who’s with me?
Thanks for reading
Lessons available in Rainford & Ormskirk. www.rainfordandormskirkvocalacademy.com for more info