How fit is your… Voice?
Posted January 24, 2012on:
I almost always avoid “plugs” for other sites simply because I get several requests a week to promote various links and if I honoured all of them then this blog would look like an infomercial; however one popped into my inbox this week that made me look twice.
It is a link to a survey for group fitness instructors regarding care for their voice being conducted by Dr. Anna Rumbach, Division of Speech Pathology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. Now not too long ago I would’ve shrugged this off with the response “huh?” but something happened to me a few months ago that made me sit up and take notice. Late last year I got a pretty nasty chest infection, mucus, phlegm, all that nasty stuff that I really don’t want to go into. As a result I took a few days off teaching, then when it “cleared” I jumped back into my usual routine full force. But for one significant difference; my voice had noticeably changed. It is now raspier, deeper and permanently ‘hoarse’. I figured it was a side-effect of the illness and it would clear. However here I am, probably six months later and it’s still the same. It’s almost as if at the age of 36 my voice “broke” again.
It’s not that big of a deal except I used to be able to sing… now I can’t hold a note to save myself (some would say I probably never could to be fair!) – my vocal range is significantly decreased and whenever I run into someone I haven’t seen for awhile their first reaction upon hearing me is “Oh no are you sick?” – well no. In fact I’m the fittest, fastest and strongest I’ve ever been in my life thanks to group fitness – just my voice sounds like I swallowed an entire box of sandpaper!
I know we use mics but it’s inherently part of the job to raise your voice. Let’s face it, at the peak of a muay thai track or peak of track 8 in BODYCOMBAT, the music is pounding and everyone is fatiguing, you can’t just suggest to a packed class of 60 people they delicately “unleash” – you really have to sell it: “UNLEASH!!!” – now I’ve been doing this for four years I guess my voice is doing the same.
Anyway – although this survey is for Australian GFIs only, it really is food for thought. Does LMI need to start incorporating vocal training into our education sessions? My hoarsey semi-baritone new sound probably votes yes. Check it out: How fit is your Voice.