Updated: Nov 1
It's that time of year, Foxys...weather changing and head stuffing. Blah!! Here are some of my own tried-and-true tips that help me along the way.
Have you got the sniffles yet? Normally, a runny nose or a small cough is nothing that needs extra concern. But as a vocalist, I must take immediate action to remedy the problem.
Mucous is NOT a friend of mine...well, thick mucous isn't a friend. Our vocal cords vibrate about 100 times a second when we speak. Mucous helps keeps the cords lubricated. Staying hydrated keeps the mucous thin and watery. We got to remember to drink water, water, water. I believe there's lot of emphasis put on hydration during the summer time, than it is during the cold seasons. That's because the issue of being too cold take precedent. But we must remember the huge role water plays for us also, during this time. The air can become extremely dry, which is harmful to the cords. Water also cleanses our body of radical elements. Our ears, nose, and throat are the most susceptible to unfiltered elements floating thru the air, drinking water flushes them away.
For maintenance purposes, I steam my vocals twice a week. I have a facial steamer, but it can also be done using a pot of boiling water. Once the water has stopped boiling, and cooled down a bit, hold your face over the steam. Use a towel over your head to keep in the steam. This process lubricates your cords; helps thin out mucous; drain the body of radical germs, to name a few benefits.( NOTE: Vocal Rest should ensue for at least 30 minutes after a steam session.) I use Eucalyptus oil when I steam. Eucalyptus helps clear out mucous and bacteria. If you try, be careful not to use too much . The oil drops are very strong. I would also recommend placing s few drops of oil in the shower.
You will never see a worthy musician walking around with an instrument uncovered in rough weather, so we need to be the same about our vocal cords. Unlike other musicians, anything we do at any given moment of our life affects our instrument. Extra care must be taken. Our ear, nose, and throat should always be covered in extreme weather. Invest in Scarfs! Scarfs! Scarfs! We are our instrument's protection.
And finally, right before it's time to sing, I go into vocal-rest-mode thirty minutes before performing. And a few minutes before hitting the stage, I practice my breathing techniques. A few second before singing, I spray a little cough medicine in my throat. What are you favorite winter tips for keeping healthy? Let's take care of ourselves. I love you. Stay Foxy!