I had a very good week up until Wednesday evening and suddenly developed a raging sore throat ! By Thursday is was a bit worse, but then seemd to settle down a little.
Sore throats are a singers nightmare, and indeed a singing teachers nightmare ! When I was a professional singer and woke up with a bad throat I was almost certain it must be an infection of some sort and could take appropriate medication to take down inflammation and suck antiseptic throat sweets etc. One felt in control of the situation, and could genuinely rest and not sing until the next rehearsal or paid gig.
As a singing teacher I am never quite sure whether it is an infection passed on to me by my young, and older pupils who breathe their unknown germs around my music room, or germ hatching laboratory as I feel privileged to call it ! Most often I think that it is simple overuse. I have for the last 25 years demonstrated what I want, and tried always to sing everything in the correct way so a pupil can copy. For the student of course it is one 30 or 60 minute slice of their day, but for me it might be repeated 8 or 10 times in a day ! Now given that Equity rules that we are only supposed to sing for two rehearsal periods of 3 hours in any one day, I reckon I have done about six years of overtime in my teaching life !
There is no way round this that I can think of, except giving myself enough recovery time between each working week, because even though my voice is in relatively good nick for a woman over 60, it is still a muscle which objects more and more to being overused as time creeps on !
So what do I do !? I try not to talk much on my free days, hence long car trips are very therapeutic, and I try to drink lots of water, and I try to keep my back and neck muscles as relaxed as possible. Generally speaking I can refind my voice by Sunday evening ready for a new week. As with this week though, sometimes nature takes over and tells me very roundly and bluntly to 'shut up'.
This means of course that pupils miss out, my bank account misses out, I get a little frustrated so all is not 100% well with the Paradise world. Still a few days rest is a small price to pay I suppose. Where is this taking me ? I read back over what I have written, and realise that much of what I have said is what a say to my pupils when they are unwell, tired or a little off colour ! This is beginning to read like a ' do as I say and not as I do' moment !
It's a pertinent reminder that I am not vocal Wonder Woman and every so often need to give my poor old vocal cords a well deserved rest !
I will, I will, I will...............