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Singulair warnings 

Singulair has long been the recommended allergy med of choice for singers since it doesn't dry the vocal cords, unlike many other allergy meds. But recent findings make me much more cautious about recommending it: it now has a 'black box' warning that it can cause depression, sleep issues, and suicide. If allergies are getting in the way of your singing I'd explore alternative remedies first.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art 

     I just finished reading James Nestor's fascinating book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art: highly recommended! All singers will benefit from this book. Among many other recommendations, Nestor extols the benefits of nasal breathing, which has also been recommended by numerous cultures around the world for centuries. This is trickier for singers since mouth breathing is faster and often we don't have a lot of time in-between phrases for a nasal breath. But if you read the book I bet you'll be sold on breathing through your nose more often. 
     In the past I've often told singers to breathe through the nose when not singing, and also when warming up if one is having placement issues, has allergies or 'gunkiness' going on, or is singing flat. In the past I said breathe through the mouth when singing the rest of the time since it's faster. I've modified my thinking now: all the time now when warming up I breathe through my nose as much as possible, and when singing [if there's enough time in-between phrases or sections] I take a nose breath in there as well. 
     As singers we've learned to breathe deeply into the diaphragm and we've learned to slow the exhalation as we sing with good breath support. So we're ahead of the rest of the world on these healthy breathing practices. Check out the book and his site and you'll learn some new methods that could change your singing life for the better.

New Blog Post: My Visit to a Physical Therapist for Singers 

It's touted as a sometimes miraculous method for helping singers. I've never been to one and I wasn't experiencing vocal problems, but I wanted to find out what happens at a session and if it made a difference in my singing. Here's my report.


Sing Harmonies for Android is Here 

I now have an Android version of the Sing Harmonies App available on Google Play. It works just like the iOS version and comes loaded with three harmony songs: Lean On Me, Teach Your Children, and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. All of the 38 additional songs available for the iOS version are also available for the Android version via in-app purchase. Detailed song info is here. If you like the app please leave a review on Google Play. Check out the app here.

I Gave a Group Voice Lesson to Eighty People 

I had a blast giving an introductory voice lesson to everyone at the Berkeley Breakfast Club last month. I wasn't sure if everyone would participate since this group includes members of all ages and from every walk of life-- but they all stood up and made funny sounds when I asked them to, and they sounded great on the final song. At 8AM. What a fun way to start a visit to my home town.

Singers: What To Do if You Have No Voice (Laryngitis) 

Tis' the season for chest colds and laryngitis, I went through a bout of this before the holidays. I just posted a new video about this topic, it's on Youtube and the video sInging tips page of this site.