I have laryngitis as a result of an upper respiratory tract infection right now. I have to sing in a show tonight and tomorrow night which thankfully only requires me to sing in the part of my range that is not affected by the laryngitis – the lower-mid range. I’m going to sing carefully and I only have 3 songs in the show. What should I do to avoid making my laryngitis worse?
Given what you need to do, you should be fine vocally. Since your lower middle voice has not been affected, that would suggest that you’re singing with good technique and without any tension. As you have two shows only, I would suggest that you rest your voice afterwards, both professionally and, importantly, socially. If you keep pushing with the cold and especially in the higher range, you will develop a tension related problem in the middle voice which may take several days to undo.
Everything else being normal (meaning, you have no pre-existing laryngeal lesions, you’re not menstruating, etc.), you should be fine.
-Anthony F. Jahn, MD, FACS, FRCS(C)
This discussion is for general information and not to be construed as specific medical advice that you should obtain from your own physician.
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).