A lot of my friends are session singers and they are raving about personal steamers and nebulizers, but they don’t seem to know the difference. Is there a difference between steam, vapour and nebulized mist? Which one is best for soothing the vocal cords?
Steamers and vaporizers work by heating water into steam. What evaporates is only water and materials that are water-soluble.
We often recommend using steamers for sore throat or laryngitis, usually either with distilled water or normal (0.9%) saline solution. The liquid vapor is usually warm and normally goes into your vocal tract no farther than the hypopharynx and larynx.
As the steam cools, it precipitates as water and moisturizes the vocal tract. Adding a drop or two of a volatile oil such as eucalyptus oil, is soothing and harmless.
Nebulizers on the other hand mechanically fragment liquid into tiny particles. This includes any liquid, including those that may not be water soluble.
Furthermore, the nebulized particles are small, and travel farther down into the trachea and the lower respiratory tract than inhaled steam.
The problem with nebulizers is that, if you nebulize materials that the trachea and bronchi cannot clear, you may cause an accumulation foreign material in the lung.
For this reason, you should be careful about using a nebulizer.
I would suggest doing so only with a doctor’s advice and only with healing materials, usually by prescription, that treats specific medical conditions such as asthma or, in children, croup.
For more, see Dr. Jahn’s chapter on “Home Remedies” in “The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health”.
Dr. Jahn is an internationally renowned otolaryngologist based in Manhattan with a sub-specialty interest in the professional voice. His practice includes classical and popular singers. He holds academic appointments at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Westminster Choir College in Princeton. He is Medical Director at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and former Director of Medical Services at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Dr. Jahn has published several books for vocalists, including “Vocal Heath for Singers” (Singdaptive) and “The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health” (Oxford University Press).
Focused, personal education from leading music industry leaders costs money. Yet, Singdaptive is an incredibly cost effective investment.
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What’s different with Singdaptive from other approaches?
There are millions of instructional videos out there for singers. What Singdaptive offers is personal guidance for your unique voice through personal video exchanges and tasks selected especially for you by your instructor. What makes us truly unique is that we offer asynchronous learning – this means that you don’t need to keep an appointment and can interact with your learning at any time, day or night.
The other feature of Singdaptive is that your Lead Instructor will be directing you to exercises and lessons from several others on the team so that your learning will transcend the expertise of a single teacher.
What music genres and singing techniques do you teach?
Singdaptive’s Instructor Team is multidisciplinary, so we assign you a Lead Instructor that is an expert in your genre. There are many good singing techniques created by informed singers and researchers. We value the work Janice Chapman, Jeanette Lovetri, Lisa Popeil, Cathrine Sadolin, Ingo Titze and others. In fact, one of these is on our teaching team and we have worked closely with several others.
What we value most are approaches that are not secretive in nature and that are recognized across the disciplines concerned with healthy singing - coaching, therapy, nutrition, otolaryngology, and musicology. The exercises and methods you receive are focused on healthy voice production no matter what your genre.
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Is this for pros or for beginners?
Yes - to both!. If you have just stepped out of the shower and want to share your voice with more than just your golden retriever, we will walk with you into your future. Or, if you’re having trouble with your voice after live streaming 5 hours a day, or are facing an audition for a Musical Theatre role on Broadway or London’s West End, we can get you ready.
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Do you have some tips for me before I get started?
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Janine Le Clair
Gregory A. Barker