Protect your voice

Vocal heath is related to mind and body, as well as voice.  Here are some tips for all singers – whatever your style and repertoire.

1. Always warm up physically before you sing.

2. Hydration is vital – drink lots of water while rehearsing and, if possible, while performing

3. Remember to take frequent short breaks while you practise – an alarm on your phone or a kitchen timer can help with this. If something starts to ache, stop and loosen up.

4. Check your technique is good – poor technical habits may lead to tension and muscular strain. Professional advice is important, whatever your level of experience.

5. Check your posture when singing (you can use a mirror or a video camera). Look at the overall balance of your body, and for signs of tension around your neck and shoulders.

6. If you are ill with a cold or sore throat, rest your voice (no shouting, forcing or whispering, limit talking and no singing) and keep hydrated.

7. Vision and hearing problems can affect your neck and upper body posture. Have your hearing and sight checked regularly.

8. Throat clearing can damage your vocal cords – try to swallow away blockages rather than coughing them out, or take a sip of water.

9. Pay attention to how you speak. Even performers who have good singing habits can cause damage when they speak. Many skilled singers don't continue their healthy habits when they speak.

10. Alcohol, caffeine and cigarette smoke are all detrimental to your voice.  Avoid when rehearsing and performing. We know that you know this – but it’s important.