Watch Your Voice: Vocal health techniques with Jocelyn Medina
The 13th of May saw the TSM auditorium resonate with a chorus of e’s and oo’s; notes rung high and notes rung true. Now, to a non-vocalist this opening sentence may seem somewhat abstract but that’s what happens when there’s a vocal masterclass at The True School of Music.
Conducted by Jocelyn Medina, an enthralling singer, a vocal teacher with over a decade of teaching experience and TSMs Vocal Faculty for the Pro and Pre Pro courses, the aim of this session was to empower singers with the techniques and tools for good vocal health.
As Ms. Medina explained, the vocal cords are muscles and like any other muscle in the human body, our vocal cords (or vocal folds) need exercise, maintenance and recovery. She recommended ‘Filtering’ – a process where you inhale salt water through one nostril and exhale it through the other. What this does is unclog vocal cords and also keep it lubricated and stronger for consistent vocal delivery. While touching upon the topic of vocal anatomy, Ms. Medina stressed on the fact that the human vocal cords need to stay hydrated to avoid acid reflux which is why every singer should consume a minimum of 2 liters of water a day, if not more. Other vocal no-no’s would be excessive consumption of coffee, carbonated drinks and spicy foods all of which cause acid reflux and dampen the quality of vocal delivery.
Ms. Medina suggested some simple dietary and lifestyle changes like avoiding conversations in loud situations like traffic jams or at clubs etc. She recommended cardio exercises and yoga to avoid constriction of vocal cords thereby strengthening vocal mechanism, flexibility and even boosting lung function.
The session then shifted focus to some vocal techniques like Chest and Head Voice Exercises, Lip Trills, Exhaling exercises (which involved taking a deep breath and exhaling with a hiss. Furthermore she then went on to interactively demonstrate exercises and tricks to improve projection and vocal registration (which is basically the head, chest and mixed voice)
The auditorium was packed and the audience left with some very valuable insights and life-long techniques & exercises to help them not just become better singers but also singers that can successfully sustain their voices for years to come.