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How to care for your voice in our current, mask wearing times.

Voice care when wearing a mask:- 

There is all shared in a video – and the links are below.

To

Breathing

  • Ensure that you aren’t panic breathing 
    • Put your hands on your chest/belly/sides as you breathe in and out and notice where your breath makes your body expand and, unless you are getting movement in your belly, sides and back, try exploring letting your breath expand your body lower down.  Especially do this if you are only feeling an expansion in your upper chest/shoulder area.
  • Check that you’re not holding your abs really tightly as this stops your lungs fully expanding.  
  • Also check that you’re not tightly held in your rib cage area. 
    • try hoola hooping really slow motion. 
  • How to do low breathing , abdominal release – see the accompanying video 
  • Slow your breathing down, take your time to breathe in.

Clarity

Background Noise 
  • Wait until it’s quiet (or quieter) before speaking when wearing a mask (and at other times too if possible).  
  • Use actions to be understood 
Diction 
  • Clearer not louder – slow down your consonants and make sure that they are really clear. 
Nasality 
  • Ensure you’re not overly nasal.  When you speak, the air can come out through your nose and your mouth.  Nasality is a characteristic of lots of accents and languages and is not necessarily a bad (or a good) thing.  However, being nasal may be a problem when wearing a mask as diction is usually less clear when a person is speaking in a nasal manner. 
    • To test this say a short phrase, then say it again and pinch your nose closed.  If the sentence sounds different when you are closing your nose then you are probably sending air through your nose.   Some sounds have to be sent to you nose (any consonants that involve closing, or partially closing your mouth, such as m/b n/d p/k g/l. 
    • For help with lessening nasality you’ll probably find lots of youtube videos, I’m working with my membership group on this issue in 2 weeks time so you’re welcome to join us then.  You can find more info here.
Clever little tricks to make yourself heard. 
  • Try adding brightness to your voice, many singing teachers call this twang.   
    • Another thing that may need a bit of direct teaching to understand but you may well get somewhere with this by copying someone who has a really bright voice.  Examples of this are Janice from friends or a lot of American accents and terribly posh accents from the UK.  
  • Ensure that your breath received as deeply as possible. 
  • look for a mask that has more space – I’ve been relaiably told that these masks are good https://www.funkymasks.uk and they make singers masks and masks with a clear front panel. I confess to not having tried them yet though.  – edit, when the masks arrived they looked lovely but the singer’s mask was massive. I don’t have a small face but it’s so big it goes into my eyes. I LOVE the MD’s mask with the see through front section.

How to Care for Your Voice More Generally 

  • Hydrate
  • Reduce your voice use 
  • Rest – schedule proper rest into your day and 
  • Avoid things that you know irritate your voice 
    • Food 
    • Airborne irritants 
      • Plug ins can be very irritating 
    • Allergies 
  • Warm ups and stretches 
    • Many free warm ups on the internet 
  • I love giving my voice a “hug” when I hum through a tube into water. 
    • You can buy all sorts of fancy straws and tubes but I personally recommend that you buy a bit of tubing from an aquarium.  
    • You are also welcome to buy my voice care kit, which has various straws and a tube in it. 
    • Here is my guide to straw/tube singing. 
    • Get in touch to book a lesson if you want warm up that are specific to you
    • and a link to stretched on my website here:-
    • I have a free warm up if you sign up for my mailing list  – here 
    • If you want more information about singing lessons with me feel free to get in touch – rebeccasingingteacher@gmail.com 

If you are worried about your voice seek advice from a medical professional.     

Your voice is precious and important, don’t neglect your voice. 

I have a load of resources on this page  

British Voice Association Resources can be found here and here

You can also find a Voice Clinic on the BVA website and ask them for a recommended Singing Teacher.

BAPAM are a wonderful source of support to performers who are struggling with their voices as are Help Musicians

My video of me opening up the masks from Funky Masks is here Live Opening of Funky Masks

For help caring for you voice get in touch, I’d love to help you.

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