Cheering 'Go Jets go' killing your voice? Here's how to keep it in tip-top shape

Cheering 'Go Jets go' killing your voice? Here's how to keep it in tip-top shape

If spending a night screaming ‘Go Jets go!’ at the top of your lungs for a few hours leaves you speechless for days, it’s time for some professional vocal help.

Mel Braun, a music professor at the University of Manitoba who teaches opera singers, counsels Jets fans to take a deep breath. 

“You have to channel your inner vocal athlete,” Braun said. “You think about Patrick Laine and that wrist shot, which is so dangerous in the slot, and it doesn’t just come from his wrists. It comes from his lower body.”

What to do to keep your voice

When you take a deep breath, your ribcage expands gently and your pelvic floor drops, said Braun. (To feel where this is in your body, push your stomach out below your belly button.) 

“And then you’re going to feel, when you shout, there’s a little bit of energy coming from down there,” he said. 

Using those muscles to help you shout means less strain on your vocal cords, Braun said. 

After your deep breath, make sure you shout with an open throat. (To feel this, drink some water – when you drink, you open your throat.)

University of Manitoba prof Mel Braun lets out a ‘Go Jets Go!’ in the CBC Information Radio studio. (CBC)

Once you’ve taken a deep breath down to the bottom of your belly and relaxed your throat area, find a pitch that is a little higher than your normal voice, but not too high, Braun said.

From there, let your ‘Go Jets go!’ escape.

And don’t forget to keep your throat hydrated.

While these steps will take a little practice, following them won’t leave you speechless, said Braun.

“One of my colleagues said she went [to a game] with her brother, and she came home with a fine voice, she has to sing. He came home with no voice,” he said.

Not following these steps may put a lot of pressure on your vocal cords and possibly cause damage, said Braun.

What to do when you’ve hurt your voice

If you didn’t follow these steps during the first two home games and you’re still recovering, there’s hope, he said.

“You limit the amount of talking you do for a bit, and you do humming.”

Humming?

“You do an ‘ng’ hum like this,” said Braun, humming a few notes a bit higher than his normal voice. 

A salt water gargle will help as well, he said, but his favourite “wicked cure” is ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a little honey or maple syrup and a little water, all combined.

“Shoot it back like tequila. That’ll fix ya.”

Published at Tue, 17 Apr 2018 10:57:42 -0400