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Losing my voice!

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GUEST,Joakim 05 Aug 06 - 03:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Aug 06 - 03:12 PM
Dave Swan 05 Aug 06 - 03:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Aug 06 - 04:05 PM
katlaughing 05 Aug 06 - 04:13 PM
GUEST 05 Aug 06 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Joakim 06 Aug 06 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 06 Aug 06 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Joakim 06 Aug 06 - 10:55 AM
Clinton Hammond 06 Aug 06 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,ennx 14 Aug 06 - 10:59 PM
pattyClink 14 Aug 06 - 11:18 PM
Artful Codger 15 Aug 06 - 12:02 AM
Little Hawk 15 Aug 06 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,How do I avoid losing my voice for a year ? 12 Oct 08 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Michael 17 Jan 12 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Vicki Kelsey 17 Jan 12 - 08:01 PM
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Subject: Origins: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,Joakim
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 03:08 PM


I'm from Sweden, so please be patient with my English. I was wondering if anyone could help me solve this life shattering mystery of mine. About 4 months ago I was working a lot on making my both registers (light baritone and sopranista) blend (now that's a lot of work!). It was done for the musical production RENT in the rôle of Angel, a transsexual. A lot of rehearsals eventually got me tired and I experienced pain for the first time in my life, specifically located to my vocal folds. I tried singing with less pressure but my condition worsened. I tried singing only in my falsetto register, since that has always been healthy to me, but that only made it worse since I'm not too comfortable in the lower (alto) parts of my falsetto voice. I quit the production, thinking "nothing is more important than my voice". I gave up singing and speaking for a week and a half from a doctor's advice (big mistake, huh?). I communicated through notes. When I started speaking again it was still there. I tried using my vocal knowledge (doing light excercises such as m, "vui", "hui" and others). And only that. I also did some light work in my baritone register, but I felt that was what had caused the problem in the first place - so I didn't do that a lot. Now I've had my folds checked (everything ok!!). I'm currently doing some speech therapy to regain my "big voice", but I don't feel my singing voice has recovered and that bothers me enormously. I try to take care of myself with remedies but I'm getting really tired when nothing happens. I have lost a huge part of my upper (flute) register and I now sound more like a mezzo ( which is not bad in itself ;-) ). Is my voice doomed to deteriorate? Any advice will be taken with great thankfulness.

This is really bad ( and I'm an optimist :-) ).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Losing my voice!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 03:12 PM

See a REAL throat Doctor....

The internet is going to be full of half-baked advice to do everything and nothing... a REAL doctor will give you th ebest advice you can get

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: Dave Swan
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 03:57 PM

Seek a second opinion from a physician who specializes in vocal injuries. Be sure that physician gets a good look at your vocal folds and takes a complete history.

Following that, find a voice teacher who is thoroughly familiar with vocal anatomy and physiology. Many teachers are good coaches for tone and volume, but have a fuzzy idea of how the anatomy really operates.

Remaining silent for a week and a half might have been a good idea, but it could be that you weren't silent for long enough. Voice rest can be an effective therapy, but often it is prescribed for a longer period than ten days.

You're right to be concerned about this.

There's a lot of good information in old threads on this site. Use the search feature for useful tips.

Again, if things are at this stage, get the best professional help you can find.

Good luck.

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 04:05 PM

And while you're waiting for that appointment to come around, do a search here at Mudcat because there have been several discussions of throat issues for singers, including cancer and cancer scares.

On older threads the posts are out of order, but once you find one you want to read, click on the "Printer Friendly" view and it will appear in order and you can read it there.

Like this one: "Help! My singing voice is dying!" here and "Threads on the Singing Voice" here. Also, "Singer's Vocal health- throat spray" here and "Avoiding a sore throat" here.

This one is a Help thread called "Singers and laryngitis" and here is one called "Parotidectomy - expectations?" (Ignore the "BS" prefix, it actually wasn't a non-music thread). Here is one from the period when Kendall was diagnosed and treated (successfully!) for throat cancer.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 04:13 PM

Welcome to the Mudcat, Joakim. An easy way to find more discussions on this, besides the links which SRS kindly provided, is to look up at the top of your thread. There you will see links to several threads which are about similar situations.

Good luck and I agree with the out a second opinion and please keep in touch with us. There are several Mudcatters who have gone through all kinds of things with their throats and voices and they are usually quite supportive and helpful.

Keep that positive outlook, too!

All the best,


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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 04:30 PM

So who's production of Rent are you in, Joakim??????

