What To Do if You Have to Sing with a Cold

In this blog, our Principal Singing Teacher Peter Vox is continuing the series on easy vocal care. Sometimes singing with a cold, flu or a blocked nose is unavoidable, and there are ways to do it safely!

So, how do you sing when you are sick? Are there safe ways to sing with a flu? What are the risks, and how can you minimize them? What to avoid when singing with a cold? How do you save your voice and sound good at the same time?

When you are sick, please go to rehearsal and still practice and do your scales and do everything that you normally do as singer. But please properly warm up with either your UNG or a HUM or a BABY BUZZ to see how much of your voice you have to use, so you know how far you can push your voice.

Please, after you do this, try some lighter scales – maybe, just some vowels, – and take your range as high as you can go without hurting your voice. If you are feeling OK, go with the crying scale – which is an exercise that can make you go higher in your range without putting a lot of pressure on your vocal cords. So what I am trying to say here is, work out how much of your voice you can use when you are about to sing during your performance or your practice session.

If your voice is fatigued and you only have half of your range, please only use the low half of you range when you are rehearsing or practicing your songs at home.

Please keep your vocal cords lubricated – please drink a lot of room temperature water or warm fluids. Tea with a little bit of honey and lemon is fantastic.

When you have a cold or a flu, please do not go outside – keep your body at an even temperature. Do not load in the gear, or go out under the rain, or exercise outside in cold weather.

Avoid dairy products when you are sick – dairy products will create mucus. Mucus is where the bacteria lives and grows. So please, as you do not want to create more home for the bacteria to live in – get rid of dairy products altogether when you are sick, and even the week after you are feeling better. You’re still phlegmy and a little bit clogged up the week after you feel better and are recovering from your cold or flu.

Friar’s Balsam or Eucalyptus oil – you can buy this from your health food store or your local chemist, and this will basically decongest you if you are sounding really blocked up, if you’ve got a bad head cold. Pour a little bit of Friar’s Balsam or eucalyptus oil into a bucket, some boiling water, towel over the head and inhale the steam. Get rid of any congestion or gunk that is coming up – cough this up, spit this out and get rid of as much gunk as you possibly can.

As you know, when you have a cold or a flu, if you jump in the steamy shower – you will feel a lot better for the first five minutes after you get out of the shower. We are doing the same thing with steaming, but we are trying to get rid of a lot of the phlegm as well. The Eucalyptus oil will decongest a lot of the areas in your head – sinuses, nose passages, throat…. The Friar’s Balsam will help decongest more so deep in your chest, if you have some phlegm there.

When you are rehearsing or performing, please make sure that you can hear yourself clearly and adequately – when you have a cold or a flu, your ears are blocked up. So if you are rehearsing or performing please make sure that you can hear yourself clearly through your fallback or your in-ear monitors. If you’re at home, maybe just turn the stereo up a little bit louder, so that you can hear the music a little better.

Please, do not scream or shout over loud music after you’ve finished your performance or rehearsal – please, save your voice. Go home and rest as much as you possibly can.

So, let’s recap:

1. Please make sure that you warm up your voice – find out how much of your voice you have got and adjust your voice accordingly.
2. If you can’t sing high – for instance, you only have half of your range – please, either tune the songs down lower or cut the peaks and the higher parts of the melodies off, and just sing the root note of the melody.
3. Sing the higher notes in falsetto instead of going up in your true voice. Work out how much of your voice you’ve got to use, and work to the best of your ability with what you’ve got. Whether you’re going with falsetto, or tuning the set down, or decide to replace the songs in the set with some other, lower songs – do whatever you can to make your voice sound the best you can when you are sick.
4. Please make sure that you take care of your voice – do not push it beyond its limits when you are sick, take care of yourself, keep your fluids up.

Hope that this has helped you out!

Thank you, and see you on the next blog.




