Singing With A Common Cold

Should we sing even with a Cold?

When someone has a common cold, the symptoms can appear in a variety of ways. A few main cold symptoms that can get in the way of singing are muscular pain, throat irritation, congestion and sinus pressure. These symptoms can be dreadful for a vocalist for obvious reasons, and when present, it is hard to mistake them for anything other than the threat of a common cold. Unfortunately, these very symptoms can cause great fatigue and make using the voice an all-around agonizing experience. Additionally, the voice can become hoarse, making speaking softly even feel painful. Nonetheless, a singer will often be compelled to sing while enduring the discomfort, so it’s critical to use good judgement and precisely follow doctor’s recommendations. Here a a few tips to keep your voice healthy during the upcoming winter months. 

When the doctor says no singing…

In the event that a doctor recommends against speaking or singing, following the doctor’s advice is imperative to recovery and can make all the difference. Adversely, disregarding the doctor’s advice can make matters worse, thus prolonging the recovery process. Occasionally, if one’s cold symptoms are on the milder side, it is recommended that vocalises, or singing exercises, be done daily using caution and within the limitations of the individual’s capabilities. 

So, when asked the question,”should one continue to sing with a cold”? The answer is neither yes or no. Instead, use good judgement, ensuring that no symptoms are triggered. Moreover, pushing beyond one’s comfort zone in such a case may cause further discomfort and possibly invite more issues.

Remember these things…

It is never recommended that someone ill with a cold yell, shout, belt, or sing loudly. In any case, soft singing or light humming can keep the voice “awake” until recovery. One should always be aware of the fact that when the voice isn’t used for some time, the voice and its functions go into a “rest-mode” the same way it does when one is asleep. Keep in mind that “rest-mode” can be a great thing for a fatigued voice since rest is the only way for the body to fully heal itself. Hygiene is also an important part of recovery. Keeping the mouth clean will help expedite the healing of a throat infection and can help soothe a sore throat. With good hygiene, it is difficult for germs and bacteria to thrive. 

Take care of your voice.

As with any part of the body that has been compromised by illness, the voice needs time to recuperate from a cold and its symptoms. The best way to do this is by getting adequate sleep. A full 8 hours of sleep is recommended each night, regardless of whether a person is sick or not. Without sleep, the body can not return to its prime optimization. After all, the voice is the most utilized tool in communication, so taking care of it will assure that it will function well both on and off the stage. 

Contributing Author: Aquila Taylor