Current Broadway cast
As of July 14, 2006, the current Broadway company of Rent is as follows:

Mayumi Ando - Alexi Darling, Roger's Mom, and others
Haven Burton - Mark's Mom, Alison, and others
Luther Creek - Gordon, the man, Mr. Grey, and others
Matt Caplan - Mark Cohen
Frenchie Davis - Mrs. Jefferson, woman with bags, and others
Robin de Jesus - Steve, man with squeegee, a waiter, and others
D'Monroe - Benjamin Coffin III
Shaun Earl - Paul, a cop, and other
Tim Howar - Roger Davis
Marcus Paul James - Christmas caroler, Mr. Jefferson, a pastor, and others
Ava Gaudet - Maureen Johnson
Justin Johnston - Angel Dumott Schunard
Destan Owens - Tom Collins
Nicole Lewis - Joanne Jefferson
Antonique Smith - Mimi Marquez

Karmine Alers - Swing/Understudy
Crystal Monée Hall - Swing/Understudy
Owen Johnston II - Swing/Understudy
Philip Dorian McAdoo - Swing/Understudy
Moeisha McGill - Swing/Understudy
Kyle Post - Swing/Understudy

Conductor, Keyboards: Boko Suzuki
Bass: Steve Mack
Guitar: Bobby Baxmeyer
Drums: Jeff Potter
Keyboards, Guitar: John Korba[13]

Note: Christopher J. Hanke will replace Matt Caplan as Mark Cohen on August 7, 2006.
Current tour cast
Jahmal Adderley (swing, understudy Angel)

Aswad (Mr. Jefferson, understudy Benny, and Collins)

Altamiece Carolyn Ballard (Mrs. Jefferson, understudy Joanne)

Sheila Coyle (Alexi Darling, understudy Maureen)

Mike Evariste (Paul, understudy Benny, and Collins)

Arianda Fernandez (Mimi)

Chante Carmel Frierson (Joanne)

Matthew Hyzdik (swing, understudy Mark, and Roger)

Michael Ifill (Benny)

Cedric Leiba, Jr. (swing, understudy Angel)

Tracy McDowell (Maureen)

Nina Metrick (Mrs. Cohen, understudy Maureen, Alexi, and Mimi)

Jenna Noel (swing, understudy Maureen, and Alexi)

Warren G. Nolen, Jr. (Collins)

Ano Okero (Angel)

Gavin Reign (Gordon, understudy Roger)

Jed Resnick (Mark)

Ben Rosenberry (Steve, understudy Mark)

Bryce Ryness (Roger)

Jennifer Colby Talton (Swing, understudy Mimi, Joanne, Alexi, and Mrs. Jefferson)


Mimi- Jennifer Colby Talton, and Nina Metrick

Joanne- Jennifer Colby Talton, and Altamiece Carolyn Ballard

Maureen- Nina Metrick, Jenna Noel, and Sheila Coyle

Roger- Matthew Hydik, and Gavin Reign

Mark- Matthew Hydik, and Ben Rosenburry

Angel- Ceidric Leiba, Jr., and Jahmal Adderley

Collins- Mike Evariste, and Aswad

Benny- Mike Evariste, and Aswad

Alexi- Jennifer Colby Talton, Nina Metrick, and Jenna Noel

Celebrity casting
Over the years, big names and pop stars have played characters in Rent. Some of these include:

Jesse L. Martin - Tom Collins (Original)
Joey Fatone - Mark
Melanie Brown (a.k.a. Scary Spice) - Mimi
Drew Lachey - Mark
Frenchie Davis - Mrs. Jefferson, woman with bags, and others
Jai Rodriguez - Angel
Neil Patrick Harris - Mark
Wilson Cruz - Angel
Constantine Maroulis - Roger (Collins Tour)

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,Joakim
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 08:23 AM

I suspect you are a fan of RENT. ;-)

It was the final project of my education (Umeå Musical Theatre Academy -, i.e. in Sweden so you wouldn't know of it (or would you!?)

Thank you guys for all the advice. I will seek a second opinion.

You know... the hardest part is hoping you are doing the right thing and not really knowing. Vocal coach tells one thing, I feel one thing, the theory says this, the doctor says that and so on.

Take care everyone and rest assured, i will keep up my positivity!!


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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 10:11 AM


I believe that a lot of what has to do with singing is dependent on overall physical health and relaxation. The Alexander Technique would be helpful to you i think, because it emphasizes coaxing not forcing your voice to return.

The main thing is to keep from abusing your voice through strain. Finding the proper balance for your voice and not pushing it beyond those parameters is important.

A throat specialist can tell you what is wrong but not how to correct it. For this you need a special kind of voice teacher. Someone who can help you relax and find the right balance.

Diet and proper excercise is essential also. Avoid excercise that produces any kind of strain. Aerobic excercise and deep breathing (perhaps some Yoga) would be helpful as long as there is no force.

It's not so much a matter of losing your voice but uninhibiting it so that it is again free to work for you.

