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Lehigh Valley | Easton, Pennsylvania

Phillipsburg, NJ, Easton, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Allentown, Emmaus, Hellertown, Quakertown, and the nearby area.
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"One needs a voice teacher to learn singing technique, to solidify his singing foundation, and to add more delicate techniques as he continues his progress. Strengthening, training, and stamina-building are taught and drilled in the voice lessons. A voice teacher suggests and assigns repertoire; first, as a learning tool, later as a showcase to be added to the student's own portfolio."

Losing my voice

The sickness that has been going around my house has finally caught up to me!

Pradichaya Poonyarit Voice Studio | Lehigh Valley, Easton, PA

Oh, no!!!

It started five weeks ago when Kaitlyn caught a nasty cold from her good friend at school. -A friend whose mother refused to keep her at home, according to my daughter, so she got to spread her germs around school.

Soon after, my husband who is a school teacher brought home something, just when Kaitlyn was about to get over her cold. This started her second bout of cold.

Alright, so we dealt with that.

By the end of the week, both my husband and Kaitlyn had recovered from their colds. Then, spring weather hit. Kaitlyn came down with severe allergy symptoms. This time it didn’t want to go away easily. She had an on-and-off low grade fever, and the coughing, oh, my. She coughed and coughed, and the next one seemed more painful than the last.

I took her to the doctor and she was given an anti-biotic. Her coughing slowly went away, and a few days later, she finally was feeling –and looking- much better.

Then Ralph came home one afternoon exhausted. He said, “I think I’ve got something again.”

Yup, this is how it’s been around here for five weeks for Ralph and Kailtyn. Luckily, Justin, Nicholas, and I managed to stay somewhat healthy. We felt a little cold here-and-there, but it didn’t last. We were rising above the cold.

Until now….

We went to the big city this past weekend while Ralph was still dealing with that “thing” he had. I didn’t feel 100% chirpy. But I didn’t feel sick, either.

The next morning I woke up and said to myself, “What is this lump I feel in the back of my throat?”

As I went about my daily routine it was obvious that I was coming down with something. This “something” could very well be the very same “thing” that my husband had.

Then I started coughing. It was light- not the kind that flipped my throat inside-out- so I just let it happen. I made tea, drank a lot of water, but then I felt an irritation at the base of my throat.

The next day was to be my teaching day; yet, I wasn’t so worried, since the schedule was light.

I coughed myself to sleep that night, and also got awakened by my own coughing. With almost no sleep, I started to think about canceling: it wasn’t so much from the coughing, but more because I didn’t want to pass the germs to anyone.

Then I got the texts: “I’ve got a bad cold and am afraid I won’t make it for the lesson today,” and “I don’t want you to catch whatever I have,” etc.

Whoa, a free day! The idea of having a day free to myself was exhilarating. I let out the coughs that I had unconsciously been holding back. Now that I didn’t have to teach, I didn’t need my voice. I didn’t need to sing, either! Wow, this felt so good!

I felt like I could cough all I wanted, and so I did. I spent the whole morning coughing away. Then it hit me.

Why was I feeling good from coughing? Obviously, I caught a cold and am going through it. I have no singing voice. Never mind that, I could barely talk. It hurt when I launched into a long sentence talking to Nicholas!

Then, I realized that losing my voice from coughing gave me the best reason in the world why I couldn’t sing. “Ha. I can’t sing now because I lost my voice!” “Yes, YES. Thank you. Thank you!”

I wasn’t even sure whom I thanked, and at the same time didn’t understand why it felt SO good to have lost my voice.

All of my adult life I’ve been using my voice in singing. I breathed in and out being aware of my voice. When I was younger and didn’t know any better, I would do certain things, avoided certain foods and even refrained from some activities so that my voice would remain in its best healthy state – or so I thought.

Now that I’ve gained a lot more experience, I laugh about those rules with which I restricted myself when I was a young singer. I lifted most of them because I now know more, and some of those restrictions were plain silly. I am now more aware of my voice’s condition than ever. I know when it’s good, bad, under the weather, and whatnot. I know how to use my voice under certain circumstances; and most often, I know how to sing when I’m sick without putting the voice in a bad place. I know how to take care and preserve my voice. –Because I know all about my voice, this makes just about every day a “good day for singing.”

Ah… but today is different. I’ve coughed so much that my throat is swollen from irritation. This makes it impossible to phonate. Nope, I can’t talk, and I can’t sing. … And just in case you didn’t know, it makes me feel very happy. I’m beyond happy! I’m feeling exhilarated! A day without singing. What a revelation!

I enjoy that I can “not sing” without any concern or even paranoia. –It is always the fear of a singer wondering if she “can’t sing” because she “isn’t good enough.” My suggestion is, stop second guessing yourself. Take a day off, and come back fresh. If your way hasn’t been working, pull back and look at the whole picture from a different angle. Struggling with communication with your teacher? It’s a two-way thing. If you are struggling to learn, he is finding it difficult to teach (you), too. Take a break, pull back, and think about it. If you end up having to find a different teacher, so be it.

I can tell you that I am enjoying myself having lost my voice, and I will take as much as I can out of the fact that I can’t sing. -No voice. Out of order. I also look forward to singing later, after I stop coughing and the swelling goes down.

For my aspiring singers out there: it is alright to have lost your voice once in a while. Take a break from the routine, and you will come back feeling refreshed. It is quite okay not to sing once in a while.

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