Looking After Your Voice

Your voice is created in your “voicebox” in your throat.  It happens when your vocal cords come together.

You can “feel” your voice if you put your hand on your throat and make a long sssss sound (no voice) then a long zzzz sound where you feel the vibration of your vocal cords coming together to form voice.

Think of your vocal cords like hands clapping.  Noise, or voice is produced when they come together, just like when your hands clap.  The harder you clap the more your hands hurt.  The louder you yell the more damage you can do to your vocal cords.  Other ways of damaging your vocal cords are frequent throat clearing, or making character voices or noises in your throat.

If you continue to use “bad” voice yelling and screaming you can get nodules forming on your vocal cords.  This would be like having a bump on your hands that stopped them being able to come together when you clap

You need to look after your voice; Some hints are:

Have everyone on board with trying to always use good voice and monitor each other for when bad voice occurs.

  • Identify the times you use bad voice and try to change that.
  • Have small sips of water rather than clearing your throat.
  • Avoid having too many medicated throat lozenges than can dry out your vocal cords.
  • Get your friends and family to all monitor voice use and try to eliminate or reduce the times you use bad voice.
  • Come up with a hand gesture for good voice (maybe thumbs up then V with your index and middle finger) and bad voice ((maybe thumbs down then V with your index and middle finger.
  • Have a talking stick for the times when people are trying to talk over each other. Only the person with the stick should be speaking, allowing them to use good voice.

Teachers are considered to be professional voice users and also need to make sure they look after their voices.

Teachers and parents can be good role models for how to use good voice.  Try to model good voice behaviours. Talk about what times should be quiet voice time (eg. Story time or homework time).

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