The human larynx is located between the trachea and throat. It is made up of intricately connected cartilages, muscles, and ligaments, and houses the vocal folds. While it is approximately the size of a walnut, it is capable of amazing feats and is our primary tool for communication as singers. In order for us to communicate through speech and song, we must keep this amazing mechanism in top working condition.
Practicing good vocal hygiene is more than just drinking adequate amounts of water and hot tea each day. Collegiate singers are often required to sing many hours each day, so a regimen that promotes healthy vocal technique combined with adequate rest is imperative. Because our instrument is housed inside our bodies, singers must approach vocal health in a holistic manner taking into account all aspects of personal wellness (sleep, diet, exercise, emotional/mental well-being). The following wellness resource will offer practical recommendations to help keep singers healthy, as well as provide resources for those experiencing vocal overuse injuries. Because “prevention is the best medicine,” we hope the research and best practices presented in this guide will help keep St. Olaf singers in top vocal condition.
The St. Olaf College Music Department supports the quality of this resource as a guide for concepts relating to musician health. However, none of the material presented in this resource should be construed as endorsed or recommended by St. Olaf College. If you suspect you have sustained an injury, please seek medical attention with a certified physician.