Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vocal Fatigue

Saturday, November 7th.
I received the following e mail today from one of my younger students:
"How OK is it for your voice to be tired after practise? Should it hardly ever happen, or is it OK to be so occasionally? I wouldn't say it happens all the time, but I would say often, when I either get too gung-ho and do too much of a good thing, or I get frustrated ((neither of which happen as often as they used to). However, sometimes I get a little vocally tired even after a long and productive session with you where I spent a long time asking my cords to do something they're unaccustomed to."
It is not ok for your voice to be tired after practise. It means you have done something wrong. It is most imporant for all of us who sing to learn to listen to our own warning signs. Vocal fatigue is a sign that we have done too much, or that we are doing it in the wrong way. Learn to recognize the first sign of fatigue, and to stop. Ask yourself, "What could I possibly be doing that is causing the stress I feel in my throat?"
It may be as simple as trying too hard, singing too many high notes in a row, practising for too long at a time, or focusing too much on what is difficult. Most common of all, is feeling the voice too heavily, or, in other words, too physically. Remember that good singing must always feel as light as healthy speech. I like to tell my students what one of my teachers told me: "Singing is always a light adjustment". To me what this means is that singing must always feel light to the singer.
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