Hey There,

Welcome back to my blog and Happy New Year 2020.

I am sure that most of you are planning upcoming concerts, guest appearances and maybe an international festival opportunity. These are the perfect opportunities to hone our talent and accumulate more experiences. The time leading up to such events may create anxiety and nervousness and we might forget the essentials that support us before stepping on stage.

So, I decided to share my own checklist with you. It helps me tick the boxes and to feel secure that I have what I need with me.

1. Water – lukewarm

The most essential item for a singer; WATER.  You can never leave home for an event and not have water with you. This will help you keep your vocal cords hydrated. Keep in mind that very cold or hot water is not good for your voice before you are set to sing. Always keep water at room temperature or lukewarm so that it is soothing for your voice and also helps to keep your voice warmed up.

2. Thermos with Ginger, Honey, Lemon and Water Concoction.

This mixture is a must-have in every singers’ thermos. Also, it is a natural remedy to prevent and heal the voice after the flu. (I explain in better detail all the benefits of this remedy in my ‘Natural Remedies’ Blog post https://jessicamagro.com/2019/11/09/by-singers-to-singersnatural-remedies/).

3. Izlamus

Every singer and daily voice users have been using this as long as I can remember! These are natural sweets to soothe the vocal cords and can be easily found over the counter in all pharmacies. These are perfect to rest the voice and to prepare the vocal cords for singing.

4. Lyrics

One of my phobias is forgetting the lyrics whilst singing. I have learned to overcome this fear through time. (I explain in detail how I battled this fear in this blog post https://jessicamagro.com/2019/11/09/by-singers-to-singers-overcoming-fears/). However, I still feel the need to have the song’s lyrics with me at the event’s venue. I refer to them if I think I forgot something and I put my mind at rest.

5. Warming up exercises

As soon as you enter backstage (or green room), you hear a lot of scales, exercises, lip trills and all kinds of sounds. The most important step before singing that first note is warming up the vocal cords. This helps to keep your voice healthy and have that flexibility needed to sing. I keep such exercises saved on my phone so that they are handy for every event.

I really hope this checklist helps. Do you have any other essentials that you use? Let us know in the comments.

Until next time,

Yours Truly,

Jessica

Hey there,

Welcome back to my Blog! Hope you are enjoying summer!

When I was younger, I used to love summer. For me it meant the end of another scholastic year and end of exams. When I started working full time in an office environment, the a/c is set to ‘freeze’ all day, every day. This is when summer love faded away to summer hate! I started realizing that I fall sick more frequently in summer compared to winter. At first I couldn’t understand why, but then the reason dawned on me; because of the excessive use of air-conditioning.

As a singer I had to learn to adapt to such an environment and to try to prevent sickness as much as possible. To this end, I am going to share with you what I do to take care of myself and my voice during the ‘Air-conditioning Season’.

1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Air-conditioning cools the air by drawing moisture from it. So, breathing air-conditioned air results in drying out the vocal chords. I am not a fan of water, however it is the main element to keep air-conditioning from effecting your vocal chords negatively. I keep a bottle of water on my desk at all times so that I remember to drink water during the day. When I am not at work, I schedule a reminder on my phone to remember to drink water. It is also healthy for you!

2) Switch off the air-conditioning during the day

I was that annoying person that used to switch off the air-conditioning in the office I used to work in. Some applauded me and others cursed me. For me, it was a relief to breath in ‘normal air’ for some minutes. There is nothing wrong in regulating the room temperature in small intervals during the day, and also it is a relief to your vocal chords.

3) Wear a light scarf

This method may seem too extreme especially in Malta’s summers. However, in a freezing office, a light scarf is actually a welcome piece of clothing. Also, a cotton or silk scarf is very thin and still acts as a protection for your throat.

4) Air-condition during the night

This is actually harmful not only to your voice but to your health in general. If you must sleep with the air-conditioning blasting during the night, at least keep a humidifier on in the room to put some moisture back in the air.

Do you have any other methods to help against the ‘air-conditioning season’? Feel free to leave them down in the comments below.

Until next time,

Yours Truly,

Jessica