How Can Singers Protect Their Voice During Cold Weather?
Cold weather is no friend to the voice of a singer (or any other type of vocal performer)…cold, dry air can cause singers some frustrating challenges. Yes, whether you’re a singer or not, cold weather can affect your voice, but the last thing a performer needs is a cough, a cold or a sore throat, especially just before a performance.
Important tips to keep your voice healthy during the winter chill:
- Breathe smart: When you’re out in the cold, make the effort to breathe in and out through your nose. It’s alright to exhale through your mouth, but always inhale through the nose, which gives the air an extra moment to warm up and absorb moisture before it hits the lungs and larynx.
- Drink plenty of water: Because cold air is typically dryer, it’s important to stay hydrated, which means drinking more water than you normally do.
- Even your furnace is working against you, because as it heats the air, it also dries it out. Buying a humidifier to use during the winter months, or any other time if you live in a dry climate, would be a good investment.
- Dress wise: Don’t go outside when temperatures have dropped unless you are wearing a hat and scarf.
- Warm from the inside: Drinking warm drinks not only feels good on a cold day, but it’s good for your vocal chords as well.
- I would suggest that the warm drinks you choose be caffeine free, but if they do have caffeine in them, remember the caffeine works against the whole process of hydration, so make sure you also drink a glass of water for every cup of caffeinated drink. (It would be much easier and simpler just not to drink drinks with caffeine).
- If you’re a tea drinker, add honey to your tea for a throat soothing refreshment.
- Also, there are good throat sprays available that can help add moisture to your throat, sinuses and nasal passages.
- Get plenty of sleep: By getting a good night’s sleep, a little extra if possible, you are strengthening your body and helping it to heal.
- Don’t forget your warm-ups: Warm or cold, people who use their voice to sing or perform need to always warm up their vocal chords to get them ready before a performance. (In a future article we’ll talk about some great vocal warm-ups if you don’t already have some you use.)
- The truth about warming up the voice is it is equally important to warm up the muscles of the vocal phonation system as well as the vocal cords.
Looking for a voice coach? I am Carol Stanley and I am a Voice and Presentation Skills Coach. I train speakers and singers (business owners, ministry leaders, stage performers, beauty pageant competitors, workshop leaders) to gain confidence, poise, and command over their total voice, body, mind, and spirit.
Contact me, I offer Private or Group Coaching, and I would love to speak with you.