April 16th marked World Voice Day. And this year, as we encourage people to stop and access their vocal health, we want to address specific challenges in maintaining good vocal habits during a pandemic. Teachers voices are a main source of communication in their classrooms. From everything to the math lesson, to the word of encouragement before the spelling test, to the classroom celebration for a birthday, teachers use their voices all day, every day. Here are some tips as push through to the end of the school year!
Challenge: Masks interfere with our ability to read lips and facial expressions. Without these things to aid in understanding, we put more strain on our voice by speaking louder or repeating ourselves.
Solution: Try to increase the precision of your articulation and slightly exaggerate your lips when speaking. Take advantage of visual supports and using other nonverbal body language (think dramatic eyebrows and hand gestures)
Challenge: Your voice becomes fatigued or hoarse while wearing a mask.
- Adopt general vocal hygiene recommendations, like staying well-hydrated, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and managing reflux and allergies.
- Reduce upper body tension by stretching throughout the day.
- If you speak quickly, slow your rate. This allows you time for deep breathing to sustain the power your vocal cords need with minimal effort.
*If you have any questions or concerns about your vocal hygiene and health, make sure you speak to your doctor. Our voices need love too!