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That Morning Voice

by Anthony Jahn, M.D.


You’ve had a big night out, either singing or just socializing, and you wake up the next morning with “no voice.” While most singers need to warm up the voice in the morning, on occasion the huskiness is dramatic—and more than usual. This is not just a bit of phlegm: you went to bed as Pamina and wake up as Sarastro. You have an 11 a.m. audition. What happened? And what to do?

There are many factors that can impact the voice you wake up with. Let’s look at a few of the ways you can minimize the effects of the night before on the morning after.

First, let’s agree that singers are generally not morning people. While rehearsals are beyond your control and are often scheduled for the morning, it is better, if possible, to postpone any major auditions to the afternoon, or a time of day when you know your voice is at its best. Morning definitely does not become Elektra—or Brünnhilde, for that matter. (And I apologize both to you and to Eugene O’Neill for that execrable pun.)

While ...

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