You have heard the phrase “the show must go on”. Well, for the professional singer with a cough, this is a very stressful ordeal.
I experience coughing every winter, at some time or another. It usually starts with a viral infection where my vocal cords become inflamed and covered in excess mucus which causes me to cough. The cough can then easily become a vicious cycle of more coughing. Getting this cycle under control is key to maintaining a healthy voice. Here are some tips that work for me.
1. Loads of sleep.
2. Breath through your nose, not your mouth, whenever you can. It moistens the air.
3. Sip room temperature water constantly.
4. Keep a vaporizer in your bedroom.
5. Rely on extra abdominal support when singing. Never push, and never whisper.
6. Suck on candies to keep you salivating.
7. Sing and talk as little as possible.
In closing, a singer’s goal should be to resist the urge to cough, so it will ultimately go away. It sometimes takes me as long as a month to totally be free of the urge to cough.
It’s a dreadful cycle, but one I know all too well. I’m in the middle of that cycle right now. So I’d better be off for my long hot shower. The moist air will give me a few hours of relief before I have to sing again.