Rear Of 325 Bay Road Highett, Vic 3192 (access via Middleton Street)

Located in quiet and safe residential Highett, this is a cosy and bright spanking-new little studio, with everything you need for professional vocal training – experienced singing teachers, all necessary equipment, plus convenience of public transport.

This studio is excellent if you are looking for private or group singing lessons in the following Melbourne suburbs: Moorabin, Hampton East, Hampton, Sandringham, Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, Oakleigh South, Clarinda, Heatherton, Black Rock, Beaumaris, Mentone, Mordialloc, Parkdale, Dingley village, Dingley, Braeside, Aspendale and Aspendale Gardens – please, refer to the map:

Bookings are available on Mondays with Ryan Vox at 12 PM to 10 PM.

Close to public transport. Spaces are limited and filling fast! Call to book your singing lesson: 0422 278 289.

This Sunday is Vox Singing Academy’s next student concert!

1:00 PM
Sunday, the 15th of October 2017

The Palace Hotel
893 Burke Road, Camberwell
03 9813 3566

$10 entry

Our regular student concerts are a great way to gain valuable stage experience in a professional environment, using professional sound equipment, lighting and staging with an audience of your fellow students, family and friends cheering you on!

Fantastic food and drinks are also available. Families are encouraged to book a table if there are more than 4 people attending. Everyone welcome! Free parking is offered by the venue.

Prizes, giveaways, Vox Singing Academy gift vouchers and free lessons, The Palace Hotel food and beverage gift vouchers and merchandise will be given away at the end of the show as encouragement awards! So it’s best to hang around until the end and support your fellow singers!

Warm regards,
The Vox Team

What To Take and Do When You Have a Cold or Flu

In this singing tutorial we’re going to talk about cold management – what to take and what to do when you have a cold or a flu.

What To Take and Do When You Have a Cold or Flu

The number one point in cold management is to monitor your body and the way you’re feeling all the time. Day one of the cold or the flu is the most important day, because you need to start doing all of these on day one – and not day two, three, four or five once the cold is fully blown. What we’re trying to do is to nip the cold or the flu in the bud straight away, so that the symptoms are going to be smaller and you can keep on singing as quickly as you possibly can once your cold or flu has diminished. So, monitor your body, see how you’re feeling, and if you’re not feeling great – start doing all this straight away.

1. If you’re feeling achy, got a headache or blocked up nose, or your joints are hurting, please get on to your favorite cold or flu tablet. And if you’re not feeling these symptoms, please do not take any drugs at all and try to get over things naturally.
2. Echinacea liquid or olive leaf extract liquid is very good to build your immune system up if you’re feeling the onset of a cold or a flu. I’ve personally told my students to take these at the start of the cold or a flu, and I have never had a cold or a flu since. So, it’s very important to take echinacea or olive leaf liquid extract, one of the two. You can buy these in your health food store.
3. Sodium ascorbate is vitamin C powder – if you do not like eating oranges, kiwi fruit or guava. If you can get a natural form of vitamin C – it’s a lot better for you and your health, and guava has the most vitamin C out of any fruit that is in stock, if you live in a tropical area. It is absolutely beautiful and fantastic. Second with the most vitamin C from a fruit would be kiwi with the skin on. Please eat 3-6 of these a day when you’re sick, get your vitamin C levels up and get rid of the cold a lot quicker. Or simple oranges will do. If you don’t like to take on this much amount of food, you can buy sodium ascorbate from a chemist as it is just a vitamin C powder.
4. If you have a sore throat, I can’t recommend highly enough Betadine throat gargle. Do this every half an hour to an hour. If you don’t have Betadine, gargle really salty warm water and spit this back out. It is also a good idea to consume some throat lozenges as well, I highly recommend Strepfen – it’s the strongest throat lozenge you can get. Or, if not, Strepsils is also fantastic. Another great natural lozenge which has a natural antibody is Throat-Clear, I highly recommend that one. If you have lots of inflammation, Difflam is also fantastic.
5. When you are sick, as singer please get as much rest as you possibly can as your body is fighting something, so try to rest up as much as you can. Don’t go on to exercise or go out or do anything else that you don’t have to do. So please rest up as much as you can and help your body fight the infection or the virus that you have.
6. Multivitamins – please, get a great multivitamin. Especially vitamin B as well. It is good to take multivitamins when you’re sick, and B if you are feeling flat. Also, I have a vitamin called Cold-EEZE – only when I am sick. I only take vitamins and do all of this only when I am sick. I also have fish oil when I am sick as well.
7. And if you are still getting sick and the symptoms are getting worse in 3-4 days after doing all of what I have just listed here, please go to the doctor. It may be blowing up into something bigger – like a cold, a flu, or other infection. If you are coughing up any colored phlegm, green or gray phlegm – you’ve got an infection, so I highly recommend going to a doctor and getting on some antibiotics.