Unfortunately, the demands of a rigorous role in some of the modern type rock operas can stand in the way of uninhibited vocal production. A search for that special type of voice instructor is essential to guide you through the rough waters.

Avoid dairy products, anything such as lozenges that dry up the vocal folds, and get a lot of quality sleep, moderate excercise and relaxation techniques should help a lot. Drinking enough water is helpful. Pee clear. But most of all, take away the strain and abuse.

Frank Hamilton

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,Joakim
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 10:55 AM


Thank you for all the helpful advice. I've given up on rock operas now. Up until that specific musical I had only been singing ballads from the "old school", i.e. Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart etc. So in the end I guess RENT wasn't my type of musical as far as a healthy voice goes (even though it is a great musical).

The sleeping advice is really true. After a good night's sleep your voice is much better prepared for the work you're trying to impose on it. I've also noticed how a very basic warm-up in the morning, using only your middle register in small scales, can make your woice "activated" later during the day.

The problem is I had a "very good" vocal coach during the production but she thought it was something I imagined as there was no audible change (no hoarseness, cracking on notes, etc.), only my experience of lessening of resonance, as though I was singing only to myself.

I know I've got some papers on the Alexander technique, I'll check them out! Also, I'm going back to my "classical roots", so there won't be any belting excercises for me from now on. :-)

The big question for me is: Should I stop singing in my baritone voice. Before these two years of study I had never sung baritone (I'm 22). It's a big question for me since I like singing in that voice, but I don't like it if it's a risc to my falsetto voice. Anyone who has experienced something similar with singing in different registers and how use of one weakens the other?


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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 11:37 AM

"I suspect you are a fan of RENT."

Who, possessed of good taste, is?

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Subject: lost my soprano voice- and a few questions
From: GUEST,ennx
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 10:59 PM

its been practically 3 weeks since my cold after a visit to italy, but even now i can't seem to regain my high notes (the C thats 2 octaves higher than middle C) my highest comfortable note is now crrently the C thats one octave higher than middle C...

i can't hit the high notes i used to be able to hit.. does anyone suggest any way i can help?
and i also to ask to make sure- do lemons actually make your voice go higher? or does it just help recovers your voice, coz im a soprano 2, and sometimes i cant hit those higer notes..

I`d really appreciated any advice. thanks

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: pattyClink
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 11:18 PM

It sounds like your life revolves around performing and you don't want to be silent for very long, but, the healing may just take a lot more time than you would like, voices can take a long time to recuperate. Try to be patient. In addition to seeing your doctors and doing what they say, work hard on relaxation: relaxation of the throat, the mind, the body. Give the poor throat a really good season of rest and recuperation.   Get all the strain out of your methods, be sure to get coaching on vocal use that minimizes stress on your parts (not the coach who was there 'not hearing' problems while you were getting damaged). Hopefully when the lungs and mouth and body and mind are doing more of the work, the vocal cords can do their magic better.

ennx, same deal, 3 weeks is a blink in time, be patient. However, voices do lower with age, so it's possible you will lose notes over the years. Be patient and let your body heal, getting anxious about it will only make it worse.
No, lemons do not raise your voice, they are supposed to clean the mucusy crud out of your vocal apparatus, and if you feel a constant need to clear your throat, this will be helpful and you may sound better,and you may feel so confident you sail up a note or two. You could probably do as well with water, apples, or not eating cheese.

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: Artful Codger
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:02 AM

It is also possible there are causal or contributing psychological factors. This does not imply there is psychological illness or that the physical condition is illusory. But your subconscious may be trying to protect you in an inappropriate (if effective) way.

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:29 AM

The first thing to do, obviously, is find out if there's a physical problem, and for that you need qualified medical throat specialists. I gather you've done some checking on that already. Getting a second and third opinion is a good idea.

If the medical professionals can find no physical problem...then you may have a nervous or psychosomatic emotional issue of some kind. This can sometimes affect a person's voice adversely. That would be the next thing to investigate. Are you aware of anything that could have caused emotional problems around the time when you first began having problems with the voice or shortly before that?

Other than that...avoid smoking, avoid alcohol, get plenty of rest, and exercise the voice moderately, I would think, working from the middle range outward and going by how it feels. If it doesn't feel good, then don't force it.

I personally know of people who temporarily lost their singing voice due entirely to emotional it is a possibility.

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,How do I avoid losing my voice for a year ?
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 06:19 AM

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,Michael
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 05:35 PM

Go to, (not com, but org) site.They investigate similar problems.

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Subject: RE: Losing my voice!
From: GUEST,Vicki Kelsey
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 08:01 PM

Joakim, you have no need to apologize for your command of English. It's excellent. I hope you can recover your singing voice, since it obviously means a lot to you.

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