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The Aging Voice and Injuries

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Let's talk about the Aging Voice, in your 50's and 60's. Also, let's talk about injuries, and singing with them. I have a dramatic Soprano voice, and it has always been a bit of a wild horse that I have had to reign in. I have had 3 whiplash injuries in my life, I play the harp professionally ( Concert harp), and I have had 2 consecutive frozen shoulders, and dare I mention more than a D cup bra, which is also detrimental to neck and back problems. Let me tell you it is not easy to sing with injuries and other problems, we all have had a few. Neck strain is a major factor for most singers, from carrying heavy bags, and other causes. Ok, I will tell you first to never stop singing because you are injured, just take it easy, I stopped or slowed down and lost a lot especially in my high notes and it takes years to come back, so sing but sing less in each session, it is a muscular instrument and needs to be exercised every other day ( Let your muscles recuperate for one day between, anyone who goes to the gym daily and does not allow the body to recuperate is in for trouble in the end)  I do believe in stretching and special exercises to keep up good muscle health. When you sing it involves your entire body, mind, and soul, all are part and parcel as to the outcome, so health overall is important. I will now tell you how I have coped as an Opera singer with injuries. First, eat healthy, organic food, do not ever be too thin or too heavy, balance is important, I am a vegetarian/vegan, I exercise, I meditate and have a spiritual life, I have a vocal coach, and keep singing. I am a dramatic soprano, so it is important to sing with the voice you have, do not try to change that, and pick the right repertoire. For all the injuries I have endured, I believe in prolotherapy, it is injections of sugar water into the muscles of the neck and shoulders, this has helped a lot, I see a pain specialist weekly who does this. I do not believe in drugs or meds of any sort. I do a nasal wash every day to clear out pollens, bacteria, and any viruses, this is a special technique, if you are interested I can explain, it is done with warm water and sea salt in a cup (not neti pot). Because I am a triple D bust size, I now only wear a strapless bra of a high quality, this has helped the strain on my shoulder incredibly, straps pull on the shoulders with all that weight. Try strapping a few pounds of sugar on your neck and tell me how you feel at the end of the day, I think you will be sore, so I have dealt with that all my life. Aging muscles are different from younger muscles, there is more calcification, take magnesium this helps relax them, soak in a tub, or go to a sauna, keep the muscles warm and moving periodically throughout the day. Rest well, no tension helps a lot, weed out stress, or stressful people, have good boundaries, have a spiritual life and learn how to forgive as no one is perfect, we all make mistakes. The most important thing is to be happy, and singing makes me happy. Sing with a friend, do duets, sing with others, it is so much fun. Hope this helps all with an aging voice. PS I have heard a few 70 and 80-year-old sing, I think you know which lady I am talking about, what an inspiration, to know you can sing even as you age, and you can sing well. I would Love to know all their secrets.

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