Voice Care, Improvement and Maintenance

Ukulele Moon Girl from "The Toon Sketchbook" on Tumblr: http://toonsketchbook.tumblr.com/
Ukulele Moon Girl from “The Toon Sketchbook” on Tumblr: http://toonsketchbook.tumblr.com/

First posted on the Ukulele Cosmos Forum, 25 June 2013

I could not find much on Ukulele Cosmos to do with voice and singing – the search function does not help as all the terms I tried were rejected as being “too common“.

So I thought I would start this topic.¬† I started off calling it “Voice and Singing Resources” but there are too many schools of thought in “singing pedagogy”, so I thought it safer to call the subject “voice” but include some specific resources about singing. Everything that helps to look after, improve and maintain a good voice applies to both the speaking voice and the singing voice. This is sometimes called “voice hygiene” but “voice care” works for me.

On which note – the health warning


If you have a cough, hoarseness or any other voice problem that lasts for more than two weeks – SEE A DOCTOR!

  • This is standard medical advice, for good reason.
  • If a cough or hoarseness persists for more than three weeks, go back to your doctor. Ask for a referral to a “cough clinic” or a “voice clinic” depending on the problem. These are few and far between so you might instead be referred to a general gastroenterology or ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) clinic.
  • A persistent cough or voice problem might be the sign of something serious and the sooner you find out whether or not this is the case, the better.
  • If you have a persistent cough or a voice problem, you will need an ENT report before you can receive any help from a Speech and Language Therapist. These might be symptoms of an underlying pathology and this needs to be excluded or identified first.
  • Good voice teaching or singing teaching should help you to improve your performance without damaging your voice. A good teacher who has your best interests at heart will advise you to get medical help and vocal rehabilitation if you have damaged your voice.
  • I will do a separate post with information about voice clinics, specialist medical help for performers, etc. This wil be UK-centric but all of the sites and organisations referenced include links to international organisations and/or equivalent organisations in other countries.

OK – end of “health warning” – but please take it seriously – it is all in the news this week – search for “persistent cough Def Leppard” and you will get the idea.

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NoVoiceWeek! SLT students Giving Voice for AAC Awareness


The easiest way to follow the campaign events as they unfold this week is via the Twitter hashtag #novoiceweek.

Or perhaps even easier, on the Symplur Healthcare Hashtags Project, bookmark this page: #nospeechweek Healthcare Hashtag¬† and see the “live stream” midway down the page on the right.

While SLT (Speech and Language Therapy) services are working flat-out and fighting cuts at the same time, the RCSLT‘s new-style Facebook¬† Student Groups Network has mobilised in support of the Giving Voice UK campaign.

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