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What can I do for a sore throat? How can I protect and care for my voice?
Here are some suggestions for throat therapy from members of the [Worship] email discussion group:

  • Make sure to drink lots of decaffeinated liquid daily. Hydration is very important and caffeine has a drying effect.
  • Identify possible negative, vocal behaviors such as excessive throat clearing, coughing, loud talking, whispering, yelling, singing beyond your range, and hard vocal attack, (forced voicing). These are abusive to your voice. Try to swallow instead of throat clear. Avoid talking in the presence of noise. Talk in a quiet voice, but do not whisper.
  • Watch for neck stain. Use good posture, a relaxed jaw, and a wet and open throat.
  • Use diaphragmatic breathing when singing and when speaking to support the voice and decrease vocal strain. Aerobic exercise can be of benefit in promoting better breath stream management and overall vocal health.
  • Relaxation exercises can be of benefit. Even yawning before singing helps to relax the muscles associated with voice use.
  • If you do a lot of talking throughout the day, then set aside some time for quiet activities.
  • The "sorbees" or a similar hard candy can help with lubrication before singing or talking. Other losanges you can try are:
    • Entertainers' Secret
    • Slippery Elm (found in herbal food stores)
    • Zinc Lozenges
  • Avoid dairy products as they are mucous producing. Limit the use of decongestants because they are drying.
  • Warm-up the voice a little before trying to reach those low and high range extensions. Use scales or lines of a song changing keys up or down to gradually get into these extensions.
  • When you begin to get hoarse pay particular attention to your voice as not to cause more damage. Begin immediately to conserve your voice using the guidelines listed above. Give yourself some vocal rest. (some time out from talking or singing)
  • For those times that you are hoarse you may want to try a sterile saline wash. This sounds terrible, but it may temporarily restore your voice. Sniff warm salt water in through your nose and expel the solution through your mouth several times. You can purchase saline solution or make your own.

Where can I get information on ear training?
You can check out Ear Trainer webpage for some information.

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