Your Healthy Tenor Addiction

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Can I Sing Too Much?

Can I Sing Too Much?
Can you really overdo it when it comes to singing?

Don’t you like to listen to me?

Singers love to sing. Many vocalists on the starting edge of their learning and singing careers might spend hours a day listening to their favorite music and they just can’t help but to sing along.  Mostly, I don’t think they think much about singing too much.

One of the greatest vocal abuses is overuse of the vocal folds. In addition to all that singing we love to indulge in, singers have the added passion for talking. If you ever have the opportunity to be in a room full of singers (as I have been on many occasions) you will realize almost immediately that they are amongst the noisiest bunch of folks. I daresay most singers do not think of their voice when they are talking as much as when they are singing.

Of course, as one grows in their art and becomes more astute with their instrument, they realize when and how often they should take care to talk a bit less. Perhaps simply reducing the level of ones voice would be enough.

Singing too much, combined with talking throughout the day can invite a tremendous amount of vocal fatigue. If you are not sure when enough is enough, try singing and see how your voice reacts. If you find it becoming breathy, weak, (or certainly) tired, you should put yourself on vocal rest.

How much rest is appropriate? Usually, a good night’s sleep will be enough. If you happen to be starting the day, or you have a long way to go before the day is over, try pacing yourself when talking to people. Use a softer voice. If there is a loud noise in the room, don’t try speaking over it. Find a good place, or opportunity to be heard more easily and use your voice then.

If all else fails and you arrive at rehearsal, let the person/s in charge know the condition of your voice and tell them you will be marking! They will completely understand…at least, they had better. If they don’t you might want to reconsider ever working with them again. However, everyone I’ve ever worked with has understood.

While we are on the subject, I usually tell my students that they should not sing more than two hours a day. Even that is stretching the limits of the human voice. Research has offered that the most beneficial use of the voice is gained when practicing three times per day, 1/2-hour each time. Beyond this, we are simply overdoing it.

But, you might think that the voice is a muscle and like any muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it will become. Each muscle in the body will work and become stronger but only to its limit. After that point is reached, fatigue and failure will occur in the muscle. A bicep muscle will tear, heal and be stronger afterward. This is not where you want to arrive with your voice. If pushed too far,  the vocal folds will develop an assortment of conditions which can end a singing career before it begins. These problems are simply not worth pushing the envelope for.

Like our back, each of us are born with what we have. It requires care. We should love our voice enough to take proper care of it. If singing is what you want to do, find a teacher who makes things interesting, fun, understandable and educational for you.

!!!–I highly recommend signing up for a trial lesson with me today–!!!

After finding a good teacher,  (me!), learn your voice and follow the guidance your instructor gives you. With the correct technique and understanding of the voice, your singing will be fun for you for many years to come.

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When Should I Begin Singing Lessons?

When Should I Begin Singing Lessons?
Age to start singing lessons

When can I start voice lessons?

When I was young, I used to rock in my crib on my hands and knees and rhythmically pound my head against the side panel of the bed; at least this is what I have been told. Perhaps this tendency was used to explain why I turned out the way I did. Many years later, I met a young man who did the same thing as a toddler and I was told by his family that it’s a sign of both intelligence and a musical mind.

How is it, you might ask, that smacking your own head against a hard object is a sign of intelligence? Unfortunately, I don’t have anything concrete to answer this question with. However, haven’t you ever wanted to smack your head against something hard? Perhaps I am the only one who has ever had such an inclination. I digress!

Many young kids can show a remarkable tendency toward music and it will be up to you to decide if they will be ready to try lessons or if you think they should hold off for a bit. Here’s a little guideline to get you pointed in the right direction.

When I am asked about the proper age to begin voice lessons I usually offer the age of 9-years-old as a starting point. Music will require practice and practice will require a degree of personal discipline and motivation. If your 7 year old has begun singing lessons and is keeping with everything the teacher is asking of him, great! To me, 9 is simply a starting point.

Another thought in this regard is that the human voice begins changing as early as 10, to 11 years old. It is a good idea to have some technique in place before this happens. Of course, I have also heard the idea that it’s good to wait until the voice has changed to begin voice lessons. It is my belief that lessons at an early age help institute good vocal habits for a lifetime of healthy singing.

Ultimately, you will know if your child is ready to undertake lessons. I am always very pleased when parents are actively involved in the support of their kids and I encourage them to be so. If you wake up to a pounding emanating from your child’s crib, there may be hope for you still! Do not panic and try to not be too hard on the little one. You can always tell them that this is a two-fold sign of goodness as mentioned here. You can even tell these things to yourself and just allow yourself to imagine the possibilities.

Lastly, if you are ready to take the plunge and allow your child to try lessons, get started with us. As you know, we offer a free trial lesson. To sign up, go to the “Lessons” page of www.DanielForan.com, if you’re reading this post on the website of one of our affiliates, and follow the directions. It really is well worth it!

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