It’s often said that one should warm down their voice after an intense singing rehearsal or workout. Speech-Language Pathologist Kristie Knickerbocker explains.
Vocal warm-ups are important to get your laryngeal musculature ready for excessive use, by gently bringing blood flow to the muscles.
But after these vocal acrobatics a 3 hour show with 2 encores (or aria after aria), should you “warm-down?”
Most of the vocal damage in a trained performer happens after the show, during after-parties and interviews, where the performer is having to talk loudly for a long period of time over loud noises of crowds or parties.
So, should you take a voice rest after performing?
According to this study by Verdolini et al. it was found that resonant voice production (easy phonation associated with front of the face vibrations in sound production) after a period of extended voice use, was useful in reducing acute vocal fold inflammation.
So, how could it ever be helpful to vocalize after you have already been vocalizing at high intensity?
This study suggests that voice rest is helpful as well, but resonant voice production is even more beneficial in lowering inflammatory mediator concentrations at 24 hours post.
So get to humming after a performance. It could benefit your vocal folds.
Kristie Knickerbocker, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist in Fort Worth, Texas. She provides voice, swallowing and speech therapy in her own private practice, a tempo Voice Center, LLC. She also lectures on the singing voice to area choirs and students. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 3, Voice and Voice Disorders, NATS and is an active member of PAVA. She keeps a blog on her website at www.atempovoicecenter.com