Being objective about where you are in the profession, is something which most singers find incredibly daunting. We were fortunate to have a couple of talks led by Sue McCulloch on vocal health, and ensuring you are well prepared.
- Keeping your database of contacts up to date is important, as are the methods which people will use to find you; your website / linkedin / social media spaces should be relevant, up to date and contain valid contact info. Remember – you are marketing yourself!
- Write out the text
- Do a word for word translation (never trust editorial translations, invest in a decent dictionary and put in the work yourself)
- Speak the words in a declamatory manner (See Masterclass notes on this: Masterclasses: Chris Purves, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Ann Murray and Toby Spence. ) and understand the structure of the poem / text.
- Familiarize yourself with knowledge of the grammatical structure of each sense – how will this affect which words are given additional emphasis?
‘Everything that we are is our instrument’
- Try to be up and awake a couple of hours before vocalising.
- Hydration: Aim for 2-3 litres of water each day. Your body takes 4 hours to hydrate from the moment you drink, so try to take this into consideration.
- Stretch and become mentally aware of your surroundings before launching into practise.
- Keep your body fit and agile – exercise which encourages deep breathing (such as pilates, yoga, dance etc) are all recommended. Avoid exercises which encourage over-development of the neck and abdominal muscles.
- Maintain good oral hygeine – consider your colleagues!
- Avoid asprin – it thins the blood and can cause haemoraging of the vocal folds.
- Avoid unnecessary coughing / throat clearing.
- Steam and gargling salt water are the best for any cold viruses or sensitivity.
- Lessen dairy products where possible, and keep citric and menthol products to a minimum.
- Slow release carbs on rehearsal / long days are great for keeping sustained: wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bagels, bananas, basamti rice etc.
- Teas: honey, lemon, ginger, liquorice are all great.