Cold and Flu season will be here before we know it and allergy season is affecting many of us, not to mention activities that can leave us with vocal fatigue. I want to talk to you about Vocal Rest Voice Lessons and when it is appropriate to KEEP your lesson appointment even if you are feeling under the weather or vocally tired.
My philosophy is always to sing MORE than we talk in a lesson. However, there are many non-singing activities that are very beneficial in a lesson. We must work diligently on alignment, breath coordination, musicianship, memorization, diction and character development. Much can be accomplished in a voice lesson, without singing!
Sometimes you are well enough to learn and can still benefit from keeping your lesson appointment. Vocal rest voice lessons can happen online if you don’t want to leave your house or feel you may be contagious.
Here are some examples of activities I facilitate during a vocal rest lesson.
- I can help you learn about vocal hygiene and vocal self care. I’ll give you tips to help you protect your voice while you’re recovering.
- Straw exercises or SOVT’s - Semi Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises. These can be very therapeutic and help de-swell your vocal cords. They are also a lot of fun.
- I can introduce you to new and future repertoire. We’ll listen to songs and set some short and longterm goals. I’ll get you set up with PDF’s and practice tracks.
- I can introduce you to new artists and we can analyze one of their performances together. “What do you hear?” is one of my favorite games to play with kids and adults alike.
- You can introduce me to your favorite artists or songs from shows and we can discuss the vocal qualities and stylistic elements we hear.
- Explore the lyrics and character development in one of your songs. Let's dig deep into the performance aspect of singing.
- Learn the rhythm and words to a new song.
- Ear-training exercises EX) identifying half steps and whole steps, major and minor keys, thirds, triads, ascending and descending scales etc.
- Music Theory - We’ll review vocabulary, note names and rhythms, key signatures and time signatures.
- Alignment, anchoring and breath support - my students know that I have a treasure trove of activities designed to build kinesthetic and proprioceptive awareness which is crucial in singing.
As you can see from my list of tasks, vocal rest lessons can be extremely productive and allow us to focus on things we don't always have time to dig deep into during our regularly scheduled lessons. Keeping with the routine of weekly lessons while being mindful of vocal health and hygiene is a great way to keep the learning process going so we don’t feel as though we are starting over again after a week or two of illness.