The Secret Health Risks Affecting Singers
Posted On Sep 02, 2021
As far as hobbies and passions go, singing is certainly considered one of the safest. It doesn’t involve direct contact, you can do it in the comfort of your home, and no strenuous activity is involved. But then why are so many iconic pop stars having to cancel tours and albums due to injury? According to Vocal Coach and Co-Founder of HVS Conservatory, Adreana Gonzalez, it’s due to unknowing stress placed on the vocal cords.
Stars like Adele, Sam Smith, Julie Andrews, and countless other non-famous singers have relied solely on their talent with little to no vocal training. While audiences can enjoy their powerful voices, Gonzalez revealed the most popular way to sing is incorrect, causing serious damage.
“Belting is all too common and leads to inflammation, nodules, and the worst of them all is hemorrhaging,” said Gonzalez, who runs the new two-year, post-secondary vocal institution. “Trained singers like Pat Benatar, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, and the most recent sensation Olivia Rodrigo are few and very far between these days. Instead, the hoarse and screaming sounds are what most producers seem to look for, not realizing the indelible damage this will have on the vocalist’s career.”
The unforeseen health risks for singers can be hemorrhaging of the vocal cords, which can cause permanent and irreversible damage. “Vocal nodes or scarring of the tissue can result in losing your ability to sing past the first bridge or not at all if left untreated,” said Gonzales. “Or, constant vocal fatigue makes it impossible to sing even as a hobby.”
The cause of these issues, even for the most prominent singers, boils down to a lack of technique and vocal education. It is common to think that singing is a natural gift and you either have it or don’t. But, unfortunately, this is only partly true.
“Yes, naturally gifted singers have an innate sense of how to use their instrument well enough to sound great, but that ability has a short time span,” said Gonzalez. “The singers’ authentic tone will quickly waste away without proper training and maintenance. In addition, the vocal cords are controlled by muscles, so like any athlete, the muscles need to be consistently exercised with a daily and precise regimen to maintain health, control, and power.”
So, if you’re one of the lucky songbirds, it’s imperative always to have a master vocal coach to guide and train your most used and valued asset. And in the meantime, make sure always to warm up and cool down, hydrate, take vocal naps, avoid harmful substances, and stop singing if it hurts. This could save your voice and potentially your career.