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  • Writer's pictureVal Bastien

How's Your Speaking Voice?

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

It was Back to School for many children around the world earlier this month. I run my vocal coaching business in the evenings, but during the day, I'm a school teacher. I teach young ones how to read, write, count and speak French. Kids also learn about kindness, creativity and how to become a valuable member of their family and community. With a 20 year career in education, I can confidently say that every first day of school is exciting and fun but also stressful. There is still a heightened sense of anxiety this year due to the return to in-person learning for all students and the looming possibility of another lockdown.

As it is custom on the first day, teachers and parents were trying to connect, each on their side of the fence, to make sure children were sent to the correct educators. There were a few tears and tantrums, and children who wanted to go back home, even after their parents were long gone!

Needless to say, many children were left feeling dazed and confused while standing in a group of perfect strangers for the very first time in their whole young life! I tried to offer a few words of comfort and to welcome my little precious ones enthusiastically to make them feel at home in their new home away from home! But deep down, I was feeling nervous too! You see, although all children are adorable, many can also have their moments. There are always huge safety concerns in the unpredictability of not knowing and getting to know each and everyone of them. The emphasis on the first day of school is always on developing routines so that everyone feels emotionally and physically safe.

Since everything was so new to my Kindies, I found myself not only talking a LOT more than I have been in the last 6 months but also louder. The end result? My throat was on fire by the time lunch came. I reminded myself to drink more water, take deeper breaths, not push my voice and relax my stomach so that I could support it more adequately. I came home exhausted. Thankfully, I had only scheduled a couple of singing lessons that evening so I made it a point to remain quiet once I was done. In addition, I also took a long hot shower, drank some tea and went to bed early. I know from experience that vocal rest is the best remedy toward a prompt recovery.

I understand that many singers are in similar situations. That the demands of their day job take a toll on their singing. Usually because they have to speak a lot or do public speaking as part of their professional responsibilities. Each time you have to raise your voice to be heard above the crowd there is a risk of tiring your voice for the rest of the day or much worse. You could end up with nodules, polyps and other kinds of trouble!

If your throat often feels dry while at work...

If reoccurring phlegm on your vocal cords causes you to clear it often during the day...

If your throat feels sore but you don't develop any other cold and flu symptoms...

Then it is most likely that your speech is problematic and it will eventually affect your singing negatively.

A simple solution is to keep your talking to a minimum. But what if it's essential to your job? Only a couple more options are available to you. For example, I see more and more teachers getting a mic and speakers to amplify their voice. Alas, it's what I like to call a “band-aid” solution because without rehabilitating the speaking voice with correct technique, most teachers end up yelling in the mic anyway and still injure their vocal cords.

A wiser alternative is to learn correct vocal technique instead. As a matter of fact, any of the techniques you learn for singing can be applied to speaking as well.

Since vocal issues are a common challenge in my profession, I published a book a few years ago on that subject to help other teachers like me entitled “Voice Yourself in the Classroom”. It's addressed to teachers but anyone who uses their voice for a living would benefit from it.

I also invite you to seek help in the form of private vocal lessons. Under my expert guidance, finding your natural dynamic speaking / singing voice is easy. You will learn breakthrough strategies that you can start applying TODAY! Not only will you speak and sing better, appear more attractive and give a better first impression but you will also feel more energized.

I am currently accepting new students so I have opened a few more spots on my calendar to speak to you and listen to your vocal concerns. Make vocal health a priority so that it becomes part of your entire day. Go to:

You can do it!



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