How Much Vocal Rest Can Your Voice Take?
Let’s talk about vocal rest today! Vocal rest happens when you need to stop singing or take a break from using your voice as a performer. A question I’m asked a lot is HOW long can someone take off before they begin to lose the strength they’ve worked so hard to gain? Today, that’s what we’re talking about: how much vocal rest can your voice take before weakening? No matter the reason, I want you to know that it’s totally fine to take the break you need. Go away and come back to singing when you’re ready or able to do so again. Our voice is a muscle – it needs to rest. We also need to give ourselves time to become inspired again as artists.
Why Would You Need Vocal Rest?
Before we jump in, I want to clarify what I mean by vocal rest. There’s a few reasons that you might be on vocal rest. Some of it may be intentional – and others may not. Maybe you’re just taking a break because of the holidays and your schedule. Or maybe your availability and ability to perform have changed. Of course, there’s also vocal rest if you’ve damaged or hurt your vocal cords and if you’re sick. And don’t forget just taking a break because that’s what your brain, body, and mental health needs. Whatever the reason, we’re going to call that break from singing “vocal rest” for the sake of this post today!
How You Left Singing
One of the important things to keep in mind when trying not to lose any of your strength when you’re on vocal rest is how you LEFT singing when you needed that break. How were you feeling right before your break? Think about how you were doing and if things felt okay. Were you feeling great and able to do your performances and work beforehand? If so, it’s more likely that taking time off will be less detrimental to your strength. Instead, it’s likely you’ll come back and be pretty close to where you were and only need to do a little work to recover any strength you may have lost. If you’re somebody who hadn’t been feeling as “perfect” before you went on your break (if you were sick perhaps), you’ll probably have to do a little more work to get back to where you were.
Some of the other things you need to think about when taking time off from singing include how taxing that break is on your voice. If you’re finding yourself losing your voice or hearing major changes, then your break is not as restful. Again, that may take more recovery time when you come back. I will say this though: if you’re taking time off and enjoying yourself, it’s worth continuing to do so. We need to have breaks and chances to refill our cups for mental health. So if your time off is doing that but taxing your voice a little bit, it will still be okay. It’s not worth never having fun just to “keep” your voice. Just know you’ll have to do a bit more work when you’re ready to go again!
What to Do to Regain Your Strength
There’s a few things you can do as soon as you’re ready to start singing again! The first one is my Stability workout (Female Identifying) or Stability Workout (Male Identifying). This workout is designed to help you create a more stable and strong voice – without taxing it. It’s a great way to start strengthening your voice again without having to push yourself way too hard! Whether you’re coming off vocal rest or just want to improve your stability, it’s an easy workout that will help you! Another exercise to work on are your Lip Trills! Make sure you’re doing them properly and really gaining skills from your work! It’s great if your voice was taxed on your time off. The third and final thing you can do is to revisit your breathing. Ensure that you have a nice and easy low breath. If we’ve been away and using our speaking voices, we can start to lose our good breath feelings.
All of those exercises will help you begin to strengthen your voice and ease back into singing after time off. To answer my original question, the amount of time you can take off really depends on how you left and how your voice was feeling then. With a few easy exercises, you’ll be able to quickly regain any skills that might have dampened during your vocal rest.