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Tips for Good Vocal Health

Jeanette Stofleth

Jeanette Stofleth and her brother, River James Stofleth, perform as the musical duo The Acoustics. In addition to playing piano, guitar, bass, drums, and electronics, Jeanette Stofleth serves as the group’s lead vocalist.

The voice is a powerful but delicate instrument that requires special care. Singers must not only care for their vocal cords and breathing apparatus, they must also maintain the body that contains them. As such, hydration is vital. Vocalists should consume plenty of water or other non-alcoholic and caffeine-free beverages each day and use a humidifier or steamer when conditions are dry.

Singers also need to keep their throat and chest warm in cold weather. A good way to do this is to always wear a scarf and carry a sweater, sweatshirt, or jacket that they can easily don if they find themselves in a drafty or over-air-conditioned building. It’s also a good idea to avoid dusty or polluted environments.
In any environment, singers must make sure that they are as healthy as possible. This means eating a diet rich in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in refined sugar, enhanced with a regular exercise schedule. Regular hand washing is essential to keep viruses away, as is plenty of rest.
It’s also important for singers to rest their voice. Savvy singers take care not to overuse their voice during rehearsals and avoid forceful use of their voice in everyday life. Daily vocal warmups also help to keep the voice in good working order, though a day or two of vocal rest may be necessary if a singer must perform multiple days in succession.

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