World Voice Day is an annual event that has been celebrated since 1999. It was first put forward by the American Academy of Otolaryngology and since then, more American and European otolaryngologists and language pathologists have joined the cause in order to raise awareness of this tool that makes us so different and unique. Now this day is celebrated all around the world, with different activities and events such as concerts, vocal workshops or singing lessons. It also aims at demonstrating the significance of the voice in our lives, as well as the early detection of diseases that may affect the vocal cords.
We just have one voice and we use it every single day, so why don’t we take better care of it?
Unfortunately, not all of us look after our voices and it is vital to understand the importance of doing this. Particularly for some professions such us journalists, teachers, speakers, interpreters and, of course we cannot forget voice over talents, where their voice is their essential tool. In fact, it is a crucial instrument in daily work for about 30% of the entire working population.
A short vocal warm up improves the quality of your voice and also helps prevent vocal injury. Warming up must be done patiently; there are many ways to warm up the voice and every voice over talent has their own way of doing it, but here’s five basic tips to get started:
1 – Take care of your posture, the way you sit or stand will affect your breathing; having a good air flow will help you reach your best tone and voice.
2 – Relax; make sure your shoulders and chest are low and relaxed. Tension can interfere with effective voice production, as it radiates to the voice box muscles.
3 – Massage your face by drawing slow circles with the tip of your fingers; release your jaw by massaging your checks with the heel of your hands. This will reduce the tension in the muscles, mouth and jaw area.
4 – Trill your tongue by rolling it along the roof of your mouth and creating an ‘r’ sound. It may be helpful to think about the Spanish ‘r’!
5 – Humming is a very quick and energising way to warm up your voice, you just need to play some music and hum along with it.
So make sure you look after this unique and valuable tool by exercising it regularly and warming up properly!