The Score Magazine May 2017 - Page 42

The Right Cords! Amidst the chaos of technicalities, musicality, creative pressures, showmanship, and professionalism, most artists today forget or overlook the vitality of vocal health. Be it for a beginner or the biggest name in the industry, vocal health is necessary for excellence in performance and otherwise. Considering the clutter around the topic, Mumbai-based vocal coach Varun Uday clear the air! What is vocal health? Simply put, vocal health reflects the state of your physical and mental health. Although it is singers and artists who primarily use their voices to perform, managing vocal health is essential for one and all. Every person must follow a basic level of vocal hygiene because the voice is a primordial element that evokes each and every emotion that one can feel. It is one of the most significant communication tools used to express yourself, effortlessly and clearly! A well supported sound combined with the right breathing mechanism is of immense significance. The sound produced should be placed or directed into the mask region of the face and into your hard palate in your buccal cavity. Not only does this improve your sound projection but also helps keep your vocal cords tension-free. (Sound vibration should be felt on the nasal bridge, your lips, upper teeth, allowing you to experience a free throat). Also, a sufficiently moisturised vocal chords are happy vocal folds, indicative of good hydration levels, at all given times. Importance of vocal heath The equation of well-maintained vocal health is straightforward: A HEALTHY VOICE = HEALTHY SOUND = EXPRESSION (Singing/speaking) If you wish to be able to use your voice to emote and produce beautiful sounds and tones in any style/genre of your choice, you need to pay attention to the state of your vocal cords. This 40 The Score Magazine involves a clear understanding of various mechanisms that are simultaneously involved in producing a good voice such as breathing, nutrition, exercise (physical and vocal) and hydration to name a important few. It’s like being an athlete! If your muscles are sore from the last time you worked them, due to lack of technique or nutrition or something even as simple as rest or insufficient sleep, you are bound to end up with an injury sooner or later. Hindering ones ability to perform effectively! How can one go about keeping their voice healthy? I can never say this enough, the life of a voice is the breath!, learn how to 'breathe’ right! Let’s get this straight, there is no replacement for a good breath and a good breathing mechanism (diaphragmatic breathing). Stop taxing your voice to produce excellent sounds without providing it with sufficient amount of fuel to function seamlessly. Developing the right breathing mechanism through specific exercises, helps you win more than half the battle of having to build and maintain a healthy voice. The breath to the voice is what diet is to working out. I have fitness enthusiasts who say to me, “You can never outwork a bad diet.” In the same way, you can never beat a weak breath management system if you want to have a healthy and free voice. Whether you choose to speak or sing, remember, the instrument remains the same and depends on the breath. Training your posture - having a healthy posture is absolutely essential to optimise the flow of the breath helping