Most of us take our voice for granted…BIG MISTAKE.
Our voice needs to last a lifetime and like any other muscle in our body we must take proper care of it as part of maintaining our overall health. Being trained as a Speech/Language Pathologist, I’m extremely familiar with this topic which is why last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent (AGT) was so shocking to me.
One of the acts featured two children who were a sister and her older brother. Their “talent” was that the boy was a drummer who accompanied his 6 year old sister (Aaralyn) as she belted out a Heavy Metal song. Not only did this hardly come across as talent but the much greater issue was listening to a child who did nothing but scream very loudly click here to watch video. For me, this was an assault on my hears but I immediately wondered what parent would not only condone but encourage this behavior…I suppose the answer is one million dollars.
No matter what your age, screaming should be avoided as it can result in temporary changes in vocal quality as well as permanent damage due to injury of the cords, themselves. Younger children are particularly at risk since their vocal cords are more vulnerable. Repercussions can include nodules, polyps, lesions and potentially vocal hemorrhage.
Screaming is not the only form of vocal misuse and abuse; other behaviors such as chronic throat clearing, coughing and excessive talking can also have negative effects. If you’d like a list of tips to keep your voice healthy (vocal hygiene), please let me know.
Until then, I urge you to treat your voice with respect and please avoid screaming; it’s vocal suicide!