Anthony F. Jahn, MD, internationally acclaimed otolaryngologist and Director of Medical Services at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, offers a comprehensive guidebook on a wide range of health and disorders that affect the voice. A vital tool for singers, voice teachers, and choral directors, The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health empowers vocal performers to take charge of their own minds and bodies, providing advice about a variety of health issues that affect professional well-being as well as remedies to the most important and common health problems that singers face in their careers.
“I haven’t missed a show due to sickness since 2004, maybe,”
says Michael Cerveris, the Tony Award-winning star of the musical “Fun Home.” The actor relies on his trusty humidifier, which he cranks up every night during the winter when New York apartments are driest.
In the morning, “my first step is to get in the shower and surround myself [with] the steam,” he says. Then he heads to his pantry. “Apple cider vinegar is always on my shelf,” he adds. “It helps your body fight infection.” He stirs a tablespoon into hot water and drinks. ~New York Post
When Stephen Schwartz performs, he often brings a thermos full of Throat Coat tea. [From Holly—I use this, too! Great stuff!]
Other singers suck on Grether’s Blackcurrent pastilles.
General Vocal Care
Dr. Yagoda’s Tips for a Healthy Voice from Best Care of the Professional Voice by Dr. Michelle Yagoda
- Do drink 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water daily
- Do treat allergies and infections promptly
- Do rest your voice in times of illness
- Do keep background noise to a minimum
- Do find a vocal coach – classically trained singers have less vocal tension and can produce a clearer, stronger voice, versus non-trained singers who are consequently more likely to injure their voices
- Do stay relaxed – release stress with yoga, aerobics and meditation
- Don’t clear your throat – sip water or take a deep breath instead
- Don’t cough if you can avoid it – it will become a bad habit
- Don’t sing after drinking alcohol – the alcohol may numb your vocal cords and you may be unable to feel their fatigue (more…)