To be more pro-active about your vocal health, you have to get into the habit of warming up your voice and strengthening it every day. If you follow Vocalzone’s voice tips for teachers listed below you will see noticeable results in the classroom.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day
Drink a lot of water. Drink water before going to bed and have 2 glasses after you get up, ideally before breakfast. It should give your body enough time to hydrate your vocal cords before your first class. A minimum of 2 litres will help to keep your voice lubricated.
Avoid repeated throat clearing
Whilst immediately gratifying, repeated coughing and clearing can damage your vocal folds. Don’t talk excessively over loud noise. Breathe deeply and easily before you have something important to say. Big breaths generate volume, enabling you to power the voice from lower down, keeping tension away from the throat. Use your diaphragm by speaking from the belly rather than your neck.
Maintain a good posture
Poor posture habits, such as twisting the neck around to talk to the class while writing on the board also strains the voice because it prevents the lungs projecting the voice properly. Stand tall when teaching. Shoulder blades should be sloping down the back. Keep your head comfortably balanced at the top of the spine to increase breath support. When walking around the classroom, lead with your legs, not your chin. Don’t ignore changes in your voice that last longer than 2 weeks. Seek professional help and see a doctor or ENT specialist.
Why not try our vocal exercises for teachers to help maintain a clear and healthy voice?
Factors that increase the risk of developing problems in vocal health for teachers
Your voice is key to you being able to perform your job properly. It’s not only the vocal exercises and warm-ups that you need to follow to maintain your most powerful tool, but an awareness of your surroundings will allow you to take the necessary precautions to ensure your voices’ longevity.
- Being female
- Being middle-aged (40 – 59 years)
- First year of teaching and 16+ years of teaching
- High workload and stress levels
- Family history of voice disorders
- Longer classroom hours
- Acoustics, pool, gym, classroom, outdoors
- Underlying medical conditions e.g. reflux, hearing impairment, allergies, asthma
Environmental and Behavioural:
- Poor acoustics of classroom, gym, pool area or laboratory
- Prolonged effortful and forceful voice use in an environment with a high level of background noise
- Composition of the class and large class numbers
- Prolonged voice use, especially in adverse environmental conditions
Two most common factors which contribute to vocal problems among teachers:
- Ineffective projection and breathing techniques in by speaking for long periods when tired or stressed
- Strained voice from supervising large groups often in teaching areas with poor acoustics and against loud background noise
See if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of voice overuse:
- Regular or unexplained voice loss.
- A weak and tired sounding voice.
- A change in voice quality (e.g. hoarseness) for more than 10 days.
- A voice and throat that feels consistently painful or as if there is a lump in the throat.
- Frequent throat clearing.
- Loss of vocal power or ability to project
If any of the above sounds familiar to you, then we recommend to be more pro-active in looking after your voice. Remember to consult your GPs or ENT specialist if any of the symptoms persist.
Vocalzone Throat Pastilles are a unique blend of natural ingredients formulated to provide powerful relief from throat strain caused by excessive speaking. Vocalzone also relieves the irritation of the throat caused by smoking or the common cold. It contains natural active ingredients such as myrrh, peppermint oil and menthol. The minty flavour refreshes your breath. Since it was developed 100 years ago Vocalzone has become a no.1 throat pastille for voice professionals.
Benefits of using Vocalzone:
- Relieves throat irritation caused by excessive speaking
- Soothes, clears and relieves
- Does not contain anaesthetics and do not mask the problem compared to other sore throat remedies
- Contains natural active ingredients
- Helps keep a clear voice