Voice care

A post on Storytell asked for suggestions:

Remedies for a sore, dry, swollen throat to help with singing and talking endurance

Fran Stallings replied:
I don’t know about the “dry” part, but I have kept going despite a sore swollen throat by treating it with ginger/honey:

  • Peel 10 cm (4-5″) of fat juicy ginger root
  • Slice it across the grain and blender-grate it in 100 ml (half a cup) water; strain out the fibers through a strainer or cloth
  • OR grate the root, squeeze out the juice through a cloth, add 100 ml water
  • Add 4 tsp honey; heat and stir to dissolve

This brew is very potent, feels like straight whiskey when you swallow a sip.
Do NOT drink a batch! Just sip it VERY SLOWLY. The object is to bathe your swollen throat and vocal cords every few minutes–between stories will do.
It cures swollen tissues (even my husband’s scary allergic reaction to raw nuts) and allows you to keep telling.

Here are some simple vocal exercises to warm up and loosen up the voice

An earlier thread suggested these exercises:

I got those vocal exercises from George Antolik, my voice teacher.
His philosophy is that the vocal mechanisms used for singing and speaking are the same. It is important to have ease in these muscles and in the throat area for optimum performance and minimum wear and tear.

Vocal ease

(comments in parentheses are mine – Faye)

  • Start by exercising the head and neck area by letting the head gently fall forward onto the chest. (Don’t push).
    Then let the head fall back while opening the mouth. (The object is to relax all the muscles of the neck).
  • Move the jaw up and down with the hands. Do not use the jaw muscles.
  • Move the jaw sideways with the hands. Do not use the jaw muscles.
  • Yawn. Really yawn. Enjoy it. (Make a sound, if you want.)
  • Breathe. Correctly. Somewhere between the bottom of the rib cage and the pelvic area. The chest should not move upward while you are doing this.
    (I have found that if I fully exhale, then the inhalation comes deeply and naturally.)
  • While gently blowing out the breath, pronounce the following sounds:

      • hu – as in who
      • ho – as in hoe
      • see
    • B.

      • hum
      • hum and chew at the same time

Here is the fun part! Do each sound 10 times, 6 times a day with at least one hour in between. Take your time doing the sounds. Try to start in a light, breathy voice in a higher range or register than which you normally speak – falsetto for men,”little girl” voice for women. Slowly glide into the speaking range (I go up and down like one of those slide whistles) If your voice”sticks” on you or if you feel it is hoarse, then do it in a lower range. It should still be done in a light, breathy manner.

(I like to do this in the car or in the presence of my 10 year-old-especially if she is with her friends – It gets them wondering and pays back my daughter for all the infernal noises she is in the habit of making, simply to bug me. It makes the dog’s ears perk up and she looks puzzled-especially in the higher ranges. Probably not something to do on a first date or job interview.)

Enjoy! Faye

This was originally posted to Storytelland is produced here with Faye’s kind permission

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