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Handling Singing Problems When “The Show Must Go On”

Handling Voice Problems When "The Show Must Go On"

Broadway singers in the middle of a run or rock singers on tour can feel tremendous pressure to keep performing even when they’re having singing problems. They sometimes look for a quick fix with alternative therapies or medications. Without the guidance of a physician specialized in vocal care, this can be a hazardous approach.

Most Important Steps

When a singer, actor or speaker loses vocal power or range, the first and most important step should be to get an examination by an MD voice specialist. Besides ruling out serious physical problems like nodules or polyps, it can help determine if there are psychological issues influencing the voice, if a vocal coach should be consulted to improve technique or if simple rest is needed.
By carefully analyzing hoarseness, breathiness and flexibility, a physician can help a professional singer choose more intelligently from the many alternative therapies available and hone in on lifestyle changes needed to restore vocal health. Popular relaxation techniques that actors, singers and speakers often turn to include yoga, shiatsu, reiki, chiropractic, osteopathy, Pilates, acupuncture and meditation.

Lifestyle And Vocal Health

These approaches can all offer some help in improving the voice. But an MD will first want to know about health and lifestyle issues that need to be taken care of including alcohol intake, drug use (recreational, over-the-counter or prescribed) or smoking. It’s important for the singer or actor to eliminate drug interactions and stop taking medications that may be causing dryness, nervousness or sleeplessness.

Dr. Korovin is very mindful of the stresses faced by the professional vocalist. She has a high degree of expertise in treating laryngitis, polyps and other medical voice problems. But she can also provide guidance on ways to deal with the more subtle problems that vocal professionals face. That may include recommending a psychotherapist or vocal coach or the right alternative relaxation approach that fits the particular patient. Dr. Korovin knows from years of experience that providing basic understanding and support to a singer who is being pushed too hard by managers or who may be upset by a bad review can make a big difference in solving a voice problem.