You Are an Athlete, a Very Vocal Athlete

You know what?  It feels really good to be here, writing here, for you.  Because I have a lot to say, and because you are the sparkly fuel that lights this world up.  And no matter what, you can’t hide it.  Your creativity is the juice.  THE juice of of the universe.

Speaking of “can’t hide,” you also can’t hide from a very big truth.  If you sing (or speak) for any part of your creative life or monetary living, you are a vocal athlete.  This means that your voice is part of your body, and can be trained, nurtured and exercised like other parts of your body.  Of course, there is so much more to your voice than just a bunch of muscle and tendon and air flow, but I’m here to encourage a different perspective on voice.  One that lets you off the hook if you are struggling or confused or even looking for deeper answers about your vocal instrument.

Think of an Olympic athlete for a minute.

They are asked to perform at the maximum capacity of their physical capabilities.  This is exactly what singers do.  The difference is that your voice is asked to deal with allergies, riding in a bus, weather fluctuations, lack of sleep, sketchy hydration, long shows at full tilt volume, forced food options, meet and greets, and talking in loud environments like bars and crowds.  The equation just doesn’t add up, as one of my voice therapist friends says.  The voice has limits just like any other part of the body.  Trust me, if an Olympic runner had to endure the physical demands in their legs like we do in our voices, they wouldn’t be running quite so well.  Athletes are well-oiled machines who baby their bodies and then ask those bodies to GO.  Hard.

So, why not start training your voice in ways that help it endure the demands of your job?  Why not?  In the past, singers in the commercial music world (who, by the way are the ones actually making money singing and need the help) were winging it, and often getting into fatigue and sometimes vocal trouble.  Not because they were bad or wrong or trying to hurt themselves, but mostly because no one ever taught them how the voice works and what to do.  I want you to be logical about voice training so you can all do what your heart desires for as long as you can.  Finally, because of advances in voice science, it’s not such a mystery why the voice does what it does.  I’m glad for that, and hope you are too.

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