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If you want to be super ready to sing wherever you go, you have to bring with you a couple of items in your bag everywhere!
Just as dancers and yogis have their special bags, we singers have our collection of items that we bring everywhere. Or we should! Because as singers, we are bringing our instrument wherever we go. We ARE our instrument. And EVERYTHING can affect it, in a negative or positive way. We have an amazing instrument that happens to be alive. It changes from moment to moment and we want to do the best we can to take care of it!
From relaxation tools to specifically vocal products, today I want to share with you some things a singer carries in their bag!
Number 1. Always! If you are a singer and you haven’t already, it is time to become best friends with clear, ambient temperature water. Especially if you are going to be out for a while! Our vocal cords are covered by a membrane that is mostly water. If we are not properly hydrated, our voice becomes raspy and our body has to work extra hard to compensate for our lack of hydration.
This is especially important also if while you go out you will be exercising or drinking coffee or other forms of caffeine. Or alcohol! Caffeine for example is well known for its dehydrating effects. Make sure that if you are going to consume coffee, you get your water after it.
So make sure you never forget your bottle of water! Nowadays you can get all kinds of cute reusable bottles so no excuses.
I love my propolis throat spray. Propolis is a substance created by our friends the bees. Amongst its benefits, it has some that are very appealing for singers, such as:
Whenever I feel my throat dry I have my propolis throat spray to save the day! I only take this when I feel my throat is sore, and I quickly feel the positive effects. I also like to take it when I know someone around me is sick, to help me prevent infections.
Not for drinking! If you need to warm up your voice on the go, a straw is a more discrete way to do it if there are people around. You can sing slides up on down the scale to get your voice ready to sing or speak at an event, or if you need to go to a rehearsal and you didn’t have time to warm up your voice at home. Even 5 minutes of straw singing will help you with voice placement and warm up. Singing through a straw also helps you cool down your voice after you have sung.
Singing through a straw has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reasons. The straw singing exercises belong to a category of voice exercises known as SOVT (semi-occluded vocal tract exercises). SOVT can help you get your voice ready to go in a gentle and efficient way by balancing your sub-glottal and supra-glottal pressure.
Some other exercises of this family are the famous lip trills, tongue trills, etc, but the straw exercise is one of the least noisy ones if you are not by yourself!
If you are a sensitive one, you might get stressed when there are loud noises around. If you travel by bus and you get easily irritated by other people in the bus yelling through their phones, you can without noticing build up an alert level that will make you tense up. Building up tension is not good for our voice. It affects your diaphragmatic support, your ability to produce pitch and resonance freely, and it just doesn’t feel good!
And even more, if you have a tendency to have migraines!
I always have a pair of earplugs in my bag. They reduce the noise by a lot without making you completely unaware of your surroundings. I don’t like to use them all the time, but whenever I have to travel to the city the noise makes itself felt, and I can feel my alarm system being triggered. Perhaps you are not as sensitive to that as I am but if you pay attention to your internal sensation when you are in a noisy environment you might find that it does play a role in how calm you feel.
On a related topic, it is important to have something on hand that calms you down. As singers we should be in control of our stress levels, as it affects our voice deeply but most importantly, our whole health.
I have a lava rock bracelet, I drop some Lavender essential oil on it, and carry it with me in times of stress. Well known for promoting relaxation and fighting against anxiety, Lavander oil is your friend but make sure you get the essential oil and not the fragrance oil!
And for the same reason, I always have my headphones with noise cancellation options on my bag. I try not to use noise cancellation unless it is necessary. But it is a great tool when you have to kill time somewhere, waiting in line, or on the bus. You can use the time to listen to new music, practice your lyrics, pay attention to song details, etc. I personally love listening to singing podcasts while I am exercising or on the bus!
Or maybe you are a meditation practitioner and you can use them to find a quieter space to calm your mind. Or you might want to stop in a park for a moment and practice your singing visualizations!
Singing visualizations are a part of my routine since I found that getting really clear on what you want really supports you in… well, getting what you want! As singers, how many times do we progress without direction? Often not going anywhere!
So there you have it if you are a singer take a look at your bag! Do you have some of the items I have? Do you have some that I don’t have to help with your singing? Let me know!
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We have singing programs for adults, kids and teens, and even super young kids! (4-7 year olds) – all our singing programs take place in our studio in Auckland (Unsworth Height area – North Shore), and online.
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