Voice Care tips for teachers, singers and other professional voice users

  1. Water, water, water. Your voice has to work hard all day, so drink at least 6 glasses of water a day to keep your vocal cords hydrated, particularly if you are unwell or if your voice is strained or hoarse.
  2. Avoid shouting or yelling. Try not to talk over children.  Think of nonverbal strategies to get the children’s attention, such as ringing a bell or using a simple clapping rhythm.
  3. Avoid whispering if you voice is strained or hoarse as this can cause more strain to your voice.
  4. Try to reduce background noise. Does your classroom have tiled floors? Is there frequently noise outside the classroom? What changes can you make?
  5. Reduce throat clearing. This strains your vocal cords. Try swallowing instead.
  6. Avoid medicated throat lozenges. They dry your vocal cords.
  7. Increase classroom humidity.  Heating dries our vocal cords. Place a glass of water near radiators.
  8. Take voice rest. If your voice is strained, try to schedule some time each day where you are not talking.
  9. Medication can affect the voice. Some drugs are dehydrating for the body. Talk to your doctor about this.
  10. Reduce caffeine intake as it dehydrates the body. Remember that tea also contains caffeine.
  11. Limit alcohol intake as it is dehydrating.  In particular, avoid spirits as these are very dehydrating.
  12. Digestion: acid reflux can damage the vocal cords. If you suffer from reflux, try to avoid foods which cause irritation, and avoid eating late in the evening.
  13. Try to eliminate or reduce environmental irritants such as smoke, dust, or  fumes.
  14.  Avoid smoking. In addition to being bad for your health, it is an irritant to the airway.
  15. Arrange an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat Consultant (E.N.T.) if you:
  • experience hoarseness which continues for 2-3 weeks
  • suffer frequent hoarseness or voice loss
  • experience a significant voice quality change
  • are aware of constant vocal fatigue
  • experience difficulty or pain with swallowing