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The stereotype of the “old” person often carries with it a creaky, fragmented, fried, grating voice. And you know what? That’s just not the case any more.

Just as 50 is the new 40, and I’ve gotta say, 60 is the new 50, so also are our voices staying young. And a speaking voice is SO a part of who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and how others perceive us.

A singing voice? That doesn’t have to wilt with age, either. Even if you‘re fabulously 40 and beyond, and you want to START singing, yes! I say, do it! Okay, I do hate my neck ... but my voice will stay gorgeous forever. And yours can too.

If you're a singer, you probably already know how to care for your voice: a well-learned, well-practiced classical breathing technique. Even if you sing rock, you'll want to use classical breathing. This will keep your voice from being damaged, and will usually prevent nodes on your vocal cords. (If you need to learn how to breathe to sing, check out my website, [Link Removed] I'm still adding articles, it's brand new.)

Even if you don’t sing, a rich, lush speaking voice is just such a pleasure to listen to. And again, keeping your speaking voice “in shape” will assure a beautiful voice for your entire life.

How to Care For Your Voice
1.  Even if you don’t sing, learning to breathe from the abdominal area (instead of shallow breaths from the upper chest) will help keep your voice healthy.  

2. Never speak “from your throat,” that is, without any breath under it at all. You can tell a “throat-speaker” because the voice will sound pinched, tight, and nasal. Breathe deeply - make it a habit. And you might try relaxation exercises for the neck and upper chest (if your doc says it’s ok :) ) or yoga stretching exercises. These will all help get your voice out of your throat.

3. At sports games or in noisy night clubs, never yell or strain your voice. That’s just a total no. Yelling is a disaster.

4. Drink your water or juice tepid, not ice cold. I don’t know the physiology behind this, but I do know from years of singing professionally and teaching voice, that ice cold beverages are to be avoided. (I’ve never had a problem with warm or hot beverages.)  

5. Keep your body in shape (insert doctor thingee disclaimer thingee here:) ), no matter what your weight situation is. Yoga is great because it keeps the spine supple, at least for me that’s been my experience. It keeps the body flexible, and that, wholistically, affects the voice.

6. The most powerful voice-killer, aside from yelling, is cigs and whiskey. If you‘re totally into the basement jazz club blues scene and you want to lower your voice a few octaves and you don’t mind dying young, yes - do the cig/whiskey thing. It gives the voice a “je ne sais quoi,” a sound of perhaps an awful lot of worldly experience.  

Mel Torme sang beautifully, impeccably, velvety, until the day he died. His voice changed over the years, but always sounded beautiful. You can sound beautiful, too. Always!

Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


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