Well, the Olympics is finished, the Paralympics is about to begin and I am only two weeks of singing lessons away from singing at a wedding. Since you’re probably asking what an international amateur sport competition has to do with singing lessons, I’ll get into it quickly.
Briefly, in my early 20s, I was a fairly decent singer. I got my Grade 8 from the Royal Conservatory of Music, was accepted into a semi-pro choir (though couldn’t join), asked and hired to sing at weddings and if there was one thing I was confident about, it was that I could sing well. Over a decade later, my voice hasn’t gotten much exercise and singing is something I’m no longer confident about. So, when I was asked to sing at wedding recently, I knew I had to take lessons again. Unfortunately, my asthma is now an issue. I simply don’t have the lung capacity I did when I was younger. I’m also suffering from intermittent hoarseness which I will bring up with my immunologist shortly.
What got me thinking about the connection between singing and sports was this article from the Globe and Mail – Why Asthma Doesn’t Stop Elite Athletes. While the increased prevalence of asthma amongst athletes may be caused by the fact that they often train in very polluted environments, asthma seems to have no impact on their results. In fact, athletes with asthma are well-represented in medal counts. Why doesn’t asthma stop these athletes? Researchers pinpointed that the extensive warm-ups performed actually gave a protective effect against broncho-constriction. In other words, proper warm-ups and exercising are good for asthma. It’s something doctors have been increasingly telling their asthma patients after decades of saying the opposite, but it’s something else to remember.
Regarding singing, I’ve started to increase my physical workout hoping to increase my lung capacity. I won’t warm-up with an exercise routine directly before vocal practice for various reasons, but I hope by practicing daily (when I’m not suffering from hoarseness) and exercising, I can restore my voice and help my lungs and asthma out in the process. The lesson here is an old one – use it or lose it.
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