The Dangerous Side of Singing
As with any exercise, there are dangers to singing. Here, we outline three things that are dangerous or could lead to a dangerous outcome.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ”Vocal cord nodules are benign (noncancerous) growths on both vocal cords that are caused by vocal abuse. Over time, repeated abuse of the vocal cords results in soft, swollen spots on each vocal cord. These spots develop into harder, callous-like growths called nodules. The nodules will become larger and stiffer the longer the vocal abuse continues.” Nicknamed “nodes,” oftentimes these growths, while harmless, can force the affected subject to stop singing entirely. They can be removed surgically, and in some cases, through vocal therapy, but at the very least, they put a singer’s career on hold while the problem is solved. Generally, the “vocal abuse” mentioned above is specifically attributed to a lot of yelling, loud talking, smoking, or allergies. As such, it’s important to consistently take care of your voice if you’re a dedicated singer. Make sure to drink tea, speak at normal levels, and avoid screaming too much at theme parks, concerts, or other loud events.
Oftentimes, people think that stressing the voice too much is the worst thing you can do with your voice, because, as aforementioned, it can cause nodes, loss of voice, and throat pain. However, one must be careful not to UNDER-sing, as well. Under-singing is when, instead of requiring the singer to project their voice louder, the instruments behind the singer are turned down, allowing them to sing quieter. This can strain the voice and give the singer a “breathy tone,” according to Voice Teacher, David Jones. When singing, be sure to give the proper voice level, and belt it out when necessary. It will give you a better quality sound, as well as loosen up the muscles in your throat to actually strain your voice less. Of course, this all comes with the proper training and restraint to make sure you’re not just yelling.
As shown by the above warnings, you have to make sure you’re not singing too hard or too softly. Singing is a delicate art, and it takes a lot of practice to make sure you’re hitting just the right note, pitch, and voice level. The best way to combat this situation is to sign up for a voice teacher and let them judge how you’re doing and tell you where to go from there. While a lot of people have become YouTube stars who have had no singing practice, once they gain some fame, they usually end up with some sort of trainer to make sure they don’t lose their talent. It’s paramount to make sure that, if you have a good voice, not to take it for granted and take some classes.
If you are looking to take some classes, we suggest getting in contact with some of the many voice and stage schools that Ireland has to offer. However, if you’d like some specialized attention, look into our Master Classes. We offer several per year, and they’re all taught by Broadway and West End professionals! Only at our Master Classes will you be able to be taught by someone who is currently experiencing fame on the big stage. Email us with any questions, or visit our website for more information.
If you're looking for even more in-depth information, check out our blog series on "7 Habits for Healthy Singers" by Andrew Byrne!