30 DAY SINGING CHALLENGE WITH LAURA ETEMAH – DAY 4: HYDRATION: THE IMPORTANCE

Water is essential to life and each person’s requirement of water differs from another because everyone has a unique body makeup.
By hydration, I mean water intake. Hydration helps your vocal cords to remain flexible.

Well hydrated vocal cords are protected from the friction that occurs when singing or speaking takes place. Lack of moisture can cause swelling in the vocal cords, there by leading to stiffness in the throat which in turn hinders the voice’s potential.

If vocal cords get swollen, this could lead to further injury or permanent vocal damage. Hence, it is very important for a singer to be hydrated. But take note of this, when you drink, the fluid does not go directly to hydrate your cords. They first go through your system and it takes about 20 minutes more or less before the vocal cords get hydrated.

So if you are going to be on stage for a show or something, don’t take a gulp of water and jump on stage! Make sure you have a drink of water at least 20 minutes before you go for the microphone.
Another important point to note is that you will have a clear pee when you are fully hydrated. If your wee looks yellowish, chances are that you are dehydrated and need to take some water.
Too much of any good thing usually has a negative effect. So it is with water. Drinking a gallon of water will rather cause discomfort while you are on stage and will not guarantee a good performance because at some point, you will have a full bladder. Not a good situation to find yourself in right? You don’t want to go overboard with water. Seize the opportunity to go for a wee before going on stage.

Do you experience dry mouth after drinking water? Note that water does not stimulate the salivary glands not immediately hydrate the vocal cords, hence, you want to add some fruit juice. Fruit juice will counter dry mouth and lubricate the vocal cords.

Some singers have contacted me about pain and swelling in the throat. If you overuse your voice, this is inevitable. Shouting, speaking loudly, singing outside of your range for long periods and all that can result to swelling and a buildup of lactic acid in the vocal folds. Drinking a generous amount of water can flush out the lactic acid and help to restore your voice back to normal.

In conclusion, remember that fluid intake is a handy vocal remedy. Do not hesitate to get a bottle of water when you feel vocally stressed.

Author: Laura Etemah

Laura Etemah is a Nigeria/ UK trained an award-winning and full-time Musician, Music Teacher, Author, Vocal Coach and the Director of Lee Vocal Studios and Lee Ellie Music School. As the music woman who loves children and a highly sought-after Music Teacher for children, Laura is also a strong advocate for the music education of the Nigerian child. More so, she has a passion for helping speakers, singers, musical artistes and aspiring vocalists of all styles and abilities, develop the full potential of their voices. The birth of Lee Vocal Studios came through as a result of this. Laura is also an expert in organizing fun and engaging music workshops for children in singing, piano, guitar, violin and recorder. Her multi-instrument playing skills has paved way for her in the music teaching business, making her a force to reckon with in the industry. Laura uses the Nigerian, British and American curriculum in disseminating her music lectures and this is the reason why she is the most patronized music teacher in Nigeria and across West Africa. Laura also teaches music to adults up to the age of 70! Proving to all that anyone can learn music so long as the interest, time and energy are there. The benefits of music are awesome and adults can rewire their brains for higher achievements and rejuvenate the abilities of the brain by taking music lessons. In 2006, Laura won the the Star Quest Music Reality TV Show, with her band – Daccord; and went on a tour with Tu Baba, Tony Tetuilla, P-Square, The Natives and a host of other Nigerian music stars to the UK to perform at the MOBO awards. Her band, Daccord also went for a 10-city tour with a host of Nigerian music stars (Star Trek, 2006) and performed alongside Akon and LL Cool J at the Star Mega Jam, 2006. In 2011, Laura was awarded by the ex-Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for her successful NYSC music community projects carried out to benefit the secondary school students of the Surulere Community, in Lagos State, Nigeria. One of the projects included the audio and video recording of the popular song – Good People of Nigeria, which is mostly played on the 1st of October to commemorate the independence of Nigeria. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EOIdwOVtrc Watch the video documentary of my NYSC projects here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SncYCkyAOqg Laura is also well known for her bestselling book, Sing Like a Superstar, which has helped many singers, artistes, choristers, musicians, producers and choir directors to discover the true potential of their voices. The book is also accompanied by a downloadable voice training CD that has proved to build the voices of thousands of singers. In 2011, Laura became the first African woman to obtain a Master of Arts in Music Production from Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom. She also holds a first degree in Geology from Delta State University, Abraka –Nigeria; and a number of diplomas in music. Laura has worked in several recording studios, taught and is still teaching music privately and in many nursery, primary and secondary schools. Laura is also very much in the business of training groups of singers and choristers. Laura is currently based in Lagos-Nigeria, teaching music production, instrument and singing classes.

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