Laryngologist Offers Advice for Singers

Singers should nurse their voices whether in the shower or on the stage, according to Dr. Michael Pittman, a leading New York laryngologist (that’s a throat, ear and nose doctor for those of you who didn’t pass biology). Speaking to the Daily News last week, the director of the Division of Laryngology and the Voice and Swallowing Institute at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary offered six voice-care tips for the closet singer in all of us.

Among the secrets to success: “Don’t abuse your speaking voice,” “Warm up at the same time every day,” “Sing within your vocal range,” “Drink lots of water,” “Don’t smoke” and “Drink moderately and avoid loud bars.”

It might seem counter-intuitive that someone could weaken their vocal range without raising their voice, but listen to Strokes frontman/heavy smoker Julian Casablancas on the band’s 2001 release Is This It? and then this year’s Angles. Smoking and other unhealthy habits can make a world of difference. “Smoking is the worst thing you can do for your voice…” said Pittman. “All these chemicals are actually singeing your vocal folds as the heat is concentrated and goes past them.”

As for taking care of your speaking voice, Pittman explained, “As soon as (most singers) walk offstage, they have poor speaking posture because they don’t think about it anymore… Poor speaking posture will catch up to you in the end, so maintain good vocal technique even when just speaking.

You can read the rest of Michael Pittman’s advice here.

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