Vocal Health Tips

Voice injury happens.

You are a vocal athlete.

There are habits you can adopt to reduce the risk of injury.


Voice injury happens.

You don't need to feel ashamed. You are not alone.

  1. Stay hydrated! Individual hydration needs vary. In general, you know you are hydrated if your pee is clear or light in color. It takes time for the water you drink to positively impact tissues. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water daily.

  2. Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Your voice is part of your body. If your body is tired, this will impact ease of voice use.

  3. Understand how medications impact your voice. Click this link to be directed to information from the University of Iowa's "Voice Academy".

  4. Avoid smoking of any kind, as well as excessive alcohol and caffeine intake.

  5. Take "vocal naps"! Give your vocal folds a little rest. Stop singing and talking for 5-15 minutes on those demanding voice use days. Allow for rest and recovery. Is your voice feeling tired/strained? - Then a vocal nap is a must!

  6. Reset throughout the day with straw phonation! Click on "Daily Habits" to learn more about the benefits of semi-occluded vocal tract exercises.

  7. Stay conditioned through daily vocal exercises, physical exercise, and a healty diet.

  8. Know when not to sing. Hoarseness is not a normal voice quality. If singing or speaking requires more effort, is painful, or you fatigue quickly, consult with a trusted voice professional. Listen to your voice!

  9. Know and respect your unique voice. Say no to repertoire that is not appropriate for you and don't try to sound like someone else.

  10. Use your speaking and singing voice in an efficient manner. Avoid yelling, screaming, loud talking, and singing too loudly for extended periods of time.

  11. Use an amplification system when teaching or presenting. This is especially important for K-12 classroom teachers.

  12. Avoid habitual throat clearing and excessive coughing. These behaviors are very abusive to the voice. If you suffer from chronic cough or always need to clear your throat, reach out to a medical provider who understands the impact of these problems on the voice.

Concerned about your voice, but unsure where to go for help? Go to "Get Help" or talk to a trusted voice teacher, vocal coach, or speech language pathologist in your area.