In the next blog I’m going to talk about what to do if you have laryngitis. This is the singer’s worst nightmare – to lose your voice. I am going to tell you what you need to do to get yourself and your voice back up as quickly as you can!

Thank you, and see you on the next blog.


If you want to learn more about your voice – subscribe to our Youtube channel and ask YOUR questions in the comments! And join us on Instagram and Facebook for more fun and useful content! 🙂

Have fun singing,
Peter Vox


How To Sing While You Have a Cold or Flu
What Singers Should and Should Not Be Drinking
How To Stop Your Voice From Hurting

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Peter Vox’s Video Bio

Peter Vox’s Video Bio

Do you want to learn more about your vocal teacher? Let’s begin with our founder’s video biography, where he gives you a brief history and description of unique services he offers. Here is Peter Vox himself, on his professional experience and the Vox singing method:

Enjoy watching!

Vox Wall of Fame Signing – Drown this City

A very special guest – our student and the lead singer of Drown this City, Alex – came over to our Brunswick studio to sign their poster for The Vox Wall of Fame, and to have a little chat:

Listen to Drown this City:

If you want to become a profesional vocalist like Alex, or just to learn more about your voice – subscribe and ask YOUR questions in the comments! And join us on Instagram and Facebook for more fun and useful content!

Have fun singing,
The Vox Team

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The Importance of Light & Shade within a Song

One of the most important factors of singing and presenting a song is using different shades and volume variations within a song. This is your color palette – exactly the way an artist would use a color palette to paint a fantastic painting! You need to do the same thing as a singer. If you do not add these variances or different volumes into your songs, you are going to be sounding dead, monotonous and boring – and we do not want to do that!

Let me give you an example here of not using any volumes, okay? I’ll do rock sound by The Police.


I am going to try to sing this as dead as I possibly can. The second version, I am going to add a lot more light and shade and some variances into the song.

Now, let me try to put a little bit more light and shade to it, some volume variances, a little bit more expression of the song, a little bit more feeling into the song…

So, now you can hear the differences in the two examples. I know which one you would rather listen to – and it will be the second one. Please try to add these different lights and shades, but the main thing is to listen up for these different lights and shades and volume variances with your favorite artists and singers, and I will guarantee you that they will be doing this in every single song that has ever been written and sung.

Now, when I am working through and breaking down songs in a class, I go through different numbers from 1 to 4, and I would write these numbers down next to the lines – whether they may be originals or covers, – so that the student knows what volume they have to be at, at any particular point.

Anyway guys, please have a listen to some of your favorite artists and try to apply these different volume variances into your songs!

In the next blog, I am going to give you some volume scale which is absolutely fantastic and you can apply these skills straight into the songs after I will have given it to you next week.

Thank you for joining me guys, I really appreciate it! See you on the next blog!


If you want to learn more about your voice – subscribe to our channel The 5 Minute Singer and ask YOUR questions in the comments! And join us on Facebook and Instagram for more useful content 🙂

Have fun singing,
The Vox Team



Creating Vocal Volume Variances.
The Less Down Low, More Up High Principle.
How To Stop Your Voice From Hurting.


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YOUTUBE – The 5-Minute Singer:

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