Sunday, October 23, 2011

Adele cancels US Tour for good reason! What can we learn? Take care of your voice and take care of you!

Recent cancellation of the rescheduled US Concert Tour for Adele is cause to really think about how we are treating our own singing voices.  She is doing the wisest thing she can by listening to her doctors and taking a break from singing to get vocal rehabilitation.  Singing is a joy and a means of sharing our souls.  We must pay attention to our bodies and respond to what they are telling us.  If it doesn’t feel good or you are seriously sick, don’t sing or you could face some troubled roads ahead.

"I have a hemorrhage again and it is paramount that I rest and therefore wont be able to come and do these already rescheduled U.S shows 23-year-old Adele wrote in a blog posted Tuesday. I apologise from the bottom of my heart, sincerely I do "singing is literally my life, its my hobbie, my love, my freedom and now my job. I have absolutely no choice but to recuperate properly and fully, or I risk damaging my voice forever…..this is the only thing I can do to make sure I can always sing and always make music for you to the best of my ability.”

When the vocal cords are damaged either from overuse or abuse, they leak and spread under the surface just like a bruise.  The blood accumulating under the surface makes it harder for the vocal cords to vibrate, causing a sudden change in the voice. Like a black eye, the bruise will heal. But recurrent damage can cause scar tissue to build up and cause a permanent change in a person's voice.  "The typical scenario is, a singer will say, 'I was doing fine and then all of a sudden, in the middle of a show or a rehearsal, I had a break in my voice and couldn't sing well anymore.’”  Dr. Gaelyn Garrett, medical director of the Vanderbilt Voice Center in Nashville.  

According to Garrett, anyone can suffer a vocal cord hemorrhage, but singers are more likely to notice minor voice changes. "It can even occur after coughing, or anything that generates a lot of pressure," she said. "There are some patients that just come in with evidence of a bleed from several days ago." Whether a person needs rest or surgery depends on whether the injury recurs and on their voice demands.   For more detailed information go to

What does this mean to you?  Listen to your body at all times.  As a singer, your body is your instrument and it should be taken care of.  Good technique, adequate sleep, plenty of water, a good diet and exercise are essential.  There are good guidelines to follow in my blog  

Also, warm up when you are under the weather and ask yourself if it feels okay to sing and do you really need to do that performance or can it be rescheduled?  If it does not feel good, seek the advice of a voice professional and/or otolaryngologist (ENT).

Best wished to Adele in her recovery and we all look forward to hearing her sing again!  Take care of yourself and your voice.  Watch your technique and always check in with your voice teacher.  Most professional singers check in with a vocal coach periodically to check their technique and sound quality.  They also check in with an ENT if anything feels different.  Please contact me with any questions, visit your ENT or the Voice Foundation at

Most of all, keep singing and sharing your music with the world